Families may be surprised to know that when it comes to arts and crafts projects, there is more than one way to approach an activity. Some families may opt to go with a more product-focused approach, while other families may go with a process-focused approach. So, what is the difference between the two?
Product-Focused Art vs. Processed-Focused Art:
Product-Focused Art is when a child begins a project knowing what the end product should look like and they follow a set of instructions to get to their goal. Product-focused art have a right and wrong way to work on the project and typically require a specific skill and technique to reach that end goal.
Process-Focused Art is when a child is given an open-ended project and they have the opportunity to express themselves through their work. Though process-focused art can end up being a gift or decoration, however the artwork turns out is based on your child’s discovery and creativeness.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC, describes process-focused art experiments as having some of the following characteristics:
- There are no step-by-step instructions
- There is no sample for children to follow
- There is no right or wrong way to explore and create
- The art is focused on the experience and on exploration of techniques, tools, and materials
- The art is unique and original
- The experience is relaxing or calming
- The art is entirely the children’s own
- The art experience is a child’s choice
Benefits of Product-Focused Art vs. Processed-Focused Art:
Product-Focused Art allows your child to practice their fine motor skills such as cutting in a straight, curved or angled line and most importantly how to follow directions and reach an end goal. Product-focused art is also a great way to teach children about specific shapes, colors, etc.
Process-Focused Art also allows children to practice their fine motor skills, however, how and what they practice ends up being up to the child and how they decide to create. They can practice with their scissors, they can gasp different types of materials, squeeze bottles of paint or glue. With process-focused art, it is all about the discovery. This allows your child to focus on being creative and learn to have the confidence to explore and experiment. Processed-focused art also provides plenty of opportunity to problem solve.
What are some fun process-focused art projects families can do at home?
- Draw with markers, colored pencils, or crayons
- Finger painting
- Create collages using different types of materials
- Use different types of paints and objects as paint brushes
- Tape crayons or markers to trucks or cars and color paper while driving their cars around
- Use a stamp pad to create a picture by stamping with their hands, toys, etc.
For more process-focused art project ideas you can do right at home, follow us on Pinterest!