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What Is Process Art?

By Anna B.
May 7, 2021

I remember, when my first daughter was little, pulling together supplies to make cards, stickers, markers, and a paper towel tube to be turned into a heart stamp. I envisioned us creating these adorable cards to give away. What did she want to do? Color on the paper towel tube with the markers and then make a pile of stickers that she then unstuck and restuck together. No cards. And she was happy!

This is process art! Children of all ages benefit from experiencing art processes and materials without the goal of a particular product that can be stuck on the fridge or given as a present. Often, these processes end up in the recycling bin or trash can or left in the garden, and that’s okay!

Process art can seem messy and daunting but there are some tricks for making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Adjust Your Expectations Process art is about the experience, not how pretty it is to photograph! If your kiddo is happy and respecting the materials, it’s all good.

Limit Your Supplies Worried about mess? Choose just 1 or 2 materials to experiment with. Freeze water with food coloring for sidewalk watercolor painting, or grab a cereal box and glue shredded junk mail for a collage. Even simpler, try drawing with chalk on dark colored paper.

Making Is For Everyone Process art is great for all ages, grownups included! Get in on the fun and show your child that you are also comfortable with creating without expectations. (Note: This isĀ really difficult for some grownups, but we think you can do it!)

Talk About It Ask your child questions about what they made. Comment on shapes, colors, and different techniques that you notice.

Not sure about where to start? Try some of these fantastic books that offer ideas of simple activities to explore with your child.


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