Process Art is one of my favorite ways to connect with my girls. We roll up our sleeves, don smocks, and start creating! We’ve been making art together since my oldest was barely a year old - and it continues to be one of their most-requested activities!
What is Process art?
Process art allows children to choose, direct, and explore many aspects of art creation. The emphasis is on the process of creating and there is no expectation for what the finished product will be. While the term can sound intimidating, it simply means following your child’s lead to see how they decided to create! Process art is fantastic for all children, but even toddlers can benefit from the freedom to explore art materials.
The best part about process art is you don’t need many fancy supplies! Paint, crayons, markers and paper are enough to unlock all sorts of creativity. Here are our favorite, and most used, art supplies.
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We started out painting by using small pots of Crayola washable paint - but they weren’t lasting long for us! I made the switch to Colorations Biocolor Washable Tempera paint a few years ago and haven’t looked back.
Our second most used art supply is definitely Colorations liquid watercolors. We use them to paint... and use them to color playdough, dye vinegar or water of simple science experiments, and even dye wood toys for loose parts with them! The Colorations Liquid Watercolors are vibrant and the 4 oz bottles have lasted us almost 3 years even though we use them all the time!
Want the fun of painting without the mess? Try tempera paint sticks! They are colorful and so much fun to explore with - and dry in less than 90 seconds! We love bringing our paint sticks outside to paint nature finds like sticks, stones, or leaves.
Does your little one love to color with crayons? Kick things up a notch with oil pastels! We particularly love neon pastels - they are bright and color so smoothly, and show up so well on black paper. We love to draw on watercolor paper and paint over top with liquid watercolors. We even use them to draw on sandpaper sometimes!
Rainbow tape is a more recent addition to our art shelf and I love it because the possibilities are endless! Use it to tape designs on thick paper and peel off to reveal the design, make collages, hang up artwork, decorate cardboard… so many options!!
What is painting without paint brushes and paper? Here are our top recommendations for all the little extras that make art creation easier!
We've been using this Melissa and Dough easel paper for years - on the easel, taped to the table, inside, outside, upside down!
We recently added these paint cups to our art sessions and I love them because they contain the paint mess so well! Before we had the fancy cups, I'd put paint in a recycled plastic egg carto or a muffin tray. We love using these paintbrushes for little hands and these paintbrushes for older kids!