What is Process Art and Why is it Important?

Art allows children to express their creativity, solve problems, enhance fine motor skills, and so much more. Art activities for young children should always strive to be process-oriented art, meaning that the process involved in creating the piece of art is more valuable than the outcome or product.

Why Process Art is Important

A piece of artwork that is considered “process art” will not look like another child’s art or even look like you think it should. It may use the same materials, but it will not follow an example from a teacher or peer.

Creating process art allows children to explore and have a greater sense of ownership over their art because it is all their own work. Process art is wonderful for supporting the development of self-control and self-regulation when children are focusing, making choices, taking risks and feeling successful. They love to run up to their parents at the end of that day and say, “Look what I made!” Literacy skills are also developed when children discuss what the made and how they did it.

How to Encourage Process Art at Home

A simple process art project to start with at home is setting out blank paper and a variety of drawing materials like crayons, markers, and colored pencils. Allow your child to choose what they want to draw with and what they will draw. Ask open-ended questions like “Will you tell me about your picture?” If your child asks you to draw with them, use your non-dominant hand and try to mimic what they are drawing. Otherwise, your child will try to copy you and you’ve just shown them the “right” way to draw something.

As your child progresses, try painting with objects that aren’t paintbrushes. Children love the novelty of using something in a different way and it often leads in a totally unexpected direction! Potato mashers, feathers, popsicle sticks, and pom poms are great non-traditional brushes that inspire creative thinking, experimentation, and out-of-the-box artwork.

Learn more about process art for kids:

Check out the resources below to  learn more about process art and how to encourage your kids to be creative!

Written by Shanna Miller, Office Manager at Day Early Learning at Park 100.

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