LoLA believes in open-ended creativity where children create for the sake of it. There is no right or wrong way, no results that have to be achieved, no tasks that have to be fulfilled. Art is something that empowers self-expression and self-confidence. We want to support children’s creative thinking by encouraging them to enjoy the process!
Most of what LoLA provides is ART boxes rather than CRAFT boxes. We thought it might be quite useful to look in more detail at the difference between Art and Craft and the pros and cons of both.
A craft is an activity that usually involves creating something tangible; typically used for decoration or some sort of functional purpose. The activity of crafting engages the makers’ brains and hands, and children can learn both specific skills and patience. This, in turn, gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride. Many adults get great satisfaction from crafting – which is why scrapbooking has become a 2.5 billion-dollar industry!
Art, on the other hand, is typically a more unstructured process and is more concerned with aesthetics and the expression of emotion. Art allows both children and adults to explore and express their whole range of feelings. Art teaches children that there is usually more than one right answer when solving a problem, and celebrates different perspectives.
We want children to think outside the box and create their own unique artwork. One LoLA project can result in a thousand different art pieces because children paint, draw, sculpt in so many different ways. Our aim is to support each child’s individual creative independence in their own home.
An ideal curriculum for children would encompass both crafts and art, for the very different reasons mentioned above. However many of the “art boxes” on the market today are really craft kits, and many of the art projects found on Pinterest are really craft projects. Certainly, some projects fall into a grey area somewhere in between, but let’s stop using the terms interchangeably.
Art education in schools is severely limited these days, having been cut back drastically over the years. Modern children’s lifestyles restrict the time they have for simply sitting down, observing or imagining something, and then using hand-eye coordination to realise an image. LoLA’s monthly boxes encourage kids to explore different materials and to understand how artists used them. Having inspiration from artists, both past and present, expands children’s horizons and (with suggested reading and visits) enables them to experience art in its many forms.