The two terms, ‘art’ and ‘craft,’ are commonly used interchangeably to describe children’s activities. This creates confusion about the true nature of the genres; each is defined by differing characteristics:
Art is a creative activity produced by human imagination and expression, typically through visual and written forms: drawing, painting, sculpture, literature, music, dance. The works are created and inspired primarily for their beauty and their emotional power.
Craft is an activity involving skill and technique in making or duplicating something by hand: woodwork, pottery, textiles, knitting, jewelry. Their primary use is both practical and purposeful in daily living and education
Art is a Natural Form of Expression for Children.
The essence of art is expressing oneself. To develop a sense of self- expression, children need the opportunity to make their own decisions about their artwork.
When adult feedback or approval is removed, a child is more likely to take risks and make mistakes. This fosters creativity, exploration and exciting outcomes.
Process-oriented art education uses the simplest materials, few clear directions, and open-ended time to experience the creative process.
The door then opens to little masterpieces: self-portraits, representational drawing, abstract design and so on.