Toddlers playing with paint and art outside
children painting at our childcare center

This week we started a fun unit using found objects and paint. We started with elastic or rubber bands and talked about their purpose. We began to sort and classify the bands and had fun attaching our feet and hands together. I was lucky to inherit (thank you, parents, who donated them) a whole stack of very large white plastic lids. We talked about the purpose of the lids, but mostly about recycling and what we could do with the lids. I shared with them my idea: “I have an idea” and demonstrated a fun ‘process art’ activity’ that you will see in the pictures to follow. They stretched the rubber bands (not easy) over the lids. Next, they painted the bands, and then we ‘snapped’ them like a guitar string and marveled at our work. That in a nut-shell is a little bit of ‘process art’. For a more formal description see below:

The Guggenheim states “process art emphasizes the ‘process’ of making art”. The MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) points out that “in process art, the means count for more than the ends.”

Child painting using rubber bands at our daycare center

Process art for young children has

  1. Only a few instructions- and encourages divergent and independent thinking and ideas.  In the example lesson- note:  I am modeling my own thinking to the children and how I came up with my idea.
  2. There is not always a sample for the children to follow
  3. There is no exact ‘right or wrong way’
  4. The art is focused on the ‘experience’
  5. The experience is often relaxing and calming. This is an interesting query on its own.  (something to think about, right?)
  6. The idea is unique
  7. An adult does not ‘make’ or ‘do’ the art for the child. It is their own!
  8. Children choose to participate
Child painting with her toes at our preschool

Other ideas :

  1. Painting with our toes.
  2. Finding objects to paint with and attaching to our fingers (like feathers).
  3. Pendulum art… more on that next week as we start our adventure into ‘gravity’.
  4. Painting with our heads.

Miss Carole had an idea (thanks Pinterest) to use construction helmets and hooks from our loose parts materials to make a paint brush.  The children practiced making vertical lines.

Teacher showing the children how to paint with their toes at our childcare center
Boy painting with his toes at our daycare center
Children painting with helmets at our childcare center
Child painting with a helmet at our preschool