Want to help your kiddos access their creative side? It’s all about having the right process art supplies on hand. Grab what you need using our printable process art supplies checklist, then start in on this collection of process art ideas for toddlers (and older kids too!).
We are borderline obsessed with process art activities for kids around here, for two primary reasons.
First of all, it’s the most developmentally appropriate way to help kids develop creativity, work on fine motor skills, and help them to release any sense of perfectionism.
But honestly, even if you forget all of that, we’d still be into it. Because honestly, it’s THE laziest way to get your kids more involved in the arts.
I mean, have you seen some of the crafts moms are prepping over on Pinterest? They are adorable, yeah, and if you love it- do you.
We don’t love it. So we take the lazy-but-research-based approach to art by setting up process based art projects for our kids.
Once you get your process art toolkit in place, it becomes pretty darn easy to throw together an art project with about a minute’s worth of prep. Your kids will be mass-producing creative art projects before you know it.
And even though you were just trying to get some peace and quiet for one little hour, you’re gonna look like a SUPER good mom.
As Michael Scott from the office would say, that’s a Win-Win-Win-WIN situation.
So if you’re looking for the supplies to set up a process based art toolkit for you kids, we’ve got some materials for you to try. You can go big and buy all of these at once (helllllooooo Christmas gift for toddlers!) or buy them here and there as you see them.
Find our favorite process based art supplies below!
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What Does Process Art for Kids Look Like?
If you’re new to process based art for kids, you might be wondering what the heck the difference is. In short: product based art starts with an outcome in mind, like having the kids make a bumble bee or a flower.
Process based art, however, is all about, well, the process. It’s not about what it looks like in the end. It’s about the making, the creativity, and the experimentation.
So process art generally means setting your kids up with some supplies (we find new and unusualy supplies go over best!) and letting them do their own thing.
There may be some skill instruction with new tools and the like, or giving them a demonstration, but otherwise kids are free to create on their own.
What Process Art Supplies Do You Need to Get Started?
All of the process art supplies listed below are just ideas. You certainly don’t need them all, and definitely not all at once!
These are just some supplies we put out to help get the kids interested in art, and allow them to experiment with art in many different ways.
Basic Process Art Supplies to Start With
- Pots of Paint
- Bottled Glue
- Paper (This watercolor paper is great, but plain printer paper works too!)
- Construction Paper
How to Save Money on Process Art Supplies
Don’t let this list overwhelm you! No single one of these things are crucial to your child’s development.
Are they fun? Sure! Will the lack of Kwik Stix in their life affect their achievement of milestones? That’s a big no.
Stock up slowly, over time. Shop back to school sales (especially at Walmart!) and the Dollar Tree. We regularly find paint, chalk, markers, and all kinds of goodies at Dollar Stores, making it a great place to start.
Other than that, I have stocked up slowly over time. I try to buy one new process art supply each month (replace paint, or buy a new tool) to keep our art time fresh.
Art Supplies to Add to Your Process Art Stash
A Variety of Media
- Liquid Watercolors
- Oil Pastels
- Dot Markers
- Kwik Stix Paint Sticks (AMAZING for Cardboard!)
- Glitter Paints
Best Adhesives for Process Art
These supplies are almost all available at the grocery store, so I’m not going to even bother with the Amazon link examples!
- Baking Soda
- Homemade Playdough
- Food Coloring
- Corn starch (like for our lavender sensory playdough)
Process Art Tools for Kids
- Playdough Tools
- Foam Brushes
- Kid-Friendly Sewing Needles – Great for leaf “necklaces,” stringing beads, and felt crafts
- Small spray bottles
A Variety of Surfaces to Make Art On
- Bubble Wrap
- Egg Cartons
- Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Tubes
- Cardboard Boxes
Grab a printable version of our process art supplies checklist here by joining our subscriber list!
Process Art Ideas for Toddlers (and Up)
So you’ve gathered the supplies…what are you going to do with them? Check out these fun (and low set up!) process art ideas for toddlers.
