5 Reasons Why Arts & Crafts Are Crucial For Early Development

Dinosaurs and unicorns are alive. Superheroes and insects work together to fight evil. Yep, you heard that right! Welcome to the world of arts and crafts – a magical world where children can put on their capes of creativity and curiosity, unlocking the secrets of their own potential. Arts and Crafts are the forefront of development and growth in young children. From open-ended creative expression to cognitive enhancement, arts and crafts truly impact young minds more than we might expect. Let’s explore five benefits that arts and crafts unlock.

Fine Motor Skill Development

Painting, drawing, cutting, and pasting may seem like simple, mundane activities, but they play a crucial role in developing fine motor skills. These activities require precise movements and coordination, which help children refine their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. As they work with various art mediums, they strengthen their muscles in their hands and fingers, laying the groundwork for future tasks like writing. Take a look at one of our new products that aids fine motor skill development in a big way:

Imagination and Creativity

One of the most significant benefits of arts and crafts learning is gaining the ability to ignite and nurture imagination from a creative point of view. Whether it’s molding clay into mythical creatures or using craft sticks to tell stories of ancient kings and queens, crafts encourage children to think out of the box and explore their creative abilities. This freedom sets children on a trajectory for future success in creative roles and professions. Here is our recommendation for products that enhance imagination and creativity:

Cognitive Development

Engaging in arts and crafts activities stimulates various cognitive functions in children. As children explore possibilities through color, they engage in a wide range of cognitive processes from selecting hues to blending shades to recalling memories evoked by colors. These cognitive processes are not limited to the realm of colors alone; they extend to activities like building structures with blocks or piecing together puzzles, where children combine spatial reasoning and critical thinking together to bring their ideas to life. Through these immersive experiences, children not only develop their artistic abilities but also strengthen essential cognitive functions, laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning and growth.

 Expression and Communication

Not only do arts and crafts provide children with freedom of creative expression, but they also provide a non-verbal outlet through self-expression. By exploring colors, shapes, and textures, they can convert their feelings, thoughts, and experiences into expressions. This form of artistic expression is especially beneficial for those who may find it hard to communicate their feelings verbally. By engaging in creative activities, children learn to express themselves in alternative ways, fostering emotional intelligence and communication skills. Art can also serve as a calming and therapeutic activity, helping children manage stress and anxiety. The process of creating art allows them to channel their feelings constructively and develop resilience when facing challenging situations.

Social Skills and Collaboration

Learning how to work with others is a crucial developmental skill that will be used throughout a lifetime. In fact, more that 50% of people say their jobs require collaboration with one another and 75% of employees rate team work as being crucial in the workplace. Arts and crafts often involve collaboration and social interaction, whether it’s contributing to a group project or sharing ideas and materials with peers. These interactions teach children key social skills like sharing, voicing your opinion, taking turns, and cooperating towards a common goal. They learn to respect diverse perspectives, communicate effectively, and work as part of a team, which are essential skills for navigating social relationships in the future.

Incorporating arts and crafts at an early age is more than just a recreational activity – it’s a powerful tool for holistic development. From honing in on fine motor skills and cognitive development to gaining emotional intelligence and social competence, the benefits are far-reaching and long-lasting. By providing opportunities for creative expression and exploration, we empower children to unlock their full potential and become confident and independent individuals. Let’s nurture their creativity, one masterpiece at a time!

The “Helping Hands” Good Deeds Display

Image of Roylco Color Diffusing Hands artwork display on school hallway

Image of Roylco Color Diffusing Hands artwork display on school hallway

Special Post Contribution: By Amy Klossner

Here are the photos of the project our school completed using Color Diffusing Hands.  They were just perfect.  We read the book Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed, before painting the hands with liquid watercolors.  It’s a story about a little girl who does one good deed and that person does 5 good deeds then those people do five more good deeds each and so on. Like I said, the hands were perfect for displaying to the students how one good deed (represented by the hand) grows into five more, (represented by the fingers) which grows into 5 more, etc. The “helping hands” displayed that kindness is contagious.

