From Story to Product: Pre-schoolers’ Designing and Making Processes in a Holistic Craft Context

Virpi Yliverronen
2014, Vol. 19, No. 2,


Early childhood education and care, pre-primary education,
and basic education form an integrated whole that seeks
to progressively facilitate a child’s development in Finland.
In pre-primary education children are understood as active
problem-solvers who learn in a holistic way through
imagination and play. The term ´child´ is used to refer to
a pupil or a student in early childhood- and pre-primary
education. In the Finnish education system, the teaching
of craft should strive towards a holistic craft process
already from the first grade, though this process is rarely
employed in pre-primary education. This article details an
experiment in which 10 pre-schoolers designed and made
an artifact in the context of a holistic craft. This experiment
was intended to immerse the children in all phases of the
designing, making, and assessment process. This process
began with collecting anticipatory stories by storycrafting
method. Following this, the pre-schoolers were asked to
design and make a puppet-like character using textile
materials. Qualitative content analysis was carried out on
the children’s brainstorming and designing processes to
find out the ways in which pre-schoolers make
connections between the various stages of a holistic
design process. During the children’s work processes, their
awareness of the holistic process was recognized. The
experiment showed the pre-schoolers’ designing
processes to proceed logically, and that they were able to
design individual crafts in the context of a holistic craft


holistic craft process, craft education, designing, preprimary education, pre-schoolers, children