Process Art Project

Do you ever feel like your art time is not what you want it to be? Do you or the children end up getting frustrated with projects? Or are you just out of fresh ideas? Check out our long list of painting ideas that will keep your kids busy throughout the year exploring PROCESS ART by using different combinations of paper, painting tools, and paint.

What is PROCESS ART, you might ask? It’s art that is focused on the experience and on exploration of techniques, tools, and materials. There is no right or wrong way for your child to explore or create – let the experience be entirely up to your child and let them choose the materials and tools they would like to use!

While your child is creating their artwork, spend time with them and sit alongside them observing their artwork. You can even create your own masterpiece alongside of them as well! Ask them questions about what they are doing and talk about the new tools, colors, shapes, and textures that they see. This could include:

  • Oh, what shape does that block make?
  • When these two colors mix together, what new color do you see?
  • Did you feel this paint with your fingers, what do you think it feels like?

Plus, if you have multiple children using the materials at one time, they are learning collaboration and great social skills.

Overall, the simple joy of being an active participant in art builds self-esteem. Art can also be a very calming activity for your family to do together! Now, please look over the list below and find these great tools that you can use in your next painting adventure. Please SHARE your masterpieces in this post as well!

Painting and Printing Tools

  • Dishwashing scrubbers
  • Toy Cars
  • Balls
  • Koosh balls
  • Blocks
  • Books
  • Bottle caps
  • Brayers
  • Combs and brushes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Cans
  • Cardboard with string glued on it
  • Checkers
  • Corks
  • Dried corn cobs
  • Crepe paper
  • Empty Deodorant bottles
  • Dishwashing brushes
  • Dominoes
  • Egg cartons
  • Eye droppers
  • Fabrics with different texture
  • Feather dusters
  • Film canisters
  • Foil balls
  • Forks
  • Funnels
  • Gadgets
  • Keys
  • Leaves
  • Meat tenderizers
  • Mops
  • Muffin tins
  • Crumpled newspaper
  • Nylon stockings
  • Paint rollers, big and small
  • Pinecone
  • Paper towel tube
  • Plastic wrap, crumpled
  • Potato masher
  • Rubber bands around blocks
  • Rubber bands on a paint roller
  • Trowels
  • Toothbrushes
  • Sticks or straws
  • Spoons
  • Shells
  • Scouring pad
  • Fly swatter painting
  • Bumpy things glued to cardboard paper towel tubes or gloves
  • Styrofoam, grocery meat trays, with a design cut into them
  • Rolling pin with fabric or yarn wrapped around it
  • Clothespins with clean sponges or cotton attached

Try changing the paint (add these to make different textures):

  • Add liquid soap to make paint slimy
  • Add salt or sugar to make paint sparkle
  • Add corn syrup to make paint shiny and sticky
  • Add flour to make paint lumpy
  • Add sand to make paint bumpy

This activity description of process art was adapted from early educator training at the Professional Development Academy at Child Care Action Council.