Those of you who have been following the blog for some time know that we tend to offer art activities closer to the process end of the spectrum most of the time. (Sometimes we do craft.....) I saw a great activity on Pinterest where the art students drew with permanent markers and then used watercolor paints to color over the drawing- the process was fantastic- and the product looks AMAZING too! (Note- the pin I found was used with much older children and I did not wish to give as much direction,- but I liked the idea of mixing the two medias).
So, I set out some markers and freshly made homemade watercolors. (You can find the recipe for those in this post- we make ours with Kool-Aid so that they are vibrant and scented! AND YES- they do bubble like crazy when you make them. It is the reaction of the acids and bases you are mixing)
Like any of our projects- I staged the environment by providing specific materials for the children- HOWEVER, they were not limited to those materials. Children were capable and gathered the additional supplies or asked for what they needed. (You can see how we have our art area set up here- supplies are readily available and accessible to the children at all times).
One child wanted crayons and opted to draw with crayons. Another child just wanted to paint. Yet another wanted to see what would happen if you used regular markers. Some of the children used big paper- some used white- some used colors- some even painted on paper plates. This is what process art is all about- choice and children having the time and access to the resources that they choose to use in a manor that is not predetermined.
Now- I know some of you are asking- because I get this ALL of the time- How do you do it with mixed ages? Well, while some of the older children worked quite independently on the shared space of the table, I set up some smaller work stations for our younger friends with these portable lap table/easels. (I know some of you are going to want to know where to get these... I bought them years ago on clearance for $3 each! I don't think you can find them any more, but you could use a table tray instead).
Younger children sometimes need to have their own space. They do not yet understand that the other children do not want them to make marks on their paper or in some cases- they just want their own space and do not want to be overwhelmed by the shared space.
Not all of the children in our care always participate in every activity. We do not have a prescribed "art time." The children choose to participate if and when they would like. While some of the children were painting, others were building with blocks and racing with cars. Some of the youngest children were napping or enjoying some tummy time close by.
What kind of process art have you been doing lately?