Crafting is a great way to relax and destress. It can be a creative and mindful experience that helps us to take time for ourselves and focus on something that brings us joy. Crafting can help to improve our mental health, as it can be a calming and positive activity that can help us to stay in the present moment. It can also be a great way to express our creativity and express ourselves. Using crafts in School Counseling lessons is a win-win for both you and your students.
When I started my school counseling journey, I noticed that many students paid better attention when they were allowed to manipulate objects or keep their hands busy. Teachers were letting them use slime or other fidgets at their desks to keep them from squirming in their seats. Although I don’t mind the fidgets, I’d rather have them spend time fidgeting with a craft that goes with the lesson. These days, I cannot imagine trying to do a lesson without a craft.
3 Reasons to Use Crafts in School Counseling Lessons
Cutting, pasting, and coloring are mindful activities. They require just enough brain power to keep students engaged without being too stressful. You can encourage students to be even more mindful when doing their craft by telling them to notice the little things. Tell them to notice and appreciate the colors they are using, listen for the sounds of the paper cutting or crayon moving across the page and enjoy the sensation of a finished product. When students are involved in regular mindful activities, they will reap the following benefits:
- better concentration
- improved memory
- higher grades
- reduced stress
You can read more about mindful activities in the classroom here.
Increases Student Engagement
When students are engaged in a craft, they keep their hands and minds busy. They are less likely to get involved in off-task behaviors. Because crafts don’t consume all of their attention, they can still pay attention to you. Sometimes I will play a Ted Talk while they complete their craft. This gives them another perspective on the topic of the day, other than just my two cents. The key to engagement is to use various formats to teach a lesson from videos, group activities, crafts, whole group discussion, and games.
Provides Lesson Take-a-ways
A great thing about crafting with a lesson is that they have a tangible reminder of the lesson to take home with them. You can keep the crafts in a binder as a portfolio. Portfolios offer a visual way to represent all of the coping skills that they are learning throughout the year. Administrators love to see portfolios and it can help you get an amazing evaluation score. Also, when students take the crafts home, they can stir up conversations with their families which is a huge bonus.
These three reasons benefit the students, the teacher, and the school counselor. You will be able to deliver your lessons with fewer behavioral disruptions. Students gain the benefit by performing better and feeling better. If you aren’t already, I hope that you will consider using crafts for school counseling lessons. Check out this craft for reducing drama and rumors in your school.