Sometimes it is really easy for us to fix a finished idea in our head when crafting and creating with our kids, especially in this Pinterest age. I can be be guilty of this too and it was one of the reasons that I stopped doing tutorials when the boys were younger as their idea of the finished product was often not the same as mine.
Even now and my boys are nine and eight this month I feel that it is important to just allow them to create sometimes and to let them go with the flow.
So when we were sent our craft kit for the Tots100 Bostik Craft Club (You can buy similar kits to this from online suppliers such as Craft Merrily and Yellow Moon, I decided to just pop it all out on the table and let the boys create with no expectations of outcome at all.
This project was all about the focus being on the process not the outcome. I wanted to encourage the boys to create, develop and explore their own creative ideas. I wanted their artwork to be a reflection of their interpretation and ideas.
I think that at eight and nine it is just as important to not always have a preconceived notion about what the end result ‘should’ look like and to learn to just enjoy the making and creating.
What is process art?
Art activities tend to be process oriented rather than product oriented like crafts. It engages feelings and imaginations and uses basic supplies and often open ended instructions.
It is all about the journey, not the destination. The end product is not the principal focus of the activity. There really is not right or wrong way to produce the artwork. Perfect for children of all ages.
Why process art is important
Children learn through play and open-ended activities. It allows them the chance to explore the world around them, ask questions, and see how things work. Process art fits in with how children learn because it allows them room to be themselves, make their own decisions engage their imagination and feelings and just create!
Children enjoy both the product and the process of art, but process allows children to experience the joy of creativity without the focus on the end product.
Children who experience process art are engaging in a learning process and it encourages the following skills:
- Thinking skills (cognitive behaviours)
- Cause and effect
- Observation skills
- Self expression
- Spatial thinking
- Expressing feelings
- Social interaction in a noncompetitive environment
- Decision making
- Problem solving
- The ability to experiment
I have lots of posts about process art and simple arts and crafts for families on this pinterest board including this fab post on the benefits of arts and crafts for kids, this post from Twodaloo on process art in early childhood and fun a day’s post on process art.
Follow Jen Walshaw’s board Simple drawing and art for Families and Kids on Pinterest.
I need to remember this more often; I am rubbish at just letting Harry do what he wants and am a stickler for following instructions or a plan in my head.
I’ve given up trying to get my son to make anything that looks like it should! He loves just creating things as he goes along so I just leave him to it. If I want something that looks good I make something myself!
We are not at this stage yet, but thank you for sharing. I will try to remember these points x
Totally agree. There is FAR too much emphasis today on buying “kits” and branded character craft packs. Forget it – same with Lego, you want a general kit, not something to make a complete toy – which will fall apart anyway. Excellent post, am sharing!
So simple and obvious and yet it never crossed my mind. I guess sometimes we are so engrossed in having our kids learn to make things and we forget to just let them create things.
What a great post – it’s so important to remember that and I am definitely guilty of trying to get the end product to look how I think it should, rather than letting them just create. (Can I also just say that I love your scissors!!!)
I’m pinning this to remind myself to stop hovering over the kids when they craft and to just let them get on with what they want to do rather than what I expect them to do. Excellent post.
When my kids were small I took them to 2 craft groups (as an excuse to get out of the house, I could have done the craft at home). The first we went to was very much about the finished product – so all the mums sat around doing the craft whilst the kids did something else! The second group was much more about just having fun with the materials. Guess which one they enjoyed more! I did once have to display something that looked like a glitter covered dog poo, but at least they made it completely on their own.
Such a great idea to let the kids get on with it. So many of us are micromanaging our kids, even how they play. The process is the important bit, not the outcome! Fab post!
until recently i didnt think that craft, activities, sensory play is very important, hopefully when the time comes we will try something with our little one
Art in what ever form is great for children and adults in all the ways you mention. I think it is so relaxing for them and us but only you say when we let it just happen.
I know I have been guilty of hovering over them when they were little, tweaking and moving bits about but most of the time I just let them get on with it! Baking and cooking wise though I need to follow suit on my art parenting style just remembering when we made meatballs together the other week and I needed re-shaped them all. Obviously this was for equal cooking time reasons I am sure!!! 🙂
A great idea – just to let their imaginations run wild and see what they can create. I’ve got my box of stuff and waiting to be inspired…maybe I’ll go into it like you with no expectation of outcome whatsoever!
I love getting crafty with kids especially when the weathers like it is now x
This is something we have always encouraged with our girls, when it comes to arts and crafts they have a free reign.
When my children were younger, I think I was a bit like you: pretty keen for them to get the finished article right! But who says what is ‘right’ in the world of art? Sounds like common sense to me and so much more fun (assuming there’s no glitter involved!)
I absolutely love this post. All too often children are not allowed to just be creative. It is so important to value the process of making and to celebrate the skills involved in decision-making, choosing materials and using the imagination.
I need to bookmark this and read it every time I sit down to do or make something with my kids – I’m terrible at neglecting the process for the end product!
I have to admit to being one of those mum’s who would prefer their children to be arty with paint etc at school and nursery #badmummy
I love letting my children loose with our craft cupboard, their ideas are always much better than mine!
I can’t wait to do things like this when I am older! It looks lots of fun x
I am definitely guilty of focusing too much on the end product sometimes and your post is a real reminder of how important it can be to just let them get on with it. I must try harder at that!
Emmy gets cross if i try to help her – she has her own ideas on what she wants to do
This is a great post with a lot f information that I’ll come back to. I am just starting to do more creative play/activities with the twins x
I have not heard of process art before but it does make sense. Must try and stop “helping” mine and just let them get on with it
I used to be rubbish at letting the kids enjoy the process, I was always trying to get them to do it the ‘right’ way. It wasn’t until I watched my mum doing crafts with them, or more to the point, for them, because she couldn’t let them do it their way, that I realised I did the same. I was always focused on the end product. Now I set the stuff out and let them get on with it 🙂
We love our arts and crafts and trying to do it at least twice a week. The girls really enjoy it x
I am trying to get the children into doing more arts and crafts
My son’s new take on a craft always are more fun than the end product I planned for.
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We love experimenting with different materials and I quite often just step back and let my daughter just create something from her own imagination. It can be quite difficult to be totally hands off so I usually do something creative as well whilst she is playing/creating.
This is a really great post with lots of good tips. I will save this post for when Maxwell is a little older.
“Free play” is a very important skill… we so used to following instructions that so many of us feel lost without them
You have a wonderful variety of art supplies that would get anyone’s creative juices flowing. It looks like a lot of fun with no pressure on the final product. Thank you for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday. We hope you will continue to share your creative ideas each week.
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