Painting Process Art Activities
- Squeeze Paint Splatter Art- This one is FUN. Fill pastry bags with paint, and let kids squeeze to their heart’s content. (Be warned- this one will take forever to dry!)
- Spinning Top “Fireworks”– Globs of paint, and a spinning top make for a fun process art idea (make sure to do this one in a pan with a lid, or in the bottom of a storage container)
- Jackson Pollock Inspired Blow Art– Use a paint and a straw to create beautiful, Jackson Pollock Inspired art (that you’ll actually want to hang on the wall!)
- Foil Painting– Using Q tips as paintbrushes, kids can paint tin foil in any designs they choose.
- Cookie Cutter Stamps– Grab some cookie cutters and a shallow dish of paint, and let your toddlers stamp a card for a friend or family member.
Process Art Using Other Media
- Pop Art Cardboard and Paint Stick Flowers– Kids tinker with paper, markers, and paint sticks to create pop art flowers.
- Shape Stamp Mixed Media Collages– Using scraps of paper and homemade stamps, kids make their own collages using a variety of fun materials.
- Tape Resist Paint Stick Art– This one lets little make designs, with a fun hidden initial after. And the best part? No mess!
- Paintless “Watercolor” Prints– Using a ziploc bag and markers, kids can make imitation watercolor prints (without the paint mess!)
Recycled Materials Process Art
- Bubble Wrap Roller Art– Wrap a little rolling pin with bubble wrap, add a few drops of paint, and see how gorgeous this one turns out!
- Bubble Wrap Stomp Art– Wrap those little toes in bubble wrap and let them stomp around (DO THIS ONE OUTSIDE, FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!)
- Recyclables Paintable Wall– Glue tubes, packages, and boxes to a large sheet of cardboard and let kiddos paint to their heart’s content (this one gets you cool-mom cred, for sure)
- Bubble Wrap Prints– Paint bubble wrap, then use it to make pretty little prints.
- Bunch o Balloons Process Art– Use the plastic filler from your Bunch O Balloons as an alternative to a paintbrush.
- Melted Crayon Shavings Bookmarks– Use up those broken crayon bits to make these gorgeous, giftable little bookmarks.
Unconventional Process Art Ideas for Toddlers
- Paint Filled Eggshell Art -Kids throw paint-filled eggshells at a large paper backdrop to make messy-fun art
- Splat Sponge Painting– Using paint filled sponges, and a variety of “splatting” tools, kids can make hands-on process art they’re going to LOVE.
- Water Balloon Stamp Prints– Use water balloons as stamps to make process art (or fun little ice cream cones!)
- Bubble Painting– A little food coloring can level up your bubbles from a fun outdoor activity to a process art project.
- Muddy Truck Process Art– Drive your cars and trucks through brown paint, then make lots of crazy car tracks on paper!
Nature Themed Process Art
- Smashed Nature Art– Kids make a speedy (and gorgeous!) version of pressed flowers, leaves, and other natural materials.
- Nature Made Paintbrushes– Use natural materials to make your own paintbrushes in this fun process art idea for toddlers.
Process Art with Household Ingredients
- Raised Salt Watercolor Painting– Kids play with pattern, texture, and color in this art project using glue, salt, and watercolor paints.
- Salt Dough Cut Outs– Mix, cut out, and paint adorable Salt Dough Ornaments or trinkets using the shapes of your choice.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar Process Art– Kids LOVE this fizzy fun process art, with some STEM experiences thrown in there, too.
- Marbled Shaving Cream Prints– This messy-clean process art idea for toddlers will have them swirling, pressing, and making pretty little prints.
- Edible Yogurt Fingerpaint– This is a perfect first art project for toddlers! Fully edible, and lots of creative fun.
So grab your process art supplies and get ready to enjoy some (or all!) of these easy process art ideas for toddlers. We bet your kids will love them as much as ours have!
And don’t forget to snag your printable process art supplies checklist!
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