I was looking through some old photos today and came across this fantastic process art painting activity I did with Gigi last summer. Since I’ve been on a major process art kick I thought I’d share it. I’m all about process art for toddlers for many reasons. 1. It’s developmentally appropriate. 2. It makes kids very happy. 3. Exposing young children to different sensory engaging art materials at a young age helps with language, critical thinking skills, building confidence, decision making and a million other things you can read about here. So that’s why I do all this stuff. But mostly reason number two.
We are so blessed to have a playhouse to do all these activities in. This, I know. If you don’t have an art space, you can cover a table with butcher paper and put a plastic table clothe or tarp on the floor to prevent too much of a mess. Tempera paint washes off easily though, so, hopefully you’ll give this painting idea a try. I taped three pieces of heavy construction paper to the table. Two were white and one was black. I gave Gigi a small cup of white paint and a small cup of black paint. Then I stepped aside.
She was practically dancing as she moved from one piece to the other making marks, swirls and squiggles, first in black paint and then in white. I really think having three pieces made for a great invitation to play. She could sit or stand by each one, move around the table and do her thing.
After she had painted each paper I introduced white circles that someone gave me at work. I am very lucky to be the recipient of everyone else’s “trash” amongst my colleagues. These circles are amazing and I have tons of them. Another easy option would be cut up white and black paper, cut up tissue paper, scraps from the shredder or cotton balls. Just keep it black and white. The circles were a great extension from the painting and kept Gigi engaged for a longer period of time. I always look for ways to extend art activities, either in the moment or for a part two or three…or four.
By the end, everything pretty much looked like the pic above. I was able to grab one piece before it got totally toddlerized that looked so cool with the black and white paint and white dots all over it. I have it hanging in the playhouse. Gigi was just two when we did this. I am so excited to try this again now that she’s approaching three!
Oh my word! What a great post. My son is obsessed with white anything- crayon, pastel, paint, pencil- he’s always trying to figure out how to make it show up. I’ve been meaning to set up a black and white invitation for this reason! You and I…we have a mind meld, we do!!!
We do! We do! Our play dates would be off the charts.
Oh, what a fantasy world! Of course, your creators have a play house. I love that table! Plus, you’re inspiring me to talk process. What a wonderful experience your kids will have because if this and I’m a big supporter of that, too. Top it off: black and white art looks so modern and those young hands are so spontaneous! Great great stuff!
It does look modern, doesn’t it!?! Thanks Gina. You notice the best things. Big kisses from California!
Love it! It looks like she had a lot of fun!
She really did. Now I have to bust out black and white play dough, black and white tape, black and white…ink blot tees!!! : )
This is a perfect activity for introducing art history to toddlers and preschoolers! I’m going to try this activity when we study William de Kooning’s Black Untitled.
Thank you for sharing!