As a spin off, students can write good deeds they are preforming in our school and community on each one of the hands, heart shapes or other inspirational design.


Close up boy decorating color diffusing hand


Close-up of a decorated hand


Children decorating Color Diffusing Hands with liquid water color

How to Decorate Color Diffusing Hands:

Liquid Water Color:  To get the most beautiful color blends, I recommend using liquid watercolor paint in a mister bottle. Spray the colors you like onto the Color Diffusing Hand.  Then use another mister bottle to spray clean water over your colors. Set aside to dry. Be careful where you put them, they can make a mess. To speed up the drying time, I like to hang them up for good air circulation. They should be dry enough to use in about 30 mins.


Washable Markers:  Color the Color Diffusing Hands with washable markers. Do not cover the whole area. Make sure to leave white space. Use a mister bottle to spray clean water over your colors. This will allow the colors to “mingle” and spread.


Image of sketch drawing of Kid 1

Let’s make a mandala fractions t-shirt!

Blog Mandala T-Shirt Image

Roylco Fraction Mandala Stencils Hero Shot

Age: 4+

Duration: 30 minutes (or more, if you’re really having fun)

Learning Outcomes: A mandala is a spiritual symbol that represents the universe. So, this craft will give us an opportunity to start a conversation about the people who create these symbols. Also, we’re going to focus on the mathematical component of these intricate designs using fractions.

Here’s what you need:

Mandala Fraction Stencils (R58626)

T-shirt (follow washing instructions)

Fabric Paint or Fabric Markers (follow washing instructions)


What could be better this summer than to go out on all your adventures wearing a t-shirt designed by your very own crafty fingers? We’re going to make a cool, SMART design that you’ll be proud to wear when you play outside or travel abroad!

These mandala designs are inspired by the ancient Asian traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Devoted worshipers created mandalas as a visual representation of the universe, as well as an aid for meditation.

The intricate, circular designs make this ancient art form ideal for splitting into parts. This is how we’re going to be able to use the patterns to help us sharpen our understanding of mathematical fractions.

Once you’ve finished your pattern, make it your own! It’s up to you to embellish and complete your design in any way that makes you happy. For inspiration, search online for mandala images. Or, better yet, take a trip to your local library to search for books about mandalas and the people who create them. You’ll discover fascinating representations of the universe that just might inspire your own creations.

BP sketch figure of girl

Step 1: Choose your pattern

Because mandalas can be extremely detailed and beautifully ornate, we have broken our designs into fractions. Each stencil is a like a slice of a pie: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10. Pick one stencil, and use it to create the outline of your design. For the 1/2 stencil, 2 parts make the whole. For the 1/10 stencil, 10 parts make the whole. The product guide will be helpful to understand the best way to use the stencils.

Step 2: Trace the pattern on your shirt

It might be a good idea to practice tracing your stencil on a sheet of paper first.

Before you begin, make sure you know how the pattern will fit on your shirt. The best way to do this is to mark the center with something that will wash out, like a very small pencil mark. Where you place the design is totally up to you, but you’ll want to know that it’s going to end up where you intended.

Here’s a tip for you: Depending on your art medium (markers or paint), you may want to place a sheet of cardboard or some other scrap material inside your shirt as you work. This will help to prevent the colors from bleeding through to the back of your t-shirt. If you do happen to get colors on the back accidentally, you could always draw another mandala on the backside.


Now that your placement is all set, it’s time to start tracing your design with your fabric markers or fabric paint. And, hey, don’t worry about making mistakes. It’s totally fine if you get out of line! In fact, you might find that an unexpected mark is just the thing your design needs to make it more unique.


Step 3:  Complete your image

This is the fun part. Doodles allowed! Make it unique. Have fun. Take your time. Refer to your library books for inspiration. Enjoy it!

Step 4:  Wear it!

