Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Process Art

Since I have started learning more and growing more as an Early Childhood Professional I have become more of a proponent, almost an advocate, of process art.  The first thing I ever saw that moved me towards learning more about process art was a quote from the ooey gooey lady "Art is not a receipt for childcare." This made me realize, yes, I have been giving lots of "receipts" in the form of art projects that I, not the children, have spent hours making so they can glue on the eyes.  

Tonight I gave a class for our local In Home Providers Organization about Process Art.  We had tons of fun doing the art projects! Here is a list of some that we talked about and tried out. Some are pure process art and others are a combo of process and project art.  I hope you find them useful in your work with young children.

**Bracelets from toilet paper tubes -- cut toilet paper tubes into 2 inch wide tubes. cut to make C shape.  Child decorates as wanted for bracelet.

**Telescopes from toilet paper tubes -- child paints glue onto tube and then places tissue paper all over tube.  Dry and then have star stickers available for further decoration.

Starry Sky Art
**Binoculars from toilet paper tubes -- glue two tubes together and let dry.  Child decorates tubes with paper, stickers and more to make binoculars.  Attach string to each side of finished binoculars for a neck strap.

**Starry Sky Art -- black construction paper, black paint, glitter.  Child paints with black paint on black paper and then sprinkles glitter over paint while it is still wet. 

**Cup Prints -- dip top of cup in paint and then place cup on paper, repeat as wanted.   to make a caterpillar connect several cup prints together on a long piece of paper.

Plunger Painting
**Plunger painting -- you will need a large floor area to do this art activity.  Place a large piece of paper on the floor with a few plungers and different colors of paint on paper plates.  The child will put the plunger in the paint and then make prints on the paper.

**Foil Sculpture -- give each child a large piece of foil and show them how to squeeze the foil to make a sculpture.

**Collage -- children glue various items onto paper, paper plates, cardboard and more.  See collage handout for more information. A favorite of the children I watch, gluing rocks on pieces of cardboard.

**Bubble Wrap print -- tape bubble wrap to the table.  Children will paint on the bubble wrap and then place a piece of paper over the painted bubble wrap and press down to make a print. 

**Wood Sculpture -- using glue make a wood sculpture with wood scraps.  Some ideas for wood scraps are spools, balsa wood scraps, craft wood pieces, wood scraps from building projects.

**Rubbings -- place several items on a table and then place the paper over those items.  Child uses unwrapped crayons to make rubbings of the items.  Some items that are good for rubbings are leaves, keys, yarn, sandpaper. For sandpaper, cut it into different shapes.

Paint Bags
**Paint in baggies -- great for those who don't like the feel of paint on their hands.  Place paint in a Ziploc style plastic baggie and then seal the bag and cover the seal with packing tape.  The child can draw designs in the paint without getting their hands messy.

**Bread sculptures -- using bread dough the children make sculptures.  The sculptures are then baked and can be eaten with a snack or lunch.  You can buy frozen bread dough if you do not want to make dough.

**Easy Sun catchers -- fold a piece of contact paper in half and then remove the backing from one half of the paper.  Give the children tissue paper and sequins to put on the contact paper.  When they are finished, remove the backing from the other half of the contact paper and stick the two sides together.  Hang in Window.

**Weaving -- tape a set of rings from a six pack of soda to two blocks.  Provide materials for weaving, such as fabric, crepe paper, wide ribbons, newspaper, plastic bags, raffia, old blankets cut into strips and construction tape. You can also use a chain link fence for weaving.

**Painting with Cars -- this is a great activity for getting boys that are not interested in art to join in.  Have several different toy cars and paint at the table.  The child will dip the car wheels in the paint and then drive it on their paper.

**Tilt and Roll -- Using a shallow pan, place paper at the bottom.  Have small balls in paint.  The child picks up a ball in the paint with a spoon and then drops it in the pan.  They then tilt the pan to make the ball roll around and make designs on their paper. Golf Balls work very well.

Water Painting on the Chalk Wall
**Water painting -- this is great to introduce painting to small children.  outside on a concrete pad or wall have a container of water with several different paint brushes. The child will dip the paint brush in the water and draw designs on the ground or wall.

**Blob painting -- fold a piece of paper in half and then unfold.  The child uses spoons to place blobs of paint near the middle of the paper.  After they are done placing paint, they refold the paper and use a rolling pin or hands to flatten out the paint. Once that is done re open the paper for a fun design.

**Bubble Painting -- Place 1/2tsp to 1 tsp of food coloring in a small bottle of bubbles.  Hang a large piece of  paper on the wall of fence and allow the children to blow bubbles at the paper.  They will need to stand very close to the paper.  When the bubbles pop on the paper they will leave behind colorful circles.

**Foil Sun catcher -- Tape a piece of foil to a piece of paper.  Give the child a dull pencil and they can punch holes in the foil.  Remove the paper from the foil and hang the foil in the window.  The light will shine through the holes in the foil.

**Bubble Wrap Collage -- just like standard collage, only using bubble wrap to glue the collage items on instead of paper.  The bubble wrap can be popped or un-popped.

**Scratch CD's -- using old CD's paint the shiny side and then use a pen or other item to scratch designs into the dried paint.  Hang from ceiling.

Texture Basket
**Texture basket -- Infant art! Have many different textures for baby to explore in a basket, such as small pieces of fabric, sandpaper etc.  While baby is playing explain what they are touching, such as "doesn't this feel soft" when baby has a piece of fleece or "see of slick this feels" when touching a piece of vinyl.
**Coffee Filter Butterflies -- using water color paint, paint on the coffee filter.  After dried gather in a clothes pin and hang.

**Coffee Filter snowflakes -- easier to cut than paper.  Fold like you would a paper snowflakes and cut shapes out of the resulting triangle.  Unfold and hang.

**Masking tape art -- apply masking tape to paper and color or paint over the entire paper.  After dry, remove masking tape for a fun design.

**Styrofoam Sculpture -- Using blocks of Styrofoam, cover with foil and give children pipe cleaners, craft sticks, foam pieces, ribbon, straws to make a fun sculpture. 


  1. so many wonderful ideas here. I've never though to paint with a plunger and we've used the paint in baggies for practicing our writing.

    would love for you to come link up to the Sunday Showcase http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspot.com/2011/08/sunday-showcase-81411-link-up-share.html


  2. I am so glad you enjoyed the ideas! The plunger painting is a blast -- with very young children I do it outside though, it can get pretty messy.

  3. So many great ideas! I love it, definitely will bookmark this page!