Helping Children Express Creativity through Art
Published on: January 13, 2020
Process art is an artistic journey where, from an early age, a child learns to think outside the box and express their own creativity. It is also great for parents who want to spend quality time to bond with their kids.
By Ploithip A. Chaisuparakul
Children are born with curiosity and instinct. These two are the perfect qualities for kids to learn. But what kind of activities should parents like us offer to help our children explore and be creative?
To encourage creativity, parents must invite kids to create. Just like an invitation to a party, the card must look nice, the party must have some music, juice, and interesting decorations.
Once kids have entered the party they must enjoy it in their own way and feel comfortable in the space. When the party’s over they will remember it because they had so much fun and will want to go back.
Process art is an artistic movement where we focus on the process of making art rather than giving importance to the actual product.
What I want to say is: it is all about “experience.” If they had a good first impression, they will want to do it again.
Most of us parents forget this point because sometimes we think it is our “job” or our “duty.”
How about focussing more on good family memories and childhood experiences? Creativity will be so much fun and exciting!
Now that you know the trick to encourage creativity, it is time to choose activities. This is where process art comes in.
What is process art all about?
Process art is an artistic movement where we focus on the process of making art rather than giving importance to the finished product.
The kids will have a good time making art rather than worrying about the beauty of the artwork. Of course, having a nice, beautiful art piece at the end is a plus, but it’s not our main focus when using process art to encourage creativity in children.
For me, process art is “chance”.
- A chance for kids to color outside the lines (and sometimes outside the paper too!).
- A chance to draw a house without having a square or a triangle.
- A chance for kids to use new tools like their own fingers, their feet, or their toys to paint.
- A chance to listen to instruction and try out by themselves in their own way.
- A chance to think not only out of the box but also upside down.
- A chance to be brave and create something new and one of a kind.
- A chance to get dirty, messy, and most importantly, to have fun!
Process art is the best practice for introducing art to children as young as one year old. It was started by adults, so process art is perfect for everyone!
How can I introduce my kids to process art?
The next question that you might have in mind is “how can I start introducing process art to my kids?”
It is very easy. What you need is a lovely corner of your house or outside in the garden.
Brush & paints
I gave my 15-month old son Theo a kitchen brush (make sure the grip is big enough) and some tempera paint.
Then, I taught him the concept of “dip and paint” a couple of times. After that, he could paint by himself.
He enjoys seeing the brush lines and vibrant colors on the paper. Sometimes, we use leftover vegetables to play stamp and roll.
For older kids (4-6 yrs), you can start with chalk. Chalk is my favorite medium — I love it because it’s easy to find, cheap, and fun to play with.
Kids will have a chance to smudge the lines, play with the colored dust, and see what can happen when they dip them into the water! So many creative things can happen with chalk.
This is the beauty of process art which is the trials (no errors) that kids will experience by themselves. Don’t worry about the end artwork. The beauty doesn’t stay long on the paper, but it stays forever in your and your children’s memories.
All said, process art is a great way to begin an artistic journey for your kids because it emphasizes the experience (in this case, it’s also family quality time) more than the finished product.
Just give it a try together, and see how it goes.
Images courtesy of the author.
About the Author
Kru Ploy is the headteacher and director of Scrambled Art: Children Process Art Club. She established Scrambled Art in 2016 hoping to spread knowledge about process art to young children and parents in Thailand. She has merged child development, psychology, and process art to develop children’s skills. Kru Ploy also runs programs for kids with special needs. More information at www.scrambledart.com or LineID: @scrambled_art.
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