An internal blog post
Over the last few months I have tried to add more process art to my play and learn. I usually do some kind of project the children can take home; though not every week. Doing these projects during storytime is optional, but I have found that children really enjoy process art. And the best part? Less prep time for you!
Process art is, of course, all about the process…the doing it on their own, the exploring, the learning…and not what they make per se. Process art will not have a “sample” to follow, will have limited (if any) instructions, a variety of supplies will be available, and each child’s art piece will be unique.
It’s good to know what process art is, but defining what it isn’t is also important. First and foremost process art is not a “free-for-all”. Guidelines are always a necessity when working with children. Yes, we want them to try new things and experiment, but not at expense of ruining the experience for others or wasting resources. For example, it is OK to mix paint colors on your own paper, but not OK to mix paint colors in their containers; nor is it OK to paint the wall behind you.
Two other important things to keep in mind when doing process art with young children.
- We can limit which supplies are available for use If you just really can’t do paint, you don’t have to offer it.
- You can still have a general project idea in mind.
Here are some samples of a few process art activities I have done in storytime recently.
Create your own creature—supplies included: construction paper (shapes left over from a different project), googly eyes, pom-poms, feathers, yarn, scissors, glue sticks, and crayons. See how completely unique each creature is?
Here’s our Valentine’s Day art project. Supplies: scissors, glue sticks, crayons, white paper, pink and red paper folded in half with heart traced on them.
One last tip about process art: ask yourself "what will the children do?" instead of "what will the children make?"
What process art have you done—or will try—in your storytimes?