Sometimes.... We Craft
|Painting seed pods to hang as ornaments on the Christmas tree- Craft.|
|Rolling paint on plexi-glass - art|
|Art of course is about the process, so when a child decides to to paint themselves instead of the paper, it is still art!|
|This craft requires patience and good hand-eye coordination. Beads on a pipe cleaner make a great holiday ornament.|
|Craft: Sewing our own "pizza" and play food for the kitchen area.|
|Who wants to paint with brushes when there are so many other interesting things to paint with and on!|
|Threading beads to make an icicle craft.|
|Using a hammer and nail to "tin" punch a juice can lid ornament craft.|
|Rubber glove and various other supplies used to craft finger puppets.|
|Painting with melted crayon and a blow dryer- process art.|
|Taking apart discarded cribs, a great way to learn how to use tools.|
|Homemade stamps craft.|
- How much prep time would this take? (From Lisa Murphy, the Ooey Gooey Lady... If it takes you longer to prepare than the children will be engaged, it is not process art. In my mind if this is the case.. it is not worth it.)
- What value does it have? Or in other words, what skills is it promoting and are they really developmentally appropriate? and are these tackled in a real way?
- How much choice does the child have? Am I stifling their opportunities to be create, explore, learn, and grow?
- IF the craft teaches valuable skills, is there another way to approach this that allows the child more freedom and meets the same skill set?
- How would I feel if this activity was presented to me? Is it boring? Are there too many guidelines? How much freedom to I have?
|Recycled glass jar luminary craft.|
I have spent a lot of time in my journey has an early childhood educator exploring, growing, and learning, coming to conclusions of what I believe to be true, and the best path for the children I work with. You won't ever see a wall of nearly identical pumpkins or coloring sheets on our walls. You will rarely see hand print art (on occasion, a school aged child will come back and introduce the concept to the other children, and we often do have hand prints in our stepping stones).
|Our annual stepping stones craft.|
I know that we all come to the table with different skills sets and philosophies, but I hope it makes you think about how you engage children in art and craft. I know that as time passes, I take more and more care considering the opportunities I present to children. I know on this blog, you will probably find much more craft than art, but I have also come to realize how much easier it is to document and show you a craft process.... as with a craft, so much of the process is the same. Crafts make for easy tutorials!
|Having an open art station instead of a planned "project" or limited materials available = More process child-driven art.|
Having materials readily available for the children to choose to engage with will lead you to more process based art, with a bit of craft thrown in!
Have you thought about how much time do you spend on the product- often teacher led crafts verses the child-centered art based projects?
If you have a different viewpoint, I'd love to hear your perspective. I love it when another professional gives me food for thought, challenging my beliefs and inviting me to continue to learn and grow.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to read ART "The Product- A Celebration of the Process."