The best process art activities for kids and why process art is so important.
Art is so important for kids. And yes, this statement is coming from a self-proclaimed STEM mom. I love science and all things STEM, but kids need art too.
Not only do kids need art for art’s sake, but art and science need each other. Art boosts creativity, expression, problem-solving. These are all things good scientists need too.
Art can be made from all sorts of materials and supplies. And you can find so many cute crafts and projects to try. But sometimes the goal is to focus on the process of making the art. That’s what we are focusing on here.
Here are some wonderful and easy process art activities to try at home with your kids.
What's In This Post?
Process Art Activities for Kids
Process art is all about letting kids be creative and free. They can explore and imagine to the fullest. Here are some projects to get you started.
Paint-Less Watercolor Process Art for Kids
You don't need watercolors to create beautiful artwork! This project is so simple, uses at home items, and your kids will get to spray water. WIns!
Dinosaur Snow Globe: A Unique DIY Holiday Craft
This dinosaur craft isn't about creating a perfect Hallmark movie-level snowglobe. It's about making something personal and magical to your child. We used dinosaurs, but let this be your guide to create what your child loves.
Sunscreen Painting: STEAM For Kids
Process art can lead to unexpected results sometimes and I think your children will love the surprise that comes from painting with sunscreen. Create free form art and learn the science of how it happens.
Easy Preschool Sunshine Craft: Building Kindness and Fine Motor Skills
Making art with kids isn't about perfection. It's about the experience and it's about encouraging kids to be their best. This sunshine craft helps kids believe in themselves and see the best they have inside.
What Is Process Art?
Process art is any art activity where the goal is to focus on the actual making of the art and not so much on the final product. You want your child to experience the process, hence the name.
Process art can be really any project. It can be painting, cutting, gluing, colorings, playing with clay, anything you can think of.
Process art can be done by simply providing materials to your child and letting them create whatever they want. It can also be done with a bigger project in mind. (I know I like to have a goal of what I am making.) But you are still focused mainly on the act of making the art.
A big key to making something a process art activity is to be as hands-off as you can, letting your child run the show. I know kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers, will need help sometimes. But do your best to let them be the leaders.
Why Is Process Art So Important?
So what’s the big deal with process art? Why does this matter so much?
Several things are being worked on when we let our children do this kind of project. Here are some.
This sounds like an obvious part of art, but kids need to feel free to be creative! When we don’t give them a model of what their project is supposed to look like, they have more freedom to create whatever they want. This lets them really explore what their brains can think of.
Problem Solving Skills
Thinking of creative solutions is a way of boosting problem-solving skills. How will they use the art materials available to them? How can your child get the picture in their head onto the paper?
This is an important skill for science, math, and just life. Can you think on your own and create solutions to your problems?
Fine Motor Skills
Art can require a lot of manipulation of materials and supplies. Holding a paintbrush, squeezing out glue, using crayons, they all require the use of fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills are the ability to make small movements using the muscles in our hands. These skills allow us to do things like hold a pencil, use scissors, and do up the button on our clothes.
Kids work on fine motor skills through many activities, and art is one of them. Process art encourages kids to do the projects themselves, allowing them to build these skills even more.
Self Regulation and Self Control
Sometimes art doesn’t go as we plan it. I think that is true for all artists, but I know it is true for me. And while we as adults know that it is okay, things going wrong like that can be tough for kids.
So having to deal with this sort of thing (which will happen in art projects) gives children chances to work on self-control and self-regulation. They can’t just melt down and have the project magically fix itself. Instead, they have to learn to work with what happened.
Yes, it is tough to deal with disappointment. But having opportunities to experience disappointment helps build the skills needed to deal with it.
Benefits of Process Art for Parents
So we know that process art is good for kids, but honestly, it is amazing for parents as well! Why? It is so flexible and easy to do!
You don’t need a big plan for art projects. Just get out the supplies you have and let your kids create. Have some paint? Try that. No problem if you can’t find a paintbrush, try a Q-Tip. Want to get rid of some magazines? Let your child rip them up and glue them into art. Use what you have.
The goal is for your child to experience the process of making art, not to have a perfect end project. Yes, it can be a good idea to find new techniques for your child to try. But we are not looking for an expert result. Just let them be free to create.
Process Art for Kids
Every child should get the chance to do process art. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean other types of art projects aren’t important too. Coloring books, direct crafts, and projects with a specific goal are important too. Process art is just another learning activity to add to your toolbox.
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