1 Toddlers and Projects:
What Is a Project?
In early childhood programs we use the word project so commonly that we take
it for granted. In particular, we use the term art project to describe a wide range
of creative experiences. We could be referring to something as simple as finger
painting or as complicated as a simulated pirate ship.
We could mean something that will hang on the wall,
hold plants, appear in a performance once or twice, or
simply happen in some way and leave nothing behind.
But art project is an educational term and a cultural con-
The word project has many meanings of inter-
cept we pass on to children reflexively, in no small part
est to designers of early childhood curricula: to
because we remember doing art projects during our own
“project” outward, as in asserting your idea or
childhoods. speaking up loudly; to get your idea or needs
across; to project images on a large surface
Our working model of a project typically contains
where all can see; to see your feelings in
some or all of the following elements:
•• Defining Project
•• It has a start and a finish.
•• It has more than one step.
It involves tools.
ating, and collaborating. To work on a project
to set something in motion and to shape it as
It involves a goal or a vision of an outcome.
•• undertaking that requires organizing, negoti-
means to look forward, to predict outcomes,
It involves planning.
•• others, or vice versa. A project is a common
it evolves and changes, and, perhaps most of
all, to express your inner self in visible ways.