‘Tis the season for jingle bells and sleighs in preschool, and these Christmas paintings are perfect for young toddlers as well as preschoolers. Christmas art is something that students, parents and teachers cherish. It is a special time of year to have special art made by children. This is Christmas process art at its best.
Christmas Process Art for Preschoolers
Let me preface this post with a small disclaimer:
As a mother of five kids, and four of them being boys, glitter doesn’t bother me one bit. I mean, my house gets filled with all sorts of other messy things like black mud made from my potting soil, stinky socks on my kitchen counter, or spilled bird seed from my recently bird-obsessed kindergarten aged son.
Although my house may smell like sweet baby oil when we get out the cloud dough, it was way more difficult to clean up than glitter and my kitchen floor becomes so slick! (That doesn’t bother my boys either, and the next thing I know my kitchen floor is an ice skating rink and my boys are slipping and sliding all over the place).
Plus, did I mention that glitter makes everything sparkle? Mud, bird seed, and cloud dough do not sparkle, which is unfortunate.
Anyway, these sparkly Christmas paintings are worth the hassle of glitter because they turn out so beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, that they make wonderful gifts for our little preschoolers to give to their loved ones for the holiday. I currently have three sitting on my fireplace mantle right now.
Each art piece uses the exact same materials, but since it is process art, they all turn out so differently. I love this little trio of Christmas art and my little boys love that I have displayed them in such a central place in our home.
How Christmas Process Art Makes Gifts
These Christmas process art canvases turn out so beautifully! It’s quick and easy to set up, requires minimal materials, but the end result has a big impact! We packaged these up with mini easels to give away as gifts for Christmas. Grandparents love kid-made Christmas gifts! We also love these Sparkly Winter Process Art Paintings, too!
And so do I, for that matter. Way better than that cheap spatula the breaks the first time you make brownies. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. A kid-made gift has so much more personality and longevity than a spatula.
As with many process art activities, sometimes simplicity is key, and these only require a few materials.
- canvas board
- chunky glitter in red, green, and gold
- craft gems
- liquid glue
- tray or sheet pan (to catch the mess)
- easel for display (optional)
We used small canvas boards (size 5×7) for this project, but a larger 8×10 size would be stunning, and not much more expensive.
You can also do these paintings on heavy card stock. That’s what we used for our Sparkly Winter Process Art Paintings. But I do appreciate the stability of canvas.
Place canvas on a tray or sheet pan with small bowls of the red, green, and gold glitter to the side. The tray will catch most of the glitter mess. Set out some liquid school glue. Save the craft gems for later so that they don’t get covered in glitter in the process of creating. We added them after we were done making our canvases all sparkly with glitter.
How to Make Sparkly Christmas Paintings
Start by inviting your preschooler to squeeze the liquid glue on their canvas. When I introduced the materials to my boys, we talked about the different things we could do with the glue.
We could make lines or dots. The lines could be long and squiggly or straight. The dots could be small or like large blobs. This is an important part of the process, so try not to worry about “wasting” the glue. Just let your preschooler enjoy the freedom of using glue with restraint.
And don’t forget that squeezing the glue bottle is a great hand strengthening activity!
Once we had a fair amount of glue on our canvases, my boys started adding the glitter.
Now, have two choices in adding glitter. You can leave the glitter in its original container and have your preschooler sprinkle the glitter onto the glue, or you can put some in a bowl and they can add glitter one pinch at a time.
I prefer the latter because it forces the use of the pincer grasp needed for developing a mature pencil grip, but it also prevents “crazy shaking” which will most certainly result in glitter all over my house. Either approach has its merits, so choose the approach that works best for you.
Alternatively, if you are opposed to glitter, you can do this activity with food color dyed salt. It won’t be as sparkly, and you have will to dye the salt in advance, but it is a good alternative.
My boys worked in phases. They would add some glue, sprinkle it with glitter, and then add more glue and more glitter. This is also an important part of any Christmas process art activity. It allows preschoolers to view their work with a critical eye and act to make adjustments and additions.
When my boys were certain they were finished with the gluing and glittering, they added the craft gems. I purchased the adhesive kind, but honestly, I don’t find them to be very adhesive at all, so they added them atop the wet glue on their canvases.
Peeling the gems from their backing and sticking them to the canvas presented another fine motor piece. One of my boys added the gems to the glitter, while the other added them straight to the canvas.
The end result was a Christmas painting they were so proud of!
Another thing I love about these paintings is that since it is process art, preschoolers can do it as well as toddlers. My toddler aged son made one and while his gluing was more in blobs than lines, that is perfectly ok because this is a Christmas process art activity, not a Christmas craft!
Once dry, I displayed the canvases on mini easels.
Alternatively, you could also hot glue a little ribbon to the back so they can hang on the wall.
More Process Art for Preschoolers
If you’re looking for more process art activities for preschoolers, you might also find these of interest.
FREE Christmas Printables for Preschoolers
If you’re looking for some free Christmas printables to add to your preschool lesson planning, you will like these.
Also, take a look at my Christmas Activity Pack, too!
These are tested by my own kids and preschoolers. Just click the image below to see the post.
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.