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What Is The Difference between Art And Crafts?

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What Is The Difference between Art And Crafts?

The words “art” and “craft” are likely to be bundled together. Many people think that the two words are interchangeable, so when we say “art camp,” we often actually mean “arts and crafts.”

However, art and crafts are not the same thing; they are actually different and distinct forms of creativity. So, if they are different, what is the difference between art and craft from an educational perspective, and what is all the fuss about? Why does it really matter?

From an educational perspective, art and craft differ in the type of instruction given, the types of skills learned and practiced, the types of projects chosen, and the types of results worked toward and achieved.

Therefore, the difference between the two depends on what you want your child to learn and practice in art class and art camp. The main difference between the two is in the end goal of creation, and all other differences stem from this.

Art focuses more on using tools and materials to express emotions or ideas, while craft focuses more on using tools and materials to create a specific tangible object or product.



For crafts, because there is a specific end goal, such as the caterpillar clothespin project, specific steps must be followed to achieve that goal.

For example, let's say you want to make a turtle out of a paper plate. You might have green plate paint, green paper cutouts for legs, a tail, and a head, and a couple of googly eyes.

Now, there aren't a lot of variations you can make in order to complete this project and have it look like the cute little turtle it's supposed to be; the structure is rigid. The tail needs to be glued on the opposite side of the head, the legs need to be glued two on each side, and the googly eyes need to be glued next to each other on the head section.

As far as creativity goes, you can get creative with crafts, but the parameters within which you can be creative are very narrow, or you're just doing a different project.

For example, if you glued the turtle's tail next to the head, the four legs side by side on one side, and glued the googly eyes on one leg, you wouldn't have anything approaching a recognizable turtle, and therefore hadn't actually completed the intended project.

Because crafts are so focused on making something that looks cool (aesthetics are part of the goal), there isn't a lot of room for deep artistic learning.

Instead, you're primarily learning how to follow instructions and perhaps how to recreate the craft, while practicing fine motor skills.



While crafts focus on making something that looks beautiful and can be replicated, art doesn’t focus on either of those two things.

First, art isn’t necessarily about aesthetics, as it’s determined by emotion, so a piece of art can be art even if it’s not traditionally beautiful.

Second, art also can’t be replicated, as artists create many different pieces, rather than making the same thing over and over again (like you would make many paper plate turtles). As one writer put it, “There’s only one true Mona Lisa, and the rest are just imperfect copies.”

Arts and crafts are both great activities, but they’re not necessarily the same. When choosing an art program for your child, it’s best to know and understand what types of projects your child will be working on to ensure they get the most out of their experience.

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