The Purpose of Children’s Art

The purpose of children's art isn't really to create beautiful pictures, although that often occurs. I am continually amazed by the wonderful pieces of art children create.

Children's art is primarily about the process rather than the end product!

The purpose of art

The real purpose of children's art is for children to engage in the four "E's."

Four "E's" Define the Purpose of Children's Art


Art allows children to express their thinking, knowledge, ideas and emotions.


There are so many different types of art media for children to explore. For example, paint, pens, crayons, pencils, pastels, collage, clay, play dough and printing - just to list a few. There are also the less traditional forms of art such as drawing with sand, scultping with soap, etc.

Exploring different media allows children to involve their senses of touch, smell, sound, sight and sometimes taste. Art is definitely a sensory experience to be enjoyed!


Art is made up of a combination of colours, lines, forms, shapes, textures and design. By providing art experiences for children, we give them the opportunity to experiment and combine these elements to create anything and everything.


When children engage in art activities, their creativity and imagination is fostered and expanded. This is especially true of open-ended activities in which children are free to develop their own ideas.

Open-ended activities allow children to use materials to create their own art. Examples of open-ended art activities include clay, play dough, drawing or painting on blank paper, collage ... all of which allow children to start with a 'blank canvas' and create something that is uniquely their own.

Closed-ended art activities have a specific goal. If children follow the instructions, they will probably end up with something specific. Examples of closed-ended art activities include colouring-in pictures, commercially made moulds for Plaster of Paris and paint by numbers pictures.

The purpose of art for children, must be more about the process rather than the end product. In this way, children will get the most out of their out experiences as they express, explore, experiment and expand (their skills).

What art activities are your children enjoying at the moment?

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Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.

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