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A process-driven approach to art

Process driven art experiences allow artists of all ages and abilities the freedom to explore different mediums however they choose.

Process-Driven or Product-Driven, what's the difference?


  • Focuses on the child's approach to learning, the child's "journey"

  • The process and outcome are typically unpredictable

  • There is no model to replicate or specific directions to follow (open-ended)

  • Offers creative thinking, expression and exploration


  • Focuses on the outcome, the child's "destination"

  • The process and outcome are typically predictable

  • There is usually a specific model to replicate and directions to follow

  • Offers directions to follow

If I could teach Itty Bitty Art every single day, I would be in heaven. Since I can't, it is one of my goals in class to equip families with resources and ideas of ways they can continue exploring materials at home. If we know anything about toddlers, they will only complete a task when they're in the mood, and art can be very mood-driven. Therefore, it is imperative to always have some supplies on hand and ready for when the creative mood strikes!

A few of my favorite activities we have done are:

  • Printing with all sorts of fruits and veggies. I matched the fruit with a paint color and we discussed the rainbow, then they stamped away on brown kraft paper.

  • Painting on a cardboard assemblage. I hot glued a bunch of mixed up stuff to cardboard ahead of time, but this could easily have been split into two activities; one day for gluing, one for painting.

  • Rubber band painting. Stretch a couple of rubber bands across a baking sheet, slide a piece of paper under, use watercolor or watered down paint to brush onto the bands and flick them to watch the paint fly.

If you're nervous about the mess, or don't know what materials to buy, sign up for a class! We discuss a lot of ideas and try out fun activities you can continue to explore at home.

Create on!

Brittany Paynter

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