A Process Focussed Arts Centre: Furniture and Paint

A Process Focussed Arts Centre: Furniture and Paint

Taking their inspiration from Reggio Emilia and other child directed early years curricula, many classrooms are modeling their creative arts learning areas around an atelier approach.

In this post we’ll offer some suggestions of furnishings and materials that may compliment a process focussed rather than a product focussed art centre. 

Looking for some introductory information on this approach? At the end of this post you’ll find a few links.

quality childcare or early years classroom with tables chairs



Process focus

In an art centre that is process focused children explore creatively to gain a rich understanding of material, its properties and behaviour.  With open ended invitations, rather than step-by-step instructions, children use practical tools and quality media that is either used in the everyday “adult world” or closely mirrors them.  

Organization, durability, flexibility and quality are all key to successfully inviting children to use their own faculties to explore artistic expression and the elements of design.

In the purpose built Creativity Corner by Community Playthings organization and separation of materials is easy for the teacher allowing for maximum student independence.


Both the clear bins and baskets -- whichever you chose for your totes -- come with protected label holders prompting cleanup, storage and resetting-of-the-space routines.

The Multitable table (as pictured above) can be raised and lowered to different heights, offering flexibility to accommodate different ages for comfortable work. Hardwood finish and durable UV sealed table top can withstand repeated forceful cleaning, defeating stains. All pieces can be purchased individually or added to the other Roomscapes system furnishings.


Storage, built for purpose

Craft shelf 3 from community playthings in use

Purpose focused storage units can prompt self regulation skills with good cleanup routines.


tool corner for process art area for child care or early years classroom  Detachable Corners:  These versatile vertical organization that can be removed to bring appropriate materials right to a classroom table.  Makes tidying easy.
craft counter for process art area for child care or early years classroom Creative Counter Top: Lifts right off and take to a classroom desk.  A sturdy wooden lip, secures the Counter Top to the shelf or table edge.  Small totes display accessories, there’s even a dowl for craft ribbon.  Plus  wide slots for cardboard or collage materials
craft creative arts storage shelf for process art area in childcare or early years classroom Craft Shelf: Has an Angled display, perfect for browsing and focusing attention on specific materials.  Clearly labeled baskets with secure clip on labels, facilitates cleanup, reinforcing self-regulation skills.


Creative Unit by Community Playthings (shown above)

Supply Unit by Community Playthings

Community Playthings Supply Unit 3



The cleverly designed compartments and totes of the Help Yourself Art Trolleys deliver a mobile solution, when new materials are to be introduced or, again, to best accommodate needs of different age groups.


Engaging agency through creativity


“When children are speaking the language of art, they are producers rather than consumers of knowledge” Ann Pelo


Real, quality materials inspire the user, for agency in creativity and encouraging the use of real tools.

Quality acrylics and temperas make a difference. Chose media that are built on true colour pigments such as our B&B and Corello lines.



Unlike many other classroom paints, the primary colour paints allow for satisfying colour mixing, so that colour theory can be explored. These non-toxic colours dry fast to a waterproof, flexible finish that doesn’t yellow over time.


Helpful Links

Artists at the Centre, Hamilton Ontario



 “5 Examples of Reggio Emilia Activities You’ll Find at Riverside Magnet School”



“The Language of Art in Reggio-Inspired Classrooms”


With a chart “PROCESS-FOCUSED ART VS PRODUCT-FOCUSED ART” from “How Process Art Experiences Support Preschoolers”. By Laurel Bongiorno, PhD and Dean of the Division of Education and Human Studies at Champlain College, https://www.champlain.edu/academics/our-faculty/bongiorno-laurel

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