Process verses product

Have you noticed or maybe you’ve wondered but not got round to asking why children don’t always bring art work home from nursery?

It’s sometimes assumed, that young children will always produce lovely crafts to bring home when they’ve been at nursery.

There’s nothing wrong with crafts – they can help improve fine motor skills, as well as listening skills, and many children really do enjoy them but crafts focus more on a specific end result, leaving children little or no room to deviate from the plan… please don’t think your child does not have chance to participate in art and craft activities in setting just because they dont bring a picture home because they do, in fact they can choose to play in the art area all day of they so wish


At Kirkgate Childcare we look at the process and experience of creating rather than the product, children learn through play and open-ended activities, so process art fits in with how children learn because It allows them the chance to explore the world around them, ask questions, see how things work, make their own decisions, it allows them room to be themselves but most importantly leaves them free to just create.

If it has a nice end product, that’s great and we will always send home pictures children create or use them in children’s journals but the end product isn’t the principle focus of process art.

But why?

Because Dawn and her team at Kirkgate Childcare realise that young children love to create art, but they more often than not focus more on the process of creating and are not as interested in the finished product.

Young children may not want to keep their artwork once finished or in some cases may not even be able to identify which piece they created. This doesn’t mean the activity was a failure; it simply means that the child focused more on the process of creating but wasnt interested in a final product.

The focus in art activities should generally be on how the child is creating, the feeling of the movements they are making with their arm, what the paint looks like on the paper, different textures and how the colors combine.

The problem with product-focused activities is that they limit and dull children’s creativity, they don’t learn in the same way as they would with process art as everything has already been done for them.

At Kirkgate Childcare we also dont use templates or models for the children to replicate this is because when children are expected to copy a model, especially if it’s made by an adult, they may become frustrated because their product does not look like “how it is supposed to” and may decide that they are “not good at art.” Why give them a template when we have so many talented little artists…. We love to watch them flourish as they engage in the process, mix colours, explore using all of their senses and describe what they are creating!! We value each and every one of our little artists their imagination and creativity is wonderful ❤


You will notice in setting, on our display boards and within our activities there are never models of what the children’s art work should look like or cut outs for the children to add paint or collage materials to, you will see its simply their work, their ideas and interpretations of what things look like


Let’s allow children to be free to create however they so wish… think outside the box!!! #getridofthecutouts

By allowing children to simply create they are able to
⭐Explore using media and materials
⭐Realise that tools are used for a purpose
⭐Learn about colours/colour mixing/cause and effect
⭐Maintain focus in their activity for a period of time
⭐Think of ideas
⭐Find new ways to do things
⭐Make predictions and test ideas
⭐Review how well the approach worked
⭐Show curiosity
⭐Use their senses to explore the world around them
⭐Develop SCHEMAS

What people say about us