Recently, I’ve read a lot of debate about offering crafts in storytime and what purpose that serves. One of the major concerns is what kind of art we are using — process versus product art.
Let’s get some definitions straight though. Process art is when the emphasis is placed on making art and using different mediums whereas product art is when the emphasis is placed on following instructions to achieve an expected result.
There are a lot of valid points from both sides of the debate, but my question is…why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t we use both kinds of art with our storytime kids?
Pros: Gives the child a chance to really do whatever they want. Less pressure about making “good” art and more about just having fun. All about the experience.
Cons: Some kids freeze, have no idea where to start without having instructions to follow. Can lead to some mess which I personally don’t mind, but some kids/parents do not like. Often, parents seem more hesitant to try it and experiment.
Pros: Teaches the child how to follow instructions, which is useful later on in school. Art that parents enjoy displaying/bragging about. Children bring home crafts that easily remind them of the storytime theme of the day.
Cons: Limits creativity. Requires a lot of prep work that not every librarian has time to invest in. Can be costly. Parents take over the craft. Concern that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to complete the craft/art.
Personally, I see benefits and downsides to both kinds of art. But even through all that, I think we can give our patrons both! What do you say? Let me know in the comments!
Further Resources & Reading:
- Pre K + K Sharing
- Ooey Gooey
- Community Playthings
- If you have any other resources/links, please let me know and I will add them!
– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library