Child doing art

Process focused art is about exploration

Learn about the importance of process focused art experiences for young children.

During the holiday seasons there are many art activities online for families to enjoy together. If you are wanting a certain look for your home this would be an activity you could do independently from your children and share your experience and feeling after the product is finished. If you’re wanting to include your very young children it is important to focus on the process and not the final product.

Product focused art can help older children learn how to follow multi-step directions and uses fine motor skills. However it isn’t creative and can set a child up for disappointment if their final product doesn’t look like the adults example.

With process focused art there is no right or wrong way to create. The art activity has no step by step instructions and no sample to follow which eliminates a toddler becoming upset if her or his art does not look like the adult art. It is important for art to be focused on the exploration of textures, within the materials. Exploration of body movements can be explored such as wrist or arm turning and body position while creating. And, varying the placement of tools is process focused such as coloring paper on the wall, coloring paper on the table or coloring on paper on the floor. Using different techniques and materials gives toddlers more choices as they explore through art. These experiences help teach children ways to be calm and to relax. The final “product” is unique to the child and always original. This gives children a reason to talk about what they have created and to be proud of their accomplishments. With the focus on the process you can experience each area of development: gross and fine motor (position, pressure and movements), cognitive (creativity, imagination, problem solving etc.), social (engagement with others, sharing ideas) self-help (requesting help, being independent, making choices), and language (expressive and receptive) skills. You may also learn about your child’s sensory sensitivities. Some children enjoy paint on their hands and while other children find the experience unpleasant. Some children love to press hard when drawing –pressure seeking while others prefer a soft pressure.-pressure avoidance.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a wonderful article on the importance of process focused art experiences.

Jan Jorgensen

Jan Jorgensen is an Educator in our Early Learning Program

Photo by Allan Mas from Pexels

The Community Connections Early Learning Program provides a wide range of services, in partnership with families and the community to support the development of young children age birth to 3 years.

Our array of services include: Infant Massage, Parenting, Developmental Screenings, Developmental Evaluations, Vision and Hearing Screenings, Developmental therapy, Speech therapy, Motor therapy, Playgroups and Home visiting.

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