Process vs Product – why their work should be theirs.

From time to time you may see a craft post on my blog and wonder “Why is that there? That doesn’t look finished/perfect/blog-worthy.”

Let me tell you something (that you already know). Children’s work isn’t always finished. It’s not “perfect”(what a dangerous word!) , and it’s absolutely never intended by them for my blog!

Learning in the early years is process-orientated. Children learn experientially – through their own experiences;  doing something. interesting and engaging, not having a beautiful, polished piece of work as a result. Sometimes our input in children’s work is too heavy-handed. I’ve had many moments where I’ve thought “Here, let me help you, I could make that look/work better”. It takes a conscious effort to stop, to stand back, and to watch our little ones learn to think and do for themselves. Sometimes they will succeed, and sometimes they will fail. We are here to encourage their success and to refocus them when things go pear-shaped.

Your child is a capable and competent learner. Next time he or she asks for help when playing a game, rather than fix the problem, ask your child “how could you solve this problem?”. If he or she asks for help cutting something tricky out, support them by pointing to the shape, describing how to turn the paper, and encouraging them to have a go, rather than immediately taking the scissors and cutting that sucker out for them.

The process is paramount. The product is also valuable, to some extent (it’s important for kids to feel pride and the intrinsic reward of completing a project to the best of their ability). My aim in writing this blog is to document and share craft and play experiences which are organic and child-centred, not to share beautiful photos of craft activities which have clearly been created by an adult.

Realistically, it won’t always be pretty, but it will always be theirs.

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