What Happens When You Offer the Open-Ended Art Method?

My children are natural-born creatives. Through instinct, they can make an entire universe of wonder. I love that they can pretend and come up with the most innovative of ideas. There are no limits to my children’s potential, however, I wondered if there was a way to let them explore it even further. I did a lot of research and I wanted to test things for myself. What happens when you supply children the open-ended art method?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by We Craft Box. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #WeCraftBox #ConnectWithKids

Find out more about open-ended art and its benefits. I've partnered with We Craft Box to see what happens when toddlers take full control of their art projects. Kid activities will never be the same once you try toddler-led crafts.

Find out more about open-ended art and its benefits. I’ve partnered with We Craft Box to see what happens when toddlers take full control of their art projects. Kid activities will never be the same once you try toddler-led crafts.

What is the open-ended art method?

The open-ended art method is a style of crafting that supplies the maker with little to no instruction. The creator of the art project is free to do as they please with the materials provided. Benefits of this method include:

  • More flexibility in the creative process
  • Higher personal satisfaction with the end result
  • Deeper intimacy with the project
  • It’s less about comparison and more about creativity

Many believe that allowing children to participate in open-ended projects will help to foster their imagination. Others agree that it builds self-esteem and confidence. Since your child is the leader of the project, they feel pride when you are proud of the things they have created. I felt this concept needed to be explored more and that is why I created this experiment.

Open-ended art is not about comparison.

Open-ended art is not about comparison.

What I needed to carry out this experiment:

In order for me to research the effects of open-ended art for myself, I needed a variety of materials. I was happy to partner with We Craft Box to fulfill the needs of this experiment. If you didn’t know, We Craft Box is a monthly package delivered to the home with 2 to 3 prepared crafts. Since all of the materials are pre-cut and/or packaged, they relieve the stress (and prep-work), of crafting. Literally, the only thing I needed to do was open the box.

Each box contains one carefully thought out craft. Even though there are easy-to-read instructions, you are free to let your child make whatever they please. The large selection of materials in each box makes subscribing a huge benefit. I don’t have to travel to multiple stores to gather everything. Additionally, there is enough in each box to share with siblings. Having three children, I know sibling rivalry can get intense when there’s not enough to go around. Fortunately, this box has no issue regarding the supplies.

So, with everything I needed, delivered straight to my door, I was ready to document the effects of open-ended art.

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Hypothesis:

My children range in age; they are 6,5, and 2. I believe the kids will create something that no one has ever even thought of.

Opening the We Craft Box

First, I started by creating my version of the craft, as according to the instructions. Since I didn’t want my kids to have any biases, I did this while they were not present. I crafted the WCB Anytime Box and it was super easy. Keep in mind that each month is a new theme. See my results below.

Next, I brought the kids home and let them have their turn. After pulling out and hiding the instructions, I handed them the box. Everything to create a beautiful piece of artwork was there, (except for scissors). More details in the next paragraph.


Recieve $5 off your subscription purchase. Use code FULLESTMOM5 at checkout.


Getting started

They were excited to start and pulled out all of the contents. Then, each child gravitated towards a different object. My middle daughter immediately took the bunny. My son grabbed the sponge. Lastly, my youngest daughter decided on the coffee filters. They distributed the markers evenly and started coloring on everything. Sharing supplies, they traded and mixed for a while.

Unboxing our We Craft Box.

Unboxing our We Craft Box.

Every detail of open-ended art counts.

Every detail of open-ended art counts.

Later, my son asked if he could wet the sponge. He was playing with the sponge and water at the table but then accidentally wet one of the coffee filters. The younger two saw the action and copied. After a short time, they realized that the water made the markers bleed into different colors. They spent 30 minutes experimenting with the blends.

Enjoying the products inside the We Craft Box.

Enjoying the products inside the We Craft Box.

Blending colors in the child-led craft.

Blending colors in the child-led craft.

The results:

Once they were finished, we allowed everything to dry. I told them to layout their project and tell me about it. As you can see, our usage of the same materials produced a totally different outcome. I made a simple forest scene while my kids did something completely out of the ordinary. I was amazed where this child-led art project took them.

From their words, they stated the picture was, “Galaxy balloons that floated up to space and an astronaut bunny made out of chocolate went to retrieve them.

The results of open-ended art. A beautiful display of colors and mediums.

The results of open-ended art. A beautiful display of colors and mediums.

What did my kids think of the project?

The accidental discoveries delighted the kids and the total time of the project lasted for 1 hour. Everyone was satisfied with their work and they asked if they could hang it up on the fridge. Furthermore, I’m impressed by the stories and the imagination that resulted from our session. The kids truly came up with something that no one else has ever thought of. Additionally, no one worried if anyone’s contribution looked better than the other. They just enjoyed the outcome.


Testimonials From Others:

We Craft Box has been my go-to anytime I need to buy a present for a toddler or child and all of the recipients have loved receiving them. I know so many parents (myself included) get so tired of receiving an overwhelming amount of toys during birthdays and holidays, so these craft boxes are the perfect way to give a great gift that’s interactive and entertaining. And the parents can have fun doing the crafts too! -Lesley

I just wanted to tell you that my daughter absolutely loves her new craft box and so do I! My mother in law sent it as a gift for my 3.5-year-old and she is really enjoying it! I’ve told all of my mom friends and they are excited as well! -Sara

I am so happy that I found this because it has made creating memories and crafts with my 3 kids a reality! All of the crafts are prepped and ready for us to create together! So many times I have found a Pinterest project that I wanted to do with my family, but it never happened because of the time to shop for products and prep materials. This makes it possible to create adorable projects together! We could not recommend this enough!! -Stephanie 

We Craft Box Logo


We also have April’s current subscription box and can’t wait to dig in.  We’re looking forward to future deliveries as well. If you decide to add We Craft Box to your home, use the promo code FULLESTMOM5 at checkout. You’ll receive $5 off your subscription.

Would you try open-ended art?

In conclusion, my kids love crafting and I think the love intensified by allowing them free range. I want to know if you would try this experiment in your home. Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Until next time, enjoy the journey that your children have to offer. And when your hands are full, live your life to the fullest.

Sincerely,

Fullest Mom

WCB Anytime 2017 BOX