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October 21, 2012

The Importance of Process Art for Children {Bat Craft}

Process Art for Kids

I often write about process art.  This craft is the perfect example of what I mean and why I believe it is important.  A few days ago I saw this adorable bat craft from Moms Have Questions Too.  We have dozens of toilet paper rolls saved in our craft closet, and my boys love bats and anything creepy.  I knew they would enjoy this.

Our craft turned out much different than the original inspiration for several reasons.  First of all, I am running low on black construction paper, so we painted our TP rolls black and saved the black paper for the wings.

My boys have a love for pom poms and bling.  I knew they would enjoy gluing some jewels and pom poms on their bats to create the faces.

And here is where we see the importance of the process.  In my head this craft involved a TP roll body, wings, and a face made out of pom poms and jewels.  Below is the first bat JZ (5) designed.

Here is J-Bug's (3) favorite.  He said, "The gems need to go like this, because this is how they go."

I encourage my boys to make their projects their own and put their own little flair into each one.  When we do crafts there isn't a "right" or a "wrong" way.  I usually make one along side them, but I don't show them mine as if to say it is the way the craft "should" be.  Rather I do one so they have a starting place to begin their own work.  By not setting the scene for a desired outcome they are developing their own sense of creativity, and their confidence is growing.

Look at JZ's face.  This is serious business to him.  He is putting quite a bit of thought and care into how his bat looks.

Children can lose their desire for artistic activities if their ideas are shut down.  In math there are rules.  In spelling their are rules.  In a child's art?  There shouldn't be rules.  Art and craft time should be filled with creating, imagining, designing, playing, smiling and laughing.  Creativity is such an important trait for children as I wrote about in my post Raising a Creative Kid.  It is something I greatly desire for my boys, and I hope I am doing everything I can to nurture it.

Please visit Moms Have Questions Too to see the post that inspired this project.  There is a free flying bat template in the post!

For more ideas follow my Fall - Halloween - Thanksgiving board on Pinterest.



  1. I love your philosophy . . . let the children make the rules for art. Too many times I see 20 perfectly processed "art" projects hanging outside a classroom in the hallway. They're perfect. Too perfect. I know the teacher had a heavy hand in the product. I much prefer to give guidance, but let the children's creativity flow. Are my projects perfect? No. And some are (dare I say it?) down right pitiful. But at least it was student created, and not teacher created!

  2. You are so right - someimes when we're doing a craft, a child gets all caught up in the process or wants to try something a different way. I always tell them to go for it, because often the end result is so much better than what I was envisioning, or the child has learned a new technique in the process.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more! I absolutely adore those photos of concentration and joy....they really say it all i think!

  4. These turned out so cute! I love the idea of using gems for the eyes. I agree, the process of creation is very important. Thanks for using our craft!

  5. This is a super cute idea, and I love that you give your kids so much freedom in making them look the way they want!

  6. such good points. loved that you shared this philosophy...it's so important.

  7. I just love this post! It took me some time to throw away my preconceived notions about how an activity or project should go and let my little guy have free range. Like you, I now see how important it is to allow him the freedom to try things out through trial and error or to just let his creativity flow. Great job, Mama!

  8. Found you from True Aim...love this post and your view on childhood creativity:)

  9. That would be why the projects I share rarely look pretty, because it's the kids' vision.

  10. I love craft with toilet roll holders and these are just so cute. I don't have one of those paint rollers either but they look really good.

  11. These are so cute and the kids look so involved in the making. Love the gems!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  12. Really cute craft! I totally agree with you about the importance of the creative process of art. Although it doesn't turn into a great masterpiece (to some people). It is shaping their mind and developing great problem solving skills. I hope I can foster my children's' creativity with this great art project. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  13. You are so right Allison,
    It's a proven fact "Children can lose their desire for artistic activities if their ideas are shut down."!
    If their imagination not get any stimulation, the memory closes on this part and only hold the memory of the "given example" .
    That's why it's way better to let them create freely and only hand out the material.
    Tell a story about "bats" so in their mind they can create a picture first.
    It's proven that on the age between 11-13 most of the childrens imagination is gone.
    To keep it alive we have to give them the tools and materials to use it again, instead of given them plain, perfect teacher made, examples. Let Them Create!
    Really they can't reach this perfectness and it can couse fustration too, not being as good as........
    Thanks Allison for the insight, more parents, caretakers and teachers can learn from it!

  14. Love this... The imagination of a child is infinite and limiting it with what we assume to be perfect will just snatch away all the fun! Process Over Product any day! Art is never right or wrong! Keep sharing! :)


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