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Nurturing Young Artists

February 22, 2009

In our art programs for toddlers and preschoolers, we focus on process- based art activities.    This means that the child is free to explore and make observations about the art activity without direction towards a final finished product.   As parents, we frequently want to “help”our child make the project “correctly.” Especially during holidays, we want to have cute crafty projects created by our children to pull out in later years.    However, this can inhibit the child’s creativity.    Prominent art educator and writer MaryAnn Kohl says the following:

“Art is a creative process, not a pre-planned product.   Picture the difference. A child is given cotton balls, glue, scraps of paper, and a paper plate. These materials will become part of a creative experiment for a child, as they manipulate and explore the possibilities. There is no planned design or product. However, if someone were to require the child to make a bunny on the paper plate from a pre-designed bunny that is shown to the child as the example to follow, all creativity is lost and the project becomes a craft.”  

Here’s an article with more on this topic

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