Spring is a fantastic time to discuss flowers and plants. Painting with flowers is a great way to engage preschoolers in process art while giving them a chance to experience some natural elements. And, as a bonus, it’s simple and the results are beautiful!
Painting with Flowers
Setting Up the Materials:
- Paper plates
- tempera paints
- white carnations (or any other flower that is inexpensive)
- Plenty of sturdy paper for painting on
Yes, that’s really it. First, put a puddle of a single color of paint on some of the paper plates. You can put out many colors or all from a single family of colors, or fit it to a holiday such as Valentine’s Day.
Next, trim the flowers so that only a little of the stem is sticking up as a handle. Too much stem is awkward to use and makes the flowers fall over, while too little will have them fall apart. A couple of inches should be plenty. Dip the flower in the paint.
Ready, set, PAINT!
Some children will need a demonstration on how to use these interesting new “brushes.” Others will dive right in. There is no wrong way to paint with flowers!
Some children will stamp…
…Others will brush like a traditional brush…
…And some will combine the two different techniques and may even surprise you with more for a unique look all their own! In the painting below, the student opted to roll the side of his flower down the middle of the painting.
It is important to encourage creativity at this age. Process art is just that – enjoying the process itself, with a finished product being a lovely bonus at the end. Display your class’s beautiful artwork from painting with flowers, or give them as a gift to their parents!
Cleanup is usually a breeze too. Sadly, the flowers are not salvageable, but it is worth it for the experience.
Why is process art important for children?
Children learn through exploration, play, and open-ended activities.
Process art fits in with how children learn because it allows them to freely make choices without worrying about the end result. Children make their own decisions and just create! It can occupy some students endlessly, while others will shrug and walk away. That is OK!
Allowing independent choice is the key; the benefits are amazing. Students who are involved in process art have better self-regulation skills, higher self-esteem from doing it all by themselves, and they find a way to express themselves even if they don’t quite have the words. It also involves planning (where will I put this orange paint?), problem-solving (I dripped over that part, so how do I fix it?), and comparison (I like it better now that I added orange paint to it.) Process art is also absolutely just FUN!