I checked the book, The Artful Parent by Jean Van't Hul from the library a couple of months ago and I was so inspired and moved by it that I began diving deep into the importance of process art for children. My little home library on children's art actually really grew and I have been reading voraciously on the topic. A lot of my creativity is being channeled into these projects and I'd like so much to share it with you all.
Usually I have three goals for Liam to accomplish every day. An art activity, a sensory activity, and to be engaged in a meaningful work activity for our home. Usually art is done in the mornings after breakfast, or it is done after nap. Sometimes Liam is really into it and activities can last up to an hour, and sometimes it can last about a minute. I try not to get discouraged when activities last a minute with two marks on the page and clean up for it lasts about twenty. It's about the process - not the product. It's about the experience I'm giving my child. I repeat that to myself when I get discouraged and it really helps.
Painting with a paint brush is a common activity. It has been so interesting to see Liam's grip change from a hammer grip to a modified pencil grip! Although painting with a paintbrush is a common activity here, it is often action art that really engages him.
Painting with cars was a big hit. We don't tend to buy plastic toys for him, I am a big fan of a few wooden toys. Once in a while though plastic toys make their way into our home as gifts or hand me downs, and they have actually found a place in our play during art. They are great because they wash so easily!
Q-tip pointillism was an activity from The Artful Parent. It's a great activity since most of the materials are already on hand.
Marble Art. Oh this activity. We must have done this activity at least twenty five times in the past two months. He just keeps asking for it! This activity engages so many different things. He is really into transferring with tongs, so developmentally, this is right on track with him. Rolling the marbles around with the cardboard box is extremely entertaining for this little guy. Oh I wish I could capture every smile and laugh that this experience has given!
Having Liam help to clean up after art is a big thing for me. I want him to associate clean up with the process of making art. A bucket of warm soapy water is always readied for him and then he helps me to rinse all of the materials used. Often times, it becomes a sensory game and water gets everywhere... but that's ok I remind myself. What is spilled water to the experience that my child is getting?
And last but not least, my personal favorite part. Documenting his work. A date, a note about the materials, and a small note about the process. We have a wire bound book used for a lot of his art, but also those art activities on loose bits of paper get housed in a container. I plan on making him an art portfolio for his birthday so we can all have an artifact of his art during his first year that we really started doing art.
Do you do art with your children? I would love to hear about it!