If your child is painting using bubble wrap and bath poufs, it means you understand what process art is and how important it is for your child’s development. Offering your child an opportunity to experience the sticky, gooey sensorial feeling involved when using clay, finger paints, coloured glue, and paper strips without requiring an end result, puts the child on the path of exploration, creativity, and cognitive learning.
In 1968, Robert Morris invented the term ‘process art’ when he experimented with soft felt and saw how gravity and stress affected it. His Anti-Form or Post-Minimalist art was achieved by a simple process of drop and cut. That’s why if you look at it, you will see an unevenly arranged pile of felt scraps that is on the floor of New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Through his work, you will know that process art does not conform to anything. It makes the finished product irrelevant because what truly matters is the process of creating it.
The many benefits of process art
Process art strengthens a child’s emotional and social health. It reinforces skills such as focus and relaxation, and even improves self-esteem and emotional sharing. It also builds specific cognitive skills such as planning, comparing, and problem-solving. Moreover, process art encourages the child’s development of motor skills such as cutting, gluing and painting. It further contributes to their language and verbal expression when they explain their work to you.
The child, however, doesn’t care about the finished product. All they care about is that they were given the freedom to create something that means more to them. In the process, they’ll get sticky fingers, and they’ll make a mess. For that reason, they might need more time than necessary. Nevertheless, you’ll have a child who’s very excited to show off and tell you stories about what they created.
The role you play in the process of the art experience
There are strict rules you must follow if you want your child to engage in process art. Of course, you can send them to a place that offers process art activities. However, if you’re going to do it by yourself, you have strict rules to follow to immerse the child into process art properly.
1. Don’t force the child to make something familiar.
2. Don’t give them anything to copy.
3. Don’t ask, “What is it?”
4. Provide unlimited art materials and even objects not typically used in art.
5. Don’t discourage the child from trying out their ideas unless it’s dangerous.
6. Let the child decide what they want to do with the finished product.
7. Make sure the process art is fun and stress-free.
You can incorporate music while your child is in process art to create a fun and stress-free environment for them. Allow your child to move around the creative space. Don’t force them to finish the work in one seating. Let them come and go as they please. In process art, there are no fast and hard rules that your child has to follow. Let your child get sticky fingers and witness how all these help in your child’s development.
If you want to get your child into arts and crafts, get in touch with Treehaus Teahaus to see how we can help!