Guaranteed — you’ll be the only one on the block with this cool t-shirt, made by you!


Consider This:

What was the most interesting thing that you learned about the culture of the people who created the mandala art form?

What are some other objects from around your house that could be broken into fractions?

Do you think the creators of the mandala art from used an understanding of mathematics to inspire their work?

How might you apply mathematical principals to help visualize your interpretation of your home, your neighborhood, your city, your world, your universe?

Blog Sketch Art Graphic

Dinosaur Print Papers

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

Our printed papers are renowned for their bright, colorful patterns! We’ve separated them into themes, such as this one: Dinosaur Print Papers. Use them to decorate your R16035 Collage-a-Saurus dinosaurs!

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

We first set out the R16035 Collage A Saurus for students to assemble. They simply pop out the dinosaur from its backing and R15311 Dinosaur Papers for students to select from.

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

Place the Collage-A-Saurus onto a sheet of Dinosaur Paper. The sheet may not fully cover the dinosaur figure so you will have to either fill the rest in with a separate sheet, or use scrap bits from the first sheet.

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

You can also do both sides of the dinosaur if you’d like! Just make sure to flip it over when you are tracing!

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

Cut along the traced line.

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

Glue the printed pattern paper onto the Collage dinosaurs.

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

Don’t forget to decorate the plant stand as well! This helps the dinosaur stand up.

collage a saurus dinosaur paper

Thanks to our campers for bringing their dinosaurs to life!


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Spotlight on… Hidden Difference Puzzle Cards


Find all the differences between the colorful character cards in our Hidden Difference Puzzles! The puzzles are great for encouraging critical thinking through comparison and contrast.

The Hidden Difference Puzzle Cards each come in a set of 4, with 12 different character cards. Each of the cards features an image of a young person dressed in some kind of career uniform with an assortment of props related to that specific character. Each card in the set of 4 that is outlined in blue is your starting point. This is the card that you will use to compare to all the other cards! Take the blue card from any of the sets and discuss with your students what is featured in the picture. Observe the clothes that the young person is wearing. What kind of career is she or he representing? What are the elements in the picture that help support your students’ guesses?


Once you have an understanding of what each card represents, talk about what people in these professions do and how they are important to community building. You can even start to discuss with your students what kinds of interests they have that may be reflected in their career choices one day!


There are enough cards for pairs of students to work on finding all the differences together. The comparison cards are bordered in green for easy, yellow for intermediate and red for challenging, meaning that there are more differences in the cards as you progress through the more difficult cards.

Learning about comparisons is a great way to encourage critical thinking in students. If you’d like a more introductory approach to learning about different versus same, consider trying this activity! We used found things in a classroom and a salad tray to help students categorize the differences between items through tactile and visual sense. Once students are comfortable with identifying differences in objects, they can progress to using the Hidden Difference cards.


Get your students to mark down all the differences. They can use dry-erase markers directly on the cards to indicate where the differences are. The surface of the cards is easy to wipe with baby wipes or glass cleaner and paper towel. Once students are confident with their discoveries, they can check their work against all the answers printed at the back of the blue card.

This is a great activity to get students to work together while exercising their brains and having fun!


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Spotlight on… Classroom Tunics

classroom tunics

Keep track of your numbers and letters with Classroom Tunics! Every student can take part in the learning fun when they’ve donned their dry-erase pullover.

classroom tunics

The R49620 Dry Erase Classroom Tunics fit nicely onto students’ shoulders. The tunic is designed to hold in place by the dry erase panels on the front and back. You can use the panels to write numbers, letters or other form of signage!

classroom tunics

The best part is that the dry-erase tunics can be re-used over and over again.

classroom tunics

It’s safe for children to wear and a great way to include students in group activities.

classroom tunics

Our full guide gives you detailed resources for implementing the classroom tunics into 7 important subject ares of the curriculum. Learn how to integrate numbers into everyday learning while engaging students in fun activities such as color matching, sorting and more!

classroom tunics

We wrote a number onto each of the students’ vests and asked them to organize themselves in the correct order. We intentionally left out some numbers to give the campers an extra challenge!

classroom tunics

The students all had to work together to determine who went where in the number line. It was a great exercise.

classroom tunics

The best challenge occurred when we changed some of our campers’ vests to subtraction, addition and equal signs. We then chose two students to stand on either side of the operation and work with their peers to figure out what the answer was!

classroom tunics

There are so many great ways to use the Classroom Tunics. Even simply color-coding your students into groups makes the tunics well worth their while in your classroom!


