Process art allows preschoolers the flexibility to experiment and explore, instead of creating a cookie-cutter Valentine craft. Try these sparkly, Valentines Day process art collages this February.
Easy Process Art Activity for Valentine’s Day
You can never have too many process art ideas when you’re a preschool teacher.
I know it is hard to “fit all the things” into a day of teaching, but I try to include a preschool art activity at least once a week. And with the holidays, we do even more. More painted hearts. More heart shaped tissue collages. Just more Valentine process art projects in general.
Watching the process of a bunch of preschoolers making art is incredible! While it may look like “just play” or “just art” to the untrained eye, preschoolers gain so much from the sensory experience.
Many preschoolers are actually quite deliberate in their art making. They can be very methodical and intentional. Recently we made process art winter paintings, so with Valentine’s Day approaching it is only appropriate that we create these Valentine collages as part of our preschool lesson plans.
FAQ About Doing Process Art with Preschoolers
By definition, process art emphasizes the act and process of making art over the product produced. It is open-ended, self-motivated and based on experience and experimenting. Characteristics of process art include:
> no specified outcome
> no step-by-step directions
> no sample for children to follow
> work is entirely of the children’s own choice, both in product and whether or not to participate
True process art is simply allowing children a range of materials to use and allowing them to create at their own cares and whims. Ideas for inspiration can be posted, however process art is not about the outcome, but rather the intent of the creator.
Here are some fun process art ideas to get you started:
> paint and an atypical “paintbrush” like a comb or using string
> oil and water paintings
> magazine collages
> glue resist paintings
> cellophane collages on sticky tagboard
Check out all my process art ideas for toddlers and preschoolers here.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) touts Process Art as highly developmentally appropriate for the preschool classroom. Some benefit of process art includes:
> nurturing social and emotional health
> reinforcing skills like focus, relaxation, and emotional sharing
> inspiring creativity and problem solving
> builds cognitive skills like comparison, planning, and problem solving
> encourages vocabulary development and verbal expression of language
Related Preschool Art Activities
Sparkly Art Project for Valentine’s Day
If you’re looking for Valentine’s Day art ideas, you’re in the right place. These Valentine collages have layers and layers of interesting elements all wrapped up in true process art, which is so incredibly beneficial to preschoolers.
- sponges for painting, cut into 1 inch squares
- washable tempura paint
- heavy card stock
- white liquid school glue
- tissue paper
- foam heart stickers
- adhesive rhinestones
- glitter glue
- anything else you find fitting…sequins, yarn, buttons, fabric scraps…anything, really
Anything, you ask? Truth be told, often times when I present my preschoolers with a process art activity, I have put little thought into what kind of process art it should be. That would defeat the purpose of the art being process based, right?
Instead, I look at all our art supplies, and I sift through my Valentine’s preschool theme box of supplies, and I just pull out 3-6 different supplies that seem like they would make interesting art. And of course, items that would pique the students’ interest to get creative.
How to Make the Valentine Art
While this activity is process based, it can be done in steps to create layers, which is how I will demonstrate it here, since it’s how I presented it to my preschoolers. I believe there are benefits to teaching preschoolers multi-step processes and then letting them create as they please.
Start by Painting the Base Layer
Present your preschooler with a paper plate of three colors of paint. In light of Valentine’s Day, we used white, red, and purple. Offer one sponge piece per color of paint, and then invite your preschooler to use the sponge to “paint” on the card stock.
Add Tissue Paper
Without waiting for the paint to dry, squeeze on some liquid school glue. Kinda’ haphazard, if you’d like.
Add tissue paper. The tissue paper is really cool because you can see through it to the textured paint underneath. Preschoolers might crumple their tissue paper, or fold it, or lay it flat. Or they might not choose to add any at all.
Then Add Embellishments
The two layers that have been created in the art project so far create colorful and textural interest. It adds depth.
Now it’s time to add the embellishments. For us, these included:
Other items that could be included are things like yarn, buttons, fabric scraps, pom poms, torn pieces of scrapbook paper…you name it. Whatever you have, all your preschoolers to try.
Don’t Forget Children’s Books for Valentine’s Day
The Finished Valentine Art Look
Once dry, your preschools will beam at the beautiful art work they created.
If you look closely, you can see how deliberate some of my students were in their art. Process art does not focus on the end product (although the end product is usually an awesome bonus), but it focuses on the creation. By offering process art in my preschool, I am providing students with a safe way to take risks in their explorations.
More Valentine’s Day Art Ideas
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.
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