Say YES to children's ideas

Characteristics of process-focused art experience

  • 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
  • Ideas are not readily available online

What children do and learn through process-focused art

  • Social and emotional

Children relax, focus, feel successful, and can express their feelings

  • Language and literacy

Children may choose to discuss their art and add print to it (on their own or by dictating to a teacher)

  • Cognitive

Children compare, predict, plan, and problem solve

  • Physical

Children use small motor skills to paint, write, glue, use clay, and make collages

Resources

Spotlight on Young Children and the Creative Arts, edited by Derry Koralek. This NAEYC publication focuses on both understanding and doing creative arts with young children.

More Than Painting, Preschool and Kindergarten: Exploring the Wonders of Art, by Sally Moomaw and Brenda Hieronymus. This book provides many process art activity ideas.

The Creative Arts: A Process Approach for Teachers and Children, by Linda Carol Edwards. A textbook format that provides a foundation for understanding process in art, music, and drama activities with young children.