5 Reasons Process Art Makes Life Better for Kids and Adults
*PROCESS ART* Art that is about the making and the doing rather than the finished product.
1. Process Art offers kids some seriously needed down time.
It seems like the older our kids get, the more we’re pushing them to their limit. School can be very demanding emotionally, mentally, socially and physically. Often they don’t even have an art or music program anymore. After school comes and we’re rushing from one activity, practice, tutor, to the next and that doesn’t even take into account the hours of homework some schools are giving. There is only so much that any child can take. Children (and adults for that matter) need to be able to chill and be themselves, have some down time, make their own choices and go at their own pace. Process art honors those needs.
2. Process Art is good for the Brain. Like, really good.
“Every time you engage in a new or complex activity, your brain creates new connections between brain cells. Your brain’s ability to grow connections and change throughout your lifetime is called brain plasticity or neuroplasticity. Creating art stimulates communication between various parts of the brain.” – from Be Brain Fit. See the whole article here. I wrote a whole post about why it’s important to let kids paint here.
3. Process Art helps us connect with our children, our families and ourselves.
I’ve told this story before but since it really speaks to this topic, I’ll repeat it. Plus, it’s one of my favorites.
I’ve always been a working mom. Before I had an art studio I was the the atelierista at my girl’s preschool and before that I taught k-2 at a private school in Hollywood. It was hard to leave my girls every morning, especially in those early years. When I discovered process art, which is really all there is when they are so young, and started setting up invitations to create, it was the first time I realized I could have a positive impact on my girls everyday in a manageable, fun, and thoughtful way. Every night while my girls were sleeping I’d set up two trays and a mini art activity for them to wake up to. They’d run into the kitchen every morning to see what mama had set up for them. I’ll never forget the time Gigi turned to me and said, “I don’t really care what it is, I just like knowing you thought about us.” From that moment forward, I was hooked.
I know you don’t like the mess. I get it. I have created a business based on the fact that moms don’t want a mess in their homes. However, I can give you three no mess process art activities to do right now at your kitchen table that won’t give you a heart attack.
1. A hand or table mirror, a pencil and a piece of paper. Draw what you see.
2. Put several flowers and leaves on a tray along with some scissors and several small bottles or containers filled with water. Invite your child to clip the flowers and create a fairy potion or a magic potion. *water spilling does not count as a mess. C’mon : )
3. Put out a few pieces of cut up cardboard, a toilet paper roll or two, a few sticks and a roll of masking tape and ask your child to make something smaller than an elephant and bigger than a mouse.
4. Process Art Teaches Empathy and Builds Future Leaders
Through process art we come to understand our children and ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to listen and react with empathy as we attune to our child’s developmental process. Process art strengthens critical thinking skills, build trust in the process, helps connect new ideas and encourages children and adults to think outside the box. I think it’s safe to say that leaders with these qualities is a step in the right direction.