Process Art for Preschoolers

Process art is a favorite activity around here...really any kind of art is a favorite.  But today we are talking about process art.  Process art is creating art without having an end 'product' in mind. It develops so many different skills.  I have seen first hand how process art just really encourages creativity in a preschooler, and that is my favorite part.  We live in a world where we are told how things should look, so I think teaching kids to be creative plays a huge role in teaching them to think for themselves. It is an opportunity for them to decide what they want their art to look like.

There are so many great ideas out there for different ways to incorporate process art.  Just do a quick pinterest or google search and you will immediately have tons of ideas at your fingertips. Our favorite recent process art experience gave us a full afternoon of fun.  Here are the details:

What you need:

  • butcher paper
  • paper plates (for paint)
  • paint (we only used 3 colors)
  • ice cream cones
  • forks
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What to do:

Set all materials out and let your child create.  The point of this is to not really give any instructions.  The only instruction I give is that the entire piece of paper needs to be filled. As you can see in the next picture, sometimes we start out really slow.

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After encouragement, Emma almost always gets really involved in the 'process'. She really enjoyed this out of the box process art experience.  I really enjoyed watching her creative process come to life. 

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I really encourage you to set up a process art experience for your kiddos.  This was a great afternoon activity that we all enjoyed. 

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Water Gun Painting

For years I have been wanting to try all of the fun water gun art projects you see in Pinterest.  We finally had an opportunity while visiting family in Mississippi.  This was seriously SO much fun! You definitely need to add this to your Summer Bucket List!

Water Gun Painting- Fun process art for toddlers, preschoolers, and older children--even adults! This is a great Summer Bucket List Activity

What you need: 

  • butcher paper, posters, or something else to 'paint' on
  • tape (to hang paper)
  • water guns
  • paint (we used acrylic, but I recommend this)
  • water 

What you do:

Hang paper outside. Be very thoughtful about where you hang your paper.  The paint will not stay on the paper.  It will make a bit of a mess. We attached ours to some tree branches away from the house.

Fill the water guns with a paint and water mixture.  The first time I made the mixture too watery.  You want it to be a little bit thicker...the paper will tear if it gets too wet.

Let your child go to town! Emma really got into this.  She also wanted me to help some, so I did!

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We had so much fun doing this, and I really loved the end product.  We plan to use these as decorations for her Birthday party (look for that post next week). BUT, this would make really cute wall art for a playroom or kid's room!

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Toilet Paper Roll Crafts for your Toddler or Preschooler

I love to turn used items into a good craft for Emma.  One of her favorites is to make some kind of craft from toilet paper rolls! She is very diligent to save EVERY SINGLE toilet paper and paper towel roll we use.  And one day, I randomly look in our craft drawer to see a drawer FULL of cardboard rolls. We have made several crafts we really love, but here are some other ideas with full tutorials that I really like.

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Binoculars

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Emma and I made these binoculars a long time ago, and she has used them SO MUCH! She grabs them almost every time we go on a walk or go outside to play.  As you can see in this picture, she wore them the day we planted seeds. You can read about that here.  

I found this great tutorial from Buggy and Buddy. They use their binoculars for cloud observation.

Turkeys

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This adorable turkey came from The Resourceful Mama. These are great for Fall/Thanksgiving.  How cute would it be to have your child make each family member a turkey and use it as a place card?  Emma and I made a 'turkey family' this year.  She was so proud of them and they turned out so cute that we are saving them to set out again next year.

Kazoo

This is a such a cute idea, also from Buggy and Buddy.  Emma loves kazoos, so this is going on our list of crafts to make together.

Fish

These Japanese flying carp are the beautiful.  The tutorial can be found at Squirrelly Minds.  This one might be geared towards older kids, but if you feel inspired to try with your toddler or preschooler...go for it!

Butterflies

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This butterfly craft is simple and cute.  You can find the tutorial on The Resourceful Mama. If you have toddlers, take the time to pre cute all of the pieces needed. If you have a preschooler, let them try their hand at using scissors...such a great pre-writing skill! 

Octopus

What a great easy idea to help you use up those toilet paper rolls you've been collecting...that's normal, right???  Anyway, this one is definitely going on our list of crafts to make. You can find the info at Crafty Morning.

Fireworks

This one is a great idea for 4th of July or New Year's Eve.  We will probably try this one on 4th of July.  You can find the tutorial on Learning 4 Kids.

Jungle Scene

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Ok, I saved my favorite for last.  How cute is this?? This one is a bit time consuming, but it would be a great way to fill up your summer days.  You could pick a week and spend each day preparing a different piece of this play set.  Then your kids can play with it for weeks.  Seriously, the possibilities are endless.  Find the tutorial at Kids Craftroom.

I hope you find some crafty inspiration from these great tutorials.

Craft Supplies to Keep at Home

When I was teaching, fun crafts were my favorite thing to plan.  I loved creating relevant crafts that left room for lots of creativity from my students.  And, as a mom, I feel the same way. My preschooler LOVES crafts with mommy!

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As a mom, I don’t always have the time to plan like I did as a teacher, so I just make sure I always have any supplies we might want to use on hand.

Here are some of the supplies I always keep stocked up:

  1. Markers

  2. Crayons

  3. Construction paper

  4. Drawing paper

  5. Yarn

  6. Googly Eyes

  7. Pom Poms

  8. Pipe Cleaners

  9. Straws

  10. Popsicle sticks

  11. Toilet paper and paper towel rolls

  12. Paper plates

  13. Glue

  14. Scissors

  15. Stickers

  16. Paint

  17. Paint brushes

  18. Stamps and Ink

  19. Buttons

  20. Vinyl tablecloth--I lay this down for EVERYTHING!

Giving children lots of opportunities to create is so important for their development, so if you don’t keep craft supplies on hand, this list will give you a starting point.  Now, go help your child create!

Planting with Kids

Planting with kids is such a fun activity full of learning and life lessons.  This is a great opportunity to teach your children about the wonder of God’s creation.  You can also teach them about how plants grow, how to be responsible, and how to work with an end goal in mind.

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Recently we planted some seeds, and I would like to share with you the process we used. Here is what we used to plant:

  • Pots

  • Paint

  • Paint brushes

  • Planting soil

  • Seeds (we used mint and flowers)

  • Gardening tools (optional)

And this is what we did:

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First, Emma painted her pots. Notice the vinyl tablecloth...I lay these out for everything. They are perfect to protect the floor and furniture when we are doing a project.

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After the paint dried, we took the pots outside and began the planting process.  I let Emma do almost all of the work. I wanted it to be her project.

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She filled the pots with soil and then made a little hole for the seeds.

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Then she added a little more soil to the pots.

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After that, we took the plants back inside so we could water them.

And now, Emma remembers everyday that we need to water her mint and flowers.  We are patiently waiting to see the fruit of our labor!

Again, there are so many lessons to be learned when planting with children.  You can teach them about God's creation, how plants grow, how to be responsible, and how to keep and end goal in mind.