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Process Art for Preschoolers

Today I am back to share why we focus on process art in the preschool age. Last time, we talked about process art with your littlest of learners (toddlers) and you can find that here . If you want to really understand why process art is a better route than craft projects at this age, I would direct you to that previous post as it is laid out pretty well there. Rather than sharing the same things again, in this post I will be focusing on what is different about the Little Kid Program and the Preschool Program and how we continue process art but add some instruction, examples, and more in depth projects at this age.

While preschoolers are still quite young and still developing in so many ways, they really are at the perfect age to explore multi-step processes, begin following directions, and learning to use tools in new ways. In our Preschool Program here at Creative Play Studio, our class time is a little bit longer and we also add in a teacher led project in addition to the free exploring of process art stations. We want to begin teaching kids to use new materials, to understand colors and shapes, and we love to teach a process and watch to see what it can become. We do all of this while still keeping our philosophy of process not product.

I work hard to plan projects that allow kids to explore a technique that I taught and turn it into something Mom and Dad can be excited to hang on the fridge. I try to avoid step by step instructions or using phrases such as "put this here" because I still want your preschoolers to have control over their creative process.

Many of our projects turn a process into a final piece such as these Watercolor Salt Mittens. We explored and created using the method of painting with watercolor and sprinkling on salt while it was still wet. We took the process which could have just been a sheet of paper like this...

And turned it into a beautiful project that is fridge worthy when they go home. By giving them a precut shape to explore the art process on, we were able to create these beautiful winter mittens and continue our lesson on cool colors. And guess what, not a single finished product looked like the next and that's my favorite part!

I really want my program to be a focus on the fun and exploration side of art rather than make kids follow a set of steps just perfectly in order to end up with a picture perfect end result. I will never tell a child where to place googly eyes or how many to use; that is their creative process and at this age, the worst thing we can do is squash it by telling them no in the middle of a process. In the photo below you can see two different mixed media collage turkeys we did back in November. One child made the face just so and the other decided that 2 beaks was necessary! Both are beautiful and show each child's creative process and style!

So the big idea here is that our Preschool Program includes a project but it still follows the focus of process over product. I include some more instruction of more advanced techniques and we also spend a portion of class teaching about a concept whether it be colors, shapes, artists, art mediums or techniques, or other elements of art. I want your kids to have fun and to start learning some art education in this program too!

I hope you come join us for a class because we have just so much fun at this level!!

- Taylor

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