Brighten up the classroom with this beautiful sunshine process art project! This easy and beautiful art project is sure to make even the dreariest day sunny in the preschool classroom.
What is Process Art?
Process art is an activity that focuses on the “doing,” not the making. This can include painting, rolling, rubbing, crumbling, dripping, and more. Whatever they are doing as the process is more important than what they are making as a final product.
Preschoolers need practice with art skills, fine motor skills, and the ability to express themselves creatively. The problem that many teachers encounter is that they would like to have something to send home or display in the classroom. And while process art can be transformed into beautiful works of art, what the students are doing should always be the focus.
It’s Not About the Product!
When thinking about process art, it is not the final product that should be the goal. Yes, a cute picture or craft can make a cute present, but there is minimal learning when students merely recreate something the teacher has demonstrated.
The desire with process art is to have students engage in the process and create something that is uniquely their own. An easy way to spot the difference between process art and product art is that the student’s final product looks like a child did the work. It is not perfect. It does not reflect a mirror image of a sample shown at the beginning of the project. Some things to consider when planning a process art project:
- Focus on what skill the students need to learn.
- Are they learning how colors mix together? Present a primary colors painting project.
- Do they need fine motor practice or grip strength practice? Present a project that includes tongs or other small objects.
- Allow students to cut their own pieces or draw their own straight(ish) lines.
- Resist the urge to correct student work. If the lines are out of place, or the pieces are glued on crooked, that is okay! Each student’s art work will be unique and individual.
How-To Create a Sunshine Process Art Project
Engaging in a process art activity is a pathway to all kinds of learning. In this project, students explore color combinations, practice fine motor skills by dripping paint and using a paintbrush, and experience new sensory information through squishing paint on a canvas.
- white cardboard cake rounds
- acrylic paint (red, orange, yellow & white)
- clear plastic wrap
- black construction paper
- paint brushes
- 2 oz. plastic paint bottles
Steps to Create Sunshine Process Art
- Cover the workspace with paper or plastic and lay a white cake round at each student’s place.
- Put red, orange, white, and yellow paints into small squeeze bottles.
- Allow students to drip paint around the cake round. It does not need to fill up the entire white area.
- Cover each student’s work with 2 pieces of clear plastic, wrapping it around the sides of the cake round.
- Place wrapped rounds back at students’ work area. Students push and squish on the plastic wrap to spread the paint around the board.
- Remove plastic wrap and allow the cake circle to dry.
- Glue dried rounds onto a piece of black cardstock paper. Students use paintbrushes or their fingers to add sun rays around the circle to complete the project.
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Learning Through Art
Remember, process art is not about the final product. It is truly about the process of how something is created. When these types of projects can be connected to a theme or unit, the learning continues through all facets of the day. Some other process art projects to consider:
- Create fridge-worthy art using a variety of techniques.
- Explore science concepts with Wind and Rain process art.
- Learn letters using Tape resist name art.
No matter the type of project, remember to highlight the process, not just the end product. Students will be more engaged, creative, and produce artwork that is uniquely theirs.
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