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Children’s Art: Process vs. Product

What is more important to children’s development: the process or the product of art making?

This answer can be complicated because BOTH can be important to creating healthy individuals however, to help children develop their Creative Confidence FIRST focus on the process.

Process Art Making is an open-ended and self-driven art experience that focuses on understanding, creating, and exploring different kinds of materials, tools, and techniques. In a process driven and open-ended art making activity there are NOT step-by-step instructions, create anything!

Children engage in process art because they are self-motivated to create because of the sensory, emotional, and playful experience art provides them. Children start out exploring the art materials to better understand and interact with their world, gain independence, develop fine motor skills, foster self-confidence and in time, children will begin to value the product but, in the meantime, LET THEM CREATE!

Key Factors

  • DON’T be afraid of mess

  • Allow for the exploration of LOTS of materials

  • DON’T worry about “What is it?”

  • There isn’t a right or wrong way to create/make something

  • Hang up the child’s work for display – they will feel proud

Caroline Tye teaches Sensory Art: Babies at Bubbles Academy on Tuesday afternoons where this blog was originally featured. Babies can benefit from the expressive, exploratory and sensory nature of the visual arts. In class, babies and caregivers are guided through sensory based art activity stations. These sensory art stations are designed to enhance your baby’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development through the creative process. You can visit Bubbles Academy at

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