5 Ideas for Process Art

Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s the process not the product?” That perfectly sums up process based art!

Instead of focusing on every child making the same cookie cutter craft project, each child is able to manipulate art materials to create what they want.
I’m sharing 5 ideas for process art that range from no adult prompting to creating simple invitations to create.

5 Ideals for Process Art

1. Let your child raid the art cupboard.

Allow your child to decide which art supplies they want to use, how they want to use them, and resist the urge to tell them, “No!” You might be pleasantly surprised by what they create, the stories they tell, and how proud they are of their work when they’re done. This can be a messy process, but it’s the perfect opportunity to teach your child about helping to clean up their messes.

5 Ideas for Process Art

2. Set out favorite materials with a prompt.

My girls adore simple markers and paper and they have access to them at all times. Setting out the materials for them and asking them to draw you something, like their favorite animal, will force them to think about what you just asked for and open their minds to how they want to create that image with the materials that you’ve provided them. Even if the children have the same favorite animal, their pictures are sure to be as different as the children themselves!

5 Ideas for Process Art

3. Set up half an invitation to create.

Set out one material and allow your child to choose what else to add to the equation. For example, tape contact paper (sticky side up) onto a table or wall and let the child decide what to stick to the contact paper.

5 Ideas for Process Art

4. Set up a full invitation to create.

Simple invitations to create are especially helpful when you need to do something else, like make dinner, and don’t want to park the kids in front of the TV. Set up the easel with paint and paper, make a collage making station with bits of paper and glue, if you’re making dinner, try setting out some veggie scraps to paint with. Keep it simple by setting out only a few materials and see what your child creates!

5 Ideas for Process Art

5. Set out doughs!

Doughs are wonderful for sculpting with and there are tons of options out there. If you don’t have time to make your own play dough a quick search will give you results for several two ingredient doughs, using ingredients you probably already have! Try setting out the dough by itself, then with fun items like cookie cutters and sequins, and if you’re up for it, try setting up a whole play dough creation station!

About Aleacia

Aleacia is a stay at home mom to two amazing little girls. You can find them getting messy and having fun with art at Dilly-Dali Art. She loves cooking, taking pictures, gardening, hiking the mountains of North Carolina, and drinking coffee, all of which you can read about at I’m Bloggin’ where she also posts about homeschooling her children.


  1. I love the painting with celery one! What a great idea! Thanks!

  2. I never thought to set out vegetable scraps before to use as a tool! Thanks for the idea!


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