Perseverance means to keep trying even when the going gets tough. Craft projects can be effective tools for illustrating the quality of perseverance to children. Creative activities that require a child to stick with a project over an extended period of time or those that entail a good deal of patience and concentration provide hands-on opportunities for developing this important moral value. When a child can exercise his creativity, while also learning to persevere toward a worthy goal, the benefits are multiplied.
Traditional Craft Ideas
Create a perseverance pencil holder to help children become aware of the importance of fulfilling long term goals. Cover an empty coffee can with craft foam and glue a strip of felt around the top of the can to cushion and conceal the can's metal edges. Cut several 1-inch circles from different colors of craft foam. The child can write various goals on these circles such as "Read a book" or "Study for spelling test." Attach these circles to the side of the can with white craft glue. Add a decorative sticker to the circles whenever a goal is achieved.
Use a butterfly craft to illustrate the rewards of perseverance. Fold a paper plate in half and color the outside of the folded plate shades of brown so that it resembles a cocoon. Draw a colorful butterfly inside the plate so that when the "cocoon" is opened, the butterfly is revealed. Utilize this craft to help children understand that beautiful things can come out of difficult or unusual circumstances, but this takes time.
Long Term Crafts
Crafts that must be completed over time can help children to understand the concept of perseverance through hands on experience. Starting at the beginning of the year, encourage a child to chronicle her year in a combination scrapbook and journal. Explain that it will take perseverance to complete this project since it will not be completed until the year is up.
Another option is to paint and decorate clay pots for a window garden. Once these pots are decorated, fill them with potting soil and plant a variety of flower seeds. As the plants grow, remind the child that perseverance often means starting off small and growing little by little.
Interactive Crafts And Activities
Groups of children can learn about perseverance together through interactive art activities. Create a bulletin board or wall display that will grow over time with the contributions of the entire class or group. For example, add a bare tree trunk to a wall display and allow children to gradually add cut outs of colorful autumn leaves as a reward for achieving a specific goal such as reading a book or learning a memory verse in Sunday school. Explain to the children that the bulletin board represents the importance of perseverance and teamwork.
Have children create a dozen or so greeting cards that acknowledge the quality of perseverance in a friend or classmate. Once the cards are completed, tell the children that they have an assignment that will continue for the next week or so. The assignment is to give away cards to classmates and friends whenever the students recognize the quality of perseverance in someone else.
Crafts Requiring Concentration
Toothpick architecture projects require focus, patience and concentration. For older children, create toothpick buildings, bridges or other structures by joining toothpicks together with white craft glue. Younger children can create toothpick structures by using miniature marshmallows or gum drops to join the toothpicks together. Such projects help children develop fine motor skills as they learn about perseverance.
Basket weaving crafts are another perseverance-building option. A simple way to teach weaving to a child is to start with 1-inch strips of construction paper, rather than weaving with reeds. Cut horizontal slits that are 1-inch apart in a piece of construction paper and weave the paper strips through the slits to teach the basic principles of weaving.