As a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador, I receive the Mother Goose Time Preschool curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, my opinions on awesome stuff for little kids are 100% my own. Keep in mind that all toddlers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best mama judgement when planning activities for your little kids.
As a child, I spent endless hours drawing and painting. I loved coloring and playing with Play-Doh. Back then, I was perfectly content to just create and definitely more wrapped up in the process than anything else.
The product was far less important to me, which is probably true for most little kids.
Even now, decades later, I have countless art journals that I work in on a somewhat regular basis. And art journaling is of course totally process-based art. So much so, that I bought an art journal for the little guy too. Oh, and did I mention that he uses it constantly? He definitely knows that it’s his. Lol… I figured when he fills it up, I’d date it and put it somewhere to keep.
The first few crafts that we did this month, we did together. Or in other words, I sat down with him and helped. Unfortunately, those projects were a lot more mine and much less his. Over the weekend, I said the heck with it and just let him do his own thing.
We worked through the F is for Fox activities from Mother Goose Time and the little guy made fox art. Did it look like a fox? Not so much. Did it look like the picture? Not at all. I gave him the supplies and basically let him have at it.
You know what, though. I thought it was more important to take a step back and let him enjoy the process rather than sitting with him and focusing on the product. Let’s be realistic. He’s two. At this point, he’s far more interested in exploring the supplies and experimenting with the techniques. And right now, that’s what’s important.
There’s so much to be said for taking this approach. It’s really important to me that I encourage creative thinking and problem solving. True process-based art in my opinion would be letting the little guy choose every aspect from the canvas to the medium and of course the technique. I though it would be fun to see how he went about a project that was a bit more of a compromise, though.
I literally just put all of the supplies on a tray and handed it to him. I had already cut out a tail and some ears too. And then I took a step back and let the magic happen.
I didn’t show him the fox art example or tell him what should go where.
Ironically, or maybe not, he actually seemed to enjoy making fox art. Was it because I turned this activity into something a lot more open-ended than what was originally planned?
As with everything in life, there’s a place for product-based art too. It’s an awesome way to learn about following instructions and to focus on specific skills.
You know what, though? He has lots of time to learn how to recreate whatever example is put in front of him. For today, I just wanted to have some fun.
When you’re doing activities with your little ones, do you ever just let them do their own thing?
This is definitely why I place such a high priority on art journaling. The little guy really seemed to love taking the lead on this one and it’s something I’d like to do around here a lot more often.
If you missed our “Tot School” space post a few weeks ago, you can check it out here.
Looking for more insight & inspiration? Here are the top 10 most popular posts from The Keeper of the Memories. You’re definitely not going to want to miss these!
Thanks so much for visiting. See ya next week!