5 Process-Based Art Ideas from a Local Teacher

Mom of two, art teacher and Minnesota Children’s Museum friend – Melanie P. – shared with us some great ideas to keep kids busy, learning and creating through process-based art. Melanie has a ton of great projects on her blog and Instagram, but we’ve picked a few of our favorites below. Be sure to go to eatplaypaint.art.blog to find more activities from Melanie!

DIY Sensory Bottles for Babies – Reuse small plastic water bottles by filling them with interesting colors, sounds and textures to engage baby’s senses and help them learn about our world. Use what you have when filling them. Get creative! Pom poms, beads, water, food color, oil—the sky is the limit. Pro tip: Glue the water bottle caps on for reinforcement against curious older children. Get details.

Painting with Dinosaurs. Put 3-5 different washable tempera colors on a sponge in a bowl with a bit of water. Tape a big piece of paper to a wall or table. Set out your child’s favorite dinosaur figures. Let your child explore! Pro tip: Leave the set up out for an entire day. Your child will likely keep coming back to it to add more. Get more information.

Bath paint. Simply mix ¼ cup cornstarch, ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup water and divide into containers. Add a little bit of and water soluble food or soap color to each. (Do a patch test if you’re uncertain if it will stain). Pro tip: add a bit of your child’s favorite bubble bath in place of the water for some sudsy color fun! Learn more.

Spring Cut Paper Collage. Pre-cut pastel-colored construction paper and tissue paper. Or, let your older kids cut the paper with kid-safe scissors. Let them glue the cut paper on a large piece of paper taped to a table or wall. (Melanie suggests using a sponge in a bowl with watered down glue to cut down on mess). Pro tip: Leave overnight. Then invite your child to glue from a different color/shape assortment the next day when the first layer is dry. More information.

Printmaking with Loose Parts from Nature. Put several tints/shades of the same washable tempera color on a sponge in a bowl with a bit of water. Tape large piece of paper to table or wall. Go out and gather up loose parts from nature. Invite your child create! Get details.

Remember! As Melanie says: “Art play for children is about the process, not the product.” Let kids explore, have fun and follow their own interests.

All project ideas and images are from Melanie. Check out her blog and Instagram for more awesome ideas.

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