One of the things that can cause parents to worry about their children is the ever-growing presence of technology. The internet is a place where human creativity knows no bounds. As such, children are drawn to it but may have a sedentary lifestyle, watching shows on their tablets all day long.
While it is true that computer games develop motor skills, you may want to consider other hobbies for your children, like best pottery wheel for kids, as this can improve a lot of the child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Apart from being therapeutic and relaxing, there are more tangible benefits that one can get from it, especially children who are in their formative years.
Here, we will be taking a look at how pottery can benefit children, and why taking your child in a pottery class is a good consideration to give your child an avenue to learn not just art, but also other skills.
Develop Spatial Intelligence
Spatial intelligence is the ability to visualize something in the mind. Have you ever wondered how artists could turn something that is so seemingly mundane into a fantastic piece of art? Think of a piece of wood that an artist turned into a sculpture.
Spatial intelligence is the key to that.
This form of intelligence is what allows architects to create drawings of houses, and how craftsmen know how a cabinet or sculpture will look like.
Molding clay forces the child to think about how the clay would look like after he executes an action. It is a three-dimensional activity, and the child has to turn the figure around consistently. The result of this action is curiosity, spatial awareness, and creativity.
A child who is molding a pot would ask himself, “How can I put a hole in this block of pot?”
Or if the child wants to create a cylindrical vase out of the clay, he will take a look at the different sides of the object to have different perspectives, and he will try to figure out what a line or curve would do to the work in progress.
The next thing he’ll do is to experiment, and he will soon learn that pushing, molding, flattening, and all other activities have an effect on the final outcome of the clay. And as he learns this, he will soon realize that each action has a consequence.
He will then use this knowledge to visualize the finished product in his head.
As he moves forward, he will develop the ability not just to recognize shapes and patterns, but he will be able to comprehend the relationship between them and how putting them together can create something that is bigger than what they are as individual shapes.
Pottery classes do not work like conventional schools. In schools, children are rated according to their output. They receive grades, and they get either ridiculed or derided if they perform poorly, while those who did well are praised.
An environment like that can cause your child to view himself from the perspective of others. If he performs poorly in his academics, he might not look at himself with esteem, believing that only smart people deserve that.
The potential results are that your child will grow up being quiet, unafraid to speak his mind, and aloof from other people who he views are the “good ones”.
In a pottery class, the child is free to create. He can let his imagination fly, and he does not have to get worried about being held accountable for it. No matter what he creates, the child knows that this is the product of his own hands.
There are no grading systems in pottery classes. No one is the best, and no one is the weakest.
The absence of a grading system eliminates the fear of not performing. And because of that, the child does not feel boxed within a set of expectations, and he would understand that it is a place where he can freely express himself.
His work will be recognized, and he knows that his capabilities to create are limitless—that he only needs time to learn, and he will get it done. There is no pressure, and therefore there is little likelihood of giving up.
And the end result? You have a child who believes in himself, and who is willing to commit to learning a craft because he knows he will never get punished no matter what the output is.
Cultivate Problem Solving Abilities
Problem-solving does not only occur in mathematical situations. We are all inundated with problems every day, and this includes children.
The difference between adults and children is that we have already developed logical pathways in our brains. We know what steps to take to solve a problem, but a child is still learning his ways.
In pottery, the problem that your child is going to face is the one that he created.
He would ask himself, “How can I turn this (the clay) into a pot?”
And since he is left on his own, he knows that he has to fix it. It is true that he can ask for the support of the instructor, but at the end of the day, he has to roll, flatten, push, and smoothen the clay in places where he thought was appropriate.
In essence, the child is forced to think.
And as he tries to solve a problem, he begins his journey to discovery.
If he accidentally put a lot of water, he will soon discover that he has to add clay to bring back the right texture. If he used a metal frame, he has to figure out how to bend it without deforming the whole structure.
If he is creating something more elaborate than a simple pot, like a human figurine, where is he going to make the cut to form the hands? What about the joints?
Pottery puts your child in a problematic situation—a creative one, that is—and this encourages the child to either experiment to find solutions, or to ask for help from the instructor to learn the answer.
The child will participate in pottery classes with other children, and this should put him at ease, knowing that he is with people his age.
Pottery classes are silent most of the time while the children are busy with their art pieces, but this does not mean that they cannot start a conversation. In pottery classes, children will find encouragement to talk to the others, share ideas, and explain their artwork.
These discussions will open new doors for the child to make friends. This is important, as sociability can help the child develop positive emotional well-being.
Can you imagine if your child is afraid to go outside the house talk to people? If he is, then he is missing out on many aspects of social learning.
As mentioned earlier, pottery can help develop self-esteem. And when a child looks at himself positively, he will not fear to exchange words with other children. He will not be afraid to ask, and he will not be afraid to give his opinions.
Sociability is critical for a child to learn how to cooperate. And when a child learns this, he will feel secure towards society, and most importantly, he will learn how to work with people.
A pottery class can support this aspect of your child’s life. It makes children feel valued, protected, respected and loved.
Enhance Motor Skills
Motor skill refers to a person’s ability to execute with precision what his brain wanted the muscles to do. Essentially, this is the ability to effectively use parts of your body to move at the right time, with accuracy, at the moment you intended to make the movement, and also achieve the desired result.
Have you ever seen highly skilled craftsmen at work? How about basketball players or gymnasts who move with precision?
Anything that your brain willed to do, such as but is not limited to walking, running, and grasping, comprise your motor skills.
A child who participates in pottery classes will make use of his hands often. This allows his brain and hands to coordinate because he has to mold the clay as the wheel turns. He has to apply the right pressure at the right spots, and at the right time to create the desired shape.
In advanced classes, the child will also use his feet to pedal the pottery wheel. In such situations, he will learn how to move his hands and feet in a rhythm that positively impacts the shape of the clay.
It is similar to driving, where your brain, eyes, feet, hands, and arms all work together to achieve harmony, without which you cannot drive effectively.
Pottery offers several benefits to the different aspects of a child’s life. But like other activities, perhaps not all children will be inclined to participate. But with proper encouragement, your child can develop a keen interest in art, specifically, pottery.
Pottery is a safe hobby, albeit it involves a lot of dirt. The result, however, is a memento that your child can keep until he grows up.