I see value in both process art and product art for kids – they both have their place. Process art is incredibly fun, and can be a great time filler, all while nurturing creativity and independence. However, it doesn’t produce those “Pinterest perfect” pictures that can make fabulous gifts.
The focus of process art is all about enjoying the process, just as the name would lead you to believe; on the other hand, product art is about creating a final product.
If you’d like more information about the value of process art, this post from PreK + K Sharing on the topic is excellent. Learn Play Imagine has a post that is good at showing the relationship between process art and creativity!
For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to have the boys create a cute Valentine’s Day art piece, and I thought I might get that chance today.
However, our thermostat died yesterday, so we took a trip to the store for a replacement. While we were out, Evan mentioned wanting to build something. (We’ve previously attended regular Lowe’s Build and Grow sessions, like when we built the fire truck in the fall.)
To get him away from asking us to go build, as there was no Build and Grow clinic scheduled for the day, I mentioned that we may get to paint when we got home.
Pro tip: Never mention something to kids if it isn’t set in stone.
When we got home, we weren’t able to start painting right away. By the time we could get the paints out, I wasn’t able to participate. Since the Valentine’s craft I had planned is mostly in my head, my husband couldn’t sub in.
Instead, my husband took over and Evan was able to paint whatever he wanted. Process art! I’m sure Evan enjoyed it more that way.
He chose to create a “giant” spider. And then decided to make a second giant spider. I was impressed pretty impressed, and while we won’t keep the painting indefinitely, I know that it’s made Evan proud to have it up on the fridge for the night.
So yes, he created a product. But of his own choice, while enjoying the process. He didn’t create it from a picture, or from being told what to do. Evan just did what he wanted, and out came a spider.
I’ll have to do my Valentine’s Day crafts another day, but that’s no loss.