Easy right? Process art doesn’t mean there isn’t an amazing product at the end. There very well could be. It just means that’s not really the point. We’re trying to get kids and their adults to find value in making and doing, where they are making decisions, taking risks, thinking outside the box, taking their time, working with challenges, cultivating connection, and building empathy. Those things are the point.
I talk a ton about Process Art in my new book PLAY MAKE CREATE if you want to learn more.
Recently we made these Whacky Wood Sculptures by using different size pieces of wood to create crazy characters. We used paint, oil pastels and regular white glue to put these together and just let them dry overnight. Nothing fancy and each one came out absolutely delightful. This is a great example of a process based activity because it is totally open ended, every sculpture will come out different and can meet each child where they are developmentally. Plus, it’s super fun. Those are our goals when thinking of a project.
Self Portraits are another great Process based activity. Self Portraits can be done over and over again in so many different ways and they reflect where a child is and how they see themselves in that moment. Plus, they are the biggest treasure for parents. I love when my girls do self portraits. These are just black sharpie and then painted with a watercolor palette. Here are three other examples of self portraits we’ve done over the years.
Have you ever made paper sculptures before? These are one of my favorites. They are so super simple and fun for kids of many ages. You need a base, art paper, a scissor and some tape and your pretty much good to go. Art paper is paper that’s been painted on in different ways and then given time to dry so you can use it for your art process. There are tons of ways to use it and we always like to have some on hand.
Lastly, balloon sculptures. We had so much fun with these. These are temporary sculptures but you can make them and practice some observational drawing with them after to extend your work. This was a favorite of the kids and I can’t wait to make these again. The sculpture below we made collaboratively with a group of about 10 kids. They were inspired by Jeff Koons and super fun to make and draw. And of course you get to play with the balloons first.
So if you weren’t totally hooked on process art before, hopefully these process art activities for 4-7 year olds are inspiring you. If you want more great Process Art activities for kids of all ages, please check out my book Play Make Create. It’s packed to the brim with Process Art Invitations to Create and Bigger Activities to help build creativity and connection. Thank you!