I really hadn't thought much about this until Sunshine started school. I love Sunshine's teachers. I think they are amazing. The projects that Sunshine comes home with are cute and creative. They are also not child led. Does she still enjoy them? Most definitely. However, the difference in her attitude towards crafts she did with minimal help and crafts she did with a lot of help are different. For example, at the beginning of the year, they did a Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See project. She got to glue on a picture of herself all by herself. It's sideways. The bear is completely crooked It doesn't matter though, she loves it and is so proud of it. Just recently, they made a lion. Super cute, but the only thing she actually did herself was drawn whiskers and eyebrows (and the eyebrows she added at home). Know what she's proud of on that one? The eyebrows.
A week or so ago, Sunshine,her friend, and I went to a story time at Barnes and Noble. There was a craft after the story. It was a woven mat. Now, most of the people who went to this are my friends and read this blog, so I'm not meaning to offend anyone with what I say next. Sunshine and her friend's mats were the only ones that turned out looking like 3 year olds did them. In fact, as we were leaving, my one friend made a comment about how the craft didn't really matter since she was the one who did it and not her child. Sunshine loves her mat and is so proud of it. It's hanging on the fridge and she likes to show it off. She doesn't show it off because it looks just like it's supposed to. She shows it off because she did it herself.
There are times when you don't necessarily want child led art. Last year Monster made his teachers Christmas ornaments. No child led art there. It wasn't for him though, it was more for me. A friend has some awesome artwork her kids did with hands and feet. Again, not really for the kids. The finished product is for the adults. It's important to have that kind of artwork as well. However, when it's for fun, I believe child led art gives the deepest sense of pride and allows for the most creativity.