What do you think of when you think of preschool art activities? Marshmallow snowmen? Fingerprint flowers? Pasta ornaments? While there isn’t anything wrong with these craft projects, they all have one thing in common. The focus is on the end result. Find out why we love process art for kids, and what amazing benefits it has for young children. Plus, find some easy process art activities to help get you started!
PROCESS ART FOR KIDS
WHAT IS PROCESS ART?
Process art focuses on the creative process rather than the final product or outcome.
Process art will…
- Have few or no step-by-step instructions.
- Have no sample to follow.
- Have no right or wrong way to create.
- Produce a final product that is unique.
- Be child-directed.
PRODUCT ART VS. PROCESS ART
Product art focuses on the final product. Usually, an adult has created a plan for the art project that has one goal in mind, and it does not leave a lot of room for true creativity. On the other hand for process art, the real fun (and learning) is in the process, not the product.
Kids want to make a mess. They want their senses to come alive. They want to feel and smell and sometimes even taste the process. They want to be free to let their minds wander through the creative process. How can we help them reach this state of ‘flow’ – (the mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task)?
The answer is process art!
THE BENEFITS OF PROCESS ART
Children are naturally curious. They observe, explore, and imitate, trying to figure out how things work and how to control themselves and their environments. This freedom of exploration helps children form connections in their brain, it helps them learn—and it’s also fun.
Process art is a natural activity to support this essential interaction with the world. Kids need the freedom to explore and experiment. Process art allows children to practice a wide range of skills that are useful not only for life but also for learning.
Specific skills include:
- Fine motor skills. Grasping pencils, crayons, chalk, and paintbrushes.
- Cognitive development. Cause and effect, problem-solving.
- Mathematical skills. Understanding concepts like shape, size, counting, and spatial reasoning.
- Language skills. As children share their artwork and process, they develop language skills.
PROCESS ART PRESCHOOL
How do you make process art work for preschoolers? Here are a few ideas to support preschool learning through process art activities.
- Provide a diverse range of supplies. Gather a wide range of materials for your child to use like paint, colored pencils, chalk, play dough, markers, crayons, oil pastels, scissors, and stamps.
- Encourage, but don’t lead. let them decide what materials they want to use and how and when to use them. Let them take the lead.
- Be flexible. Instead of sitting down with a plan or expected outcome in mind, let your child explore, experiment, and use their imaginations. They might make a huge mess or change their direction several times—this is all part of the creative process.
- Let it go. Let them explore. They may only want to run their hands through the shaving cream instead of painting with it. Children learn through playing, exploring, and trial and error. If you give them the freedom to discover, they will learn to create and experiment in new and innovative ways.
Looking for easy to print art activities?
We have you covered…
PROCESS ART ACTIVITIES
All you need are a few simple materials for this easy process art activity. Fly swatter painting is great for toddlers who are still learning to use a paint brush.
Can you paint with marbles? Absolutely! Get ready for art that’s a bit active, a bit silly, and a little messy. Roll ’em around, mix up a few colors, and create a Jackson Pollock inspired masterpiece!
ALSO CHECK OUT: Leaf Marble Painting
Kind of messy but a totally fun process art technique, kids will have a blast trying paint splatter!
Painting with magnets is a fantastic way to explore magnetism and create a unique piece of art. This magnet art project is a hands-on way to learn using simple materials.
Have you ever tried blowing into a straw to paint a masterpiece? Now’s the chance to explore awesome process art with easy materials.
Mix up your own bubble paint and grab a bubble wand. Talk about budget-friendly process art!
Similar, to our marble painting above except this fun process art technique involves flicking or dripping paint onto canvas.
Explore the natural world around you or add in some every day objects or found art. A nature weaving art project that also doubles as found art!
Nature’s bounty makes a cool paintbrush in this super simple to set up a process art activity for fall! Grab a handful of pinecones for a fantastic pinecone painting activity.
Make these easy paper sculptures from simple shapes and explore abstract art for kids.
This fun paper towel art is very easy to make with just a few simple materials. Combine art with science, and learn about water solubility.
Combine painting and coloring for a fun process art project for kids of all ages. Download our free printable art project and create your own colorful art. Reverse coloring is easy to do with a few simple supplies.
Combine a popular kitchen tool and a bit of physics for cool art and science that everyone is sure to love! Take this STEAM activity outside on a nice day!
A simple to set up salt painting activity for kids. Any theme, any season, all you need is a little imagination, glue, and salt.
ALSO CHECK OUT…
Can you paint snow? You betcha! Just a few simple supplies to make your own homemade paint and your have a fun winter process art activity for the kids.
String painting or pulled string art is a great way to develop kids’ fine motor skills, and strengthen grasp and manual control. Plus, it’s fun!
No t-shirt for tie dye? No problem! Plus, this tie dyed paper towel is a whole lot less mess! Find out how to make tie dye paper as a cool way to explore colorful process art with minimal supplies.
Squirt guns or water guns instead of paintbrushes? Absolutely! Who says you can only paint with a brush and your hand!
A zentangle is a type of unplanned and unstructured drawing. Color in one of our printable zentangles below with one or a combinations of dots, lines, curves etc. Zentangle art can be very relaxing because there is no pressure to focus on the end result.
EXPLORE ART FOR PRESCHOOL AND BEYOND
Click on the image below or on the link for preschool art activities.
HOW TO MAKE PAINT
Want to make your own paint to use with any of these fun process art activities? Check out these ideas below!