About Play Free and Create

About Play Free and Create

  • Play Free and Create is a collection of open ended art projects designed for toddlers and preschoolers, ages 18 months through 5 years.
  • These projects emphasize play and process while encouraging exploration and experimentation.
  • Instructions and tips are presented in a short, simple, easy to follow format. Limits, such as how many colors to use or how long to work on each project, help produce aesthetically pleasing pieces that can be shared with family and friends.
  • All projects include a related storybook that can be read together.

Guiding Principles

  • Children engage in playful art making that encourages imagination and creativity
  • Children move their bodies as they create works of art
  • Children make their own choices, for example, which materials they will use, what types of lines and patterns they will create, where they will add colors, etc.
  • Little artists express themselves through expressive mark making
  • Adults and children work together
  • Little artist feel confident taking risks and making creative decisions
  • Adults discover new ways to use familiar materials (crayons and watercolors) and learn about new and affordable art making materials for children
  • Art making is spontaneous, abstract, and open-ended – there is no set way the end project should look
  • The process is more important than the product

About the Author

Heather White is a museum educator and art teacher in Oklahoma City. She works for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and teaches art making workshops for families for the Metropolitan Library System in OKC.