It is a purposeful setup of materials that invites a child to play in an open-ended, child-led way. The parent is suppose to follow however the child leads. The idea is to set up materials that can be used in multiple of ways, it is highly encouraged for the child to explore and see the many different ways they can create art.

Here is a 4- step process to create an environment that supports authentic, child-led art exploration environment at home.


Do you care about art and creativity? Are you offering art opportunities just so that your child can be occupied for as long as possible so you are not bothered, or is it to allow them to find ways to express themselves and to enjoy and have fun? Ask yourself these questions first.


It is important to be prepared and to anticipate what could happen, in doing so it’s vital to have a safe space for the child to explore, the last thing you want is to show frustration and anger because the child didn’t stay within their boundaries. For example I have a 2 year old who is old enough to understand what painting is but young enough to comprehend, that paint can ruin our couch. It is my job to make sure our couch, carpets are covered and he is in “his” safe exploring/ play space.


Is your child at the throwing-anything-at-reach stage or is He/She obsessed with pouring? You’ve gotta know your child’s interests and skills very well in order to figure out your own strategy.


Materials to use can be as simple as anything that is found within the household. Depending on your childs age and ability, this can vary. Paint, sticks, leaves, rice you name it as long as it’s safe for them to use.


This is the ultimate challenge and it takes courage, patience and lots of practice. Now that you have step 1-3 ready, it’s time to let your little artist do what He/She is best at doing- explore! Step back, stay quiet and watch the process. What is she doing with the materials? Is she in flow? Can you sense the calmness at home? is their laughter and excitement?

Here’s a list of my top 10 favourite tools for open-ended art exploration

  1. White glue
  2. Washable Paint
  3. A large tray to carry your canvas* (ie baking sheet)
  4. Small jars (ie. jam jar)
  5. Squeeze bottles
  6. Brush of any kind
  7. Canvas (ie. wood, cardboard, mirror, paper…anything you can think of!)
  8. Textures (ie. beads, yarn, pasta) BEADS HERE, YARN HERE
  9. Wet hand towel
  10. Old adult t-shirt (it covers a kid’s entire body…way better than an apron


Art Teacher

Cassidy Tsang is an art teacher turned full time Mama and Etsy shop owner found HERE

She is very creative, beyond belief.

One of the funniest Mama’s I know

She is a mother to a Toddler, need I say more? ha!

She teaches Process Exploration

Cassidy is always engaged with providing a sentimental approach to art (which I personally love).

Cassidy incorporates different techniques to her teaching.

She uses natural elements and materials in creating art.

She also incorporates and uses different environments, not just indoors.

Her main art teaching key point is that “Childrens, ideas matter”.

Want to learn more about using authentic art + play process to support your child’s confidence and independence? Find Cassidy Tsang on Instagram

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.