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Craft Spotlight: Mix and Match Emotion Masks®


How are you feeling today? Pretty good or what?! Our art campers were feeling their very best while playing with our hilarious R4959 Mix and Match Emotion Masks®! 

The Mix and Match Emotion Masks are a unique set of masks that are divided between upper and lower face images. The upper face masks typically show the eyes in a variety of emotions (in the cover photo above, the camper is showing her eye mask that features surprise)–sad, happy, angry, surprised, for instance! The lower face masks show the mouth adjusted to reflect other emotions as well–such as contempt, interest, fear and so on.


Using individual mask pieces, you can talk with your students about existing emotions, and how they affect us and people around us.

By “mixing and matching” emotions, you can make up your own!

_DSC0262Regardless, children will have lots of fun changing their appearances with one of these ingenious masks. The material is tear-resistant and coated with protection for years of re-use! This will benefit you in pre-K classrooms as you can use them to teach young children about self-awareness and how feelings are important to our interactions with other human beings.

_DSC0302You can see by the picture above that it’s easy to inspire children to experience a range of different emotions with external things (such as masks). In a way, this is how regular emotions are experienced. There are multiple external things every day that happen to us. Each of these things–whether it be another person, an event, object, entertainment, etc–can cause us to react or respond in certain ways. Sometimes, certain persons experience different emotions simply because they can (don’t you wake up some days and feel happy that you are alive?)

_DSC0265All in all, learning about emotions is a great experience!

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Craft Spotlight: Wild Weaving Mats


Weave wonderful animal mats using pre-cut printed strips. Create patterns while developing fine motor skills! 

The animal mats are made extra-large so you can hang the finished decorations up on a jungle-themed wall mural. They are pre-cut with slots to encourage weaving beginners to make interesting designs and learn concepts of going over and under.


These animals are ready to be decorated! Get the whole class in on the fun. Use craft feathers to glue to the birds or use metallic paint to add details to animals like the crocodile, fish or frog!

View more ideas at the PDF guide here. Watch the YouTube video below to see exactly how the mats are done.

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Art Camp – Register Today!

Group Shot 3

Last year’s summer camp was such a great success… We’re doing it again this year! The event will take place between July 14-16 in Waterloo, Ontario. To register for this event, see details below!!

You are invited to attend…

Roylco’s 2nd Annual Summer Art Camp!

July 14-16 2014

9AM – 2PM

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

FREE ADMISSION (registration required)!

For years, we’ve provided art materials and instructions to schools, art camps, museums, educational groups and community centers across the country. Using our knowledge and experience, we are organizing a 3-day summer art camp to build collaborative art experiences with children ages 4-6 and document the event using video and photography. The art camp will help your child become familiar with our products before attending the all-important photo shoot scheduled for July 17, 2014.

Your child will discover techniques in:

• Painting

• Cutting and Pasting

• Sculpting

• Molding and Collaging

• Solving Puzzles

• Discovering Amazing Science Facts

• Exploring Math Concepts

• Working with Peers on Projects

Our friendly staff and volunteers will supervise and direct the art program starting from 9AM to 2PM every day. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Please notify us of any dietary restrictions beforehand. A signed release form will be required for both the art camp and the photo shoot.


Email: anita[at]roylco[dot]com with “Art Camp” in the subject line

Phone: (519) 885-0451 Ext. 0


Learn more about this event by sending us an email through the contact form!