disclosure statement for more details).
What’s This Process Stuff Anyway?
It’s pretty much exactly as it sounds – your child is exploring the process of art-making. She’s creating, discovering, experimenting and working with the materials in a way that lets her learn and grow. Instead of an end result (i.e., product), the goal here is to play with the materials or to see what they can do.
There isn’t just one type of ‘process’ activity. These art-making sessions can include paint, clay, crayons, markers, pencils, paper, scissors, glue, paper mache, yarn, ribbon or any other material. The difference between this type of art and product-based activities lies in what’s expected in the end. In a process exploration of water colors your child might play with how much of the liquid she adds to the paint or mix and mingle colors on the paper. In a product-oriented version (again, using water colors) you might expect her to paint a landscape or create a portrait. There’s nothing wrong with these types of projects. If your child needs structure or is having trouble getting the feel of exploration-based art, the framework of a project may get the ball rolling. Focusing on making ‘something’ may help her to feel more comfortable using the materials or get her into the actual process in a more defined way.
Why Process Art?
Why not? But, seriously – it’s fun! It also helps your child to build creativity, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. It may look like she’s just slapping paint down on a piece of paper or simply rolling clay around. In reality, she’s figuring out how to use the materials, making predictions, testing those predictions and deciding what works and doesn’t.
What Art Activities Count a Process-Based?
There are too many to list here, but a few favorites include:
Frozen art: Color some ice and explore what happens as it melts!
Shaving cream paint: Why not toss in some glitter for a super sensory experience?
Finger painting: Try it with fall leaves.
Paint with something unexpected: Maybe gauze?
Glue: Add some food coloring and watch what happens.
House paint: Not really, but your child can use rollers and other ‘wall painting’ tools.
DIY play dough.
Make an art buffet: Set out an array of materials for your child to pick and choose from.
Paper mache: Make a sculpture or just play with it.
Finger paint plus: Add to the paint with sand or anything else that you want.
Are you looking for more ideas? Follow my process art Pinterest board for exploration creations!