I remember that for my son’s 1st birthday, his Yiayia (grandma) gave him this fantastic, custom canvas tote + it was full of art supplies. I thought it was such a great idea, but to be totally honest, we didn’t do much with it. For a really long time.
I wasn’t thrilled about the mess. I really related to Peppa Pig’s parents’ dread of glitter. TBH, I honestly didn’t want to go about planning elaborate projects just to have my son be disinterested or come up with a product that looked nothing like the intended outcome.
Little by little, we tried things here + there. I started to realize that the mess was manageable when I was able to set up the right environment (think floor protection, smock, tray, etc.) to ensure that my anxiety over mess management was minimized + the fun of the process was felt by everyone involved.
Introducing new materials little by little not only was more cost-effective but allowed my kids to learn how to use our art resources responsibly so that they would last + the mess became virtually non-existent.
I also discovered the incredible importance of starting small. Introducing new materials little by little not only was more cost-effective but allowed my kids to learn how to use our art resources responsibly so that they would last + the mess became virtually non-existent (I seriously hardly use our floor mat or smocks anymore because they’re so good about using our materials responsibly).
But most importantly, I learned that art is not about what you make. When I started to pay attention to my kids’ art classes at the community center or things art educators were posting online, I realized that it’s all about the process.
Once I started breaking it down, I realized art is about making it your own, working both in + outside of your comfort zone, exploring emotion, + empowering your own self-confidence.
Then to further it all, as I thought through how my kids were benefitting from the process, I was blown away by how much they were gaining:
DEVELOPING FINE-MOTOR STRENGTH + DEXTERITY:
These are precursors to good pencil grip + letter formation
LEARNING TO BOUNCE BACK FROM MISTAKES:
Mistakes are inevitable, building resilient mindsets around this are key to successful individuals
FLEXIBLE PROBLEM SOLVING:
Developing flexibility when things don’t go as planned are huge in working through problems + still achieving an end goal
Thinking ahead about what you want to do is important in developing skills in organization + time management
Super important for literacy + math development—both concepts involve many kinds of patterns!
Important for early literacy development as we move left to right across a page.
WORKING ACROSS THE MIDLINE:
Moving your arms across your body (i.e., using your right hand to draw something on the left side of your canvas) is incredibly important to developing body awareness + core strength.
So now that you know why you should look to integrate process art into your home, let’s talk about how to make that happen:
Even if you have a great selection of resources, don’t set everything out at once. This can be over-stimulating for the kids if they aren’t familiar with the materials + is sure to overwhelm you.
Instead, introduce one or two new resources at a time. This allows your child to really explore them in-depth + learn what your expectations are. Gradually, you can add in more materials while also having the confidence that your kids know how to use them + use them well.
Remember: Process art is about process—not product! Start with an idea or just put out some supplies. See what happens!
Don’t feel as if you have to start with an amazing art-supply collection. We started small + as the kids’ interest developed, we added more supplies. This saves money + sanity! I often suggest art supplies as great gifts for birthdays + holidays—grandparents, in particular, love to contribute to the collection. You can also take advantage of coupons from craft stores like Michaels or JoAnn that often offer 40% off or more. There’s no need to pay full price if you can be patient in building up the collection over time.
Here are the top 10 resources I think you’d love to get started with:
1. Watercolor Kit / 2. Poster Paint Pods / 3. Art Journals / 4. Dot Markers /
5. Model Magic Clay / 6. Colored Cardstock / 7. Letter + Number Stamps /
8. Art Palettes / 9. Beading Kit / 10. Tempera Paint Sticks
In case you’re looking for even more resources, head to the blog shop for tons of additional process-art resources that your family might enjoy!
But before you head to the shop, don’t forget to get your quick start guide below! Fill out the form so that all of my future blog posts + downloads land directly in your inbox (no more forms to fill out to get your access)!
When you try these activities or use the supplies you get, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @BecauseOfJericho because I love to see how these ideas are making a difference in your home!
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