When I first looked for inspiration for the arts and crafts month of our parenting challenge, I focused more on craft projects and the art activities were only about some simple painting or drawing. But one day I discovered some process art ideas for kids and I loved them! I was amazed how many possibilities we have for creating art projects for young children and I knew that I wanted to try them with Bogdan! I gathered a list with a lot of process art ideas for kids and I want to share with you my favorite ones, maybe you’ll want to try them too!
A process art project is basically an art project where the focus is set on the process and not on the result. For example, when a child creates a craft usually he follows a tutorial (or the parent’s instructions) and he is focused on the final result. On the other hand, when a child is involved in a process art project, he focuses on the way he creates his artwork and the result is different every time. The most important thing about process art is learning the kids to enjoy the creative process and to let their creativity guide them during the activity. My son likes the freedom he has during these projects and I feel that he enjoys them much more than the crafting projects. I think that process art is a wonderful way to introduce a child into art, allowing him to enjoy different materials and techniques in a playful way!
If you also like the idea, here are some process art ideas for kids, all of them are easy to prepare and bring a lot of fun for the children! (you can also find some pictures of the projects on the Pinterest board at the end of the article)
Download our list of "25 Boredom Busters for Young Kids"!
Join our community and receive our list of low or no-prep activities that young kids will enjoy! You will also get access to our exclusive printable collection with a lot of other resources for parents.
Process art ideas for kids: projects that only require items you already have in the house
One of the things that most discourage me when it comes to art projects is the fact that they require using some materials that I don’t have on hand. Usually, I save the idea somewhere with the intention of trying it later, but I often forget about it and we lose that opportunity. This is why I’m very glad when I discover projects that don’t require me to buy new supplies. These are 9 great ideas that only require items you already have in the house and are really easy to prepare, I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.
1. Symmetry Squish Painting
I remember that I used to make this kind of art projects when I was a child, they are fun and they don’t require any preparation. You only need white paper and paint and you can create a lot of nice paintings. You can find some ideas in this article: Symmetry Squish Painting.
2. Paint with cars and trucks
If you have a little boy in the house, you certainly also have a lot of cars and trucks around. Here is an idea for using them in a totally different way, for creating unique artworks: Painting with Trucks – Art for Kids.
3. Shaving cream art projects
Using shaving cream in art projects is an ingenious idea and it’s really easy to put into practice! You can find here a great shaving cream art project that captures all the colors of the rainbow: RAINBOW SHAVING CREAM MARBLED ART.
4. Crumpled Paper Art
This idea is a nice way to reinvent the normal painting activities. The kids have the chance to turn crumpled pieces of paper into colorful artwork and this is much more fun than simply painting on a paper. 🙂 Here is the tutorial that inspired us: Crumpled Paper Art for Kids.
5. Ice painting
Ice painting is so fun and can keep kids busy for a long time, so it’s great for parents too! 🙂 Here is an article about how to put this idea into practice: ICE PAINTING FOR KIDS.
6. Potato stamping
This is a classic process art activity that is easy to set up for the kids. If you don’t have potatoes at hand, you can also use apples or oranges. A useful tip for this activity is to teach your child to use a fork if the potato is too slippery; sticking a fork in it will make it easier to lift and press on the paper. Here is one of the ideas that I liked: POTATO STAMP LADYBUGS.
7. Rainbow rolling pin art
This project is easy and colorful, so I think that it’s great even for young children. If you have a rolling pin at hand you should try it! You can find all the details here: RAINBOW ROLLING PIN ART.
8. Spaghetti painting
You can use this project to keep the kids busy while you cook, it’s an activity that you can easily set in the kitchen and the fun is guaranteed! Here is the article where I first discovered this idea: Spaghetti sensory play.
Process art ideas for kids: projects that (a little) preparation
9. Nature paintbrushes
If you like walking in nature with your child, you will certainly like this project too! The idea is really simple: make paint brushes from nature and see what patterns you can create in your paintings. I discovered this idea here: Nature Paintbrushes.
10. Tape resist paint
I totally love this idea because it’s an easy way to create very nice artworks even for young children! You only need to stick some painter’s tape on the paper, allow your child to paint as he wants and then remove the tape and enjoy the unique painting! 🙂 Here is one nice idea to try: Inspirational Splatter Paint Art Project for Kids.
11. Painting with Bubble Wrap
This is a process art project that even babies can do and they will certainly enjoy it! You only need some bubble wrap and your child will be free to create a colorful artwork! Here are the details about how to prepare this activity: Sensory Stomp Painting with Bubble Wrap.
12. Dropper Painting
If you have a dropper and some food coloring at hand, this activity is very easy to prepare and can keep kids busy for a long time. The child will learn about the colors in a playful way and will develop some fine motor skills too. Check out this article for more details: Dropper Painting for Kids.
13. Bubble painting
I think that (almost) all young children like bubbles, so probably they will like this activity too! I found two nice ideas for painting with bubbles, they use different techniques but they are both really fun: Popped Bubble Art and Bubble Painting. Another idea that I liked is using soap pumps for an art project, you can find more details here: PAINTING WITH BUBBLES: SOAP PUMP BUBBLE PAINTING FOR KIDS
14. Painting with pom poms
If you still have some pom poms left from your craft projects, here is a nice idea for using them in a process art project: Paint with Pom Poms.
15. Yarn painting
Another idea that uses materials from craft projects for creating artworks is painting with yarn. You only need yarn and glue and some inspiration you can find here: YARN PAINTINGS: A FUN & TACTILE ART ACTIVITY FOR KIDS.
16. Ziplock painting
This is another idea that can be used for babies and toddlers too because it isn’t messy and it’s also a great sensory activity. Basically, you use a ziplock for mixing the colors without getting dirty and you get a really unique artwork at the end. Here are two ideas that we liked: The Mixed-Up Chameleon Paint Mixing Activity and Process Art for Kids Using Plastic Wrap and Watercolor Paint (it’s better to use a ziplock instead of a simple plastic wrap to avoid the mess, especially with young children).
17. Compass painting
If you have children that can safely use a compass, this is an easy and fun process art activity you should try: Compass Painting.
18. Ivory Soap painting
This is an idea that we haven’t tried yet because we don’t have an ivory soap yet, but it seems a great activity and I hope we will try it soon! The ivory soap creates some “puffy clouds” that are perfect for creating a sensory art play. Here is the complete tutorial: Sensory Art Play: Puffy Rainbow Clouds.
19. Sponge painting
The last activity on my list is very easy to prepare because you only need some sponges and clothespins and you’re all set! The kids can create some great artworks using little pieces of sponge instead of brushes, you can find all the details here: SPONGE PAINTING PROCESS ART.
You can find some of these ideas on my below Pinterest board, where I will add new projects as I discover them. I hope you’ll enjoy them too and you’ll try them with your kids!
Follow Raluca’s board on Pinterest.