What are the Different Benefits of Both Process and Product Art?

by Mother Goose Time on October 4, 2016


Today we are talking about the different purposes between process and product art. Both are important, but, for different reasons.

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At Mother Goose Time, we call these two types of experiences Invitation to Create and Make and PlayThese logos help you identify if one of the suggested experiences is either an Invitation to Create or a Make and Play:






Invitation to Create

The Invitation to Create focuses on the process of making independent decisions, being resourceful with limited supplies and then experimenting with different ways to use these supplies to creatively invent something new and personal. The focus is on the planning process and communicating how and why choices are made.

On the back of each Invitation to Create idea card, there is a photo of how to set up your invitation. You will see the supplies included as well as some nature supplies that we suggest but you might have other artifacts or items that you prefer – which is fine.




You will also see that there is a list of question prompts that you can ask the child to stimulate his creative thinking, planning and communication skills.

Make & Play 

The Make and Play focuses on problem-solving and analytical skills while assembling a 3D model or puzzle. This model, prop or - some might say - product is a useful tool that children can later use in their dramatic play. The point is, there is a purpose for the product that the child is engineering and the child may change the design over time to better match the intended purpose.

So, you might be asking, how do I know what the purpose is? It’s easy – look On the back of the Make and Play idea card and you will find two open-ended play suggestions. Use these idea starters to encourage your children to use their prop for creative play.


In your Planning Journal, turn to the overview of daily child project and art. It is easy to differentiate between the Invitation to Create and Make and Play projects. See how the Invitations to Create are always displayed as a set-up on a table. Therefore, the other projects with the white background are the Make and Play Props.  This is the Me and My Family Theme that I am showing you now.

You can see that each week offers a balance of both Make and Play and Invitation to Create experiences so that children can build both types of skills. 

Now let’s look at the Farm Theme and again you will find the same overview pages and see that children will again have a blend of open-art experiences as well as engineering projects. They will make props such as this Sheep Head Band on lesson Day 3, the cow mask, mud pie for dramatic play, the egg shaker instrument and they will even grow a bean and track the growth during the month.

During Lesson Day 3: Sheep on Page 16, you can also see the logo for Make and Play here in the corner of the activity. Turn the page and you will find the logo for the Invitation to Create.

Even in the Make and Play projects such as this sheep headband, we encourage children to create them independently and explore the materials before making the prop. For example, with this sheep project, the children first experiment with different colors of crayons on the black headband paper. Which color shows up better? Why? As they investigate dark and light colors, they will then make white finger print dots for fur on the sheep headband. Not only does this extend the light-dark study, but it then helps children learn to follow multi-step directions and problem-solve how to measure and attach the headband strips to fit their head.

Some children naturally gravitate towards open-ended experiences, while others like more structure depending on their personality and skill strengths. The key is to challenge and support our children to develop both types of skills so that are comfortable and can thrive in all situations.

Enjoy supporting your child’s creative and analytic growth today, and come back soon for another micro training with Mother Goose Time!


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Topics: MicroTraining, Invitation to Create

What is Inspired Learning? Inspired Learning is the blog written by the Experience Early Learning Co. - publishers of the Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum - to support all early childhood educators. In addition to preschool curriculum, the Experience Early Learning Co. publishes * children's bookspreschool music & dance and * authentic assessment tools.These materials have been serving child care directorsfamily childcare providers, preschool teachers, homeschoolers and parents of young children since 1984. All materials are crafted to inspire both the educators and the children to experience learning through creative expression, play and open-ended discovery. Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum supports a child's social-emotional, physical and cognitive development.