The weather is cold here at the Children’s Museum so we’re warming up at Young at Art! Last week children and families were engaged with a mitten art project. The focus of the project was creating fun patterns to decorate their mittens with. This may just look like a fun art project, but it is also assisting kids in learning some very important skills. By tracing their hands and using scissors to cut out the mitten shape, children are improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Fine motor movements involve the coordination of small muscles in the hands and fingers. Whether you’re cutting, writing, or eating with utensils, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are essential to everyday life.
Aside from fine motor skills, this art project helps children learn and predict patterns, so math is often regarded as the “science of patterns”. Learning patterns can be a great preparation for learning the basics of mathematics. Counting from one to ten or multiplying numbers by zero are both examples of patterns that may be looked over. Patterns help us figure out the answer to the question “What’s next?” Understanding patterns may not make us able to predict the future, but it can help us to better understand the world around us!