Over the next few weeks many families are enjoying time off from school and work, or gathering at the homes of friends and relatives. This is a unique time of year when the weather might keep us indoors and holiday craft ideas abound. But, what if you don't have access to the cute and special items for that "just right" craft activity? Or, what if your child doesn't quite have the fine motor skills required to replicate the project? Enter process art!
Process art activities focus on the act of creating and not the end product. There is no pressure to imitate or reproduce an already completed piece. While children experiment with different materials they are also building their ability to use scissors and writing tools, think symbolically, and talk about their work. Caregivers can encourage children by asking open-ended questions about what they are doing, or compliment children for their choice of colors, textures, or shapes. Making enthusiastic observations about a child's work also helps build vocabulary.
Your home already has materials your child can use for creative exploration. Consider paper or cardboard that might otherwise go to the recycling bin, odds and ends of gift wrap, or the tubes it was rolled on. Scraps of fabric from clothing that is outgrown or worn can add dimension to a collage or sculpture. Besides paint brushes and fingers, household items like sponges, cotton swabs, or cotton balls can be used to apply paint. I remember my mother standing at the stove making paste for my kindergarten class. If you have flour and water, you can make your own glue! There are many recipes for home-made paint using kitchen staples. Our Visual Arts, Painting, and Sculpture resource guide can help you find more ideas to boost your child's creative confidence and give you lots of things to talk about and share.