Standing in line at the Post Office, I was reminded of this idea that I saw in The Artful Parent's awesome book. She neatly taped a row of different textured papers and other materials to a counter top for a group of kids to explore with art materials. When we got home, I pondered doing a similar thing for our afternoon invitation. In our home and with the age of our kids, the least restrictive, most open-ended art activities are always the most successful. To this aim, I took a variety of papers and a variety of art materials and laid them on the table in an attractive manner. After quiet time, I grabbed my cup of tea and sat back and watched.
Prepare a space for each child to work. We designate areas with a placemat. For a little extra protection, I also covered our table with an old curtain that we use for such purposes. Arrange cups of markers and other art materials for each child. Place different textured paper in a basket or other container. I also tore up little pieces of some of the paper and put it in little cups. (Mostly because our daughter has an obsession with little things at the moment).
This was set up as an invitation to create during our afternoon play time. They know that they can come and go from these invitations at the table as they wish.
Due to the intentionally process oriented nature of this activity, I did not give any directions or even offer an invitation like I do on other days. They took the reins entirely and the photo is an accurate portrayal of what they did for about 45 minutes. They were fascinated simply by drawing their favorite shape - circles - on different paper. Tissue paper was their favorite, possibly because it was the least known material.
At the end of our play time, they helped move the art materials back to the shelf. I gathered the un-used paper and put it in the basket on the shelf for further exploration. The used paper I mostly recycled. Typically they tell me if they want to give something to someone or want to hang it on our art wall - otherwise it is usually discarded. How do others deal with their child's process art? Do you throw it away? Do you save it?
Variety of Paper. We used;
Tissue Paper (Variety of plain and designs)
Butcher Paper (Cut into smaller pieces)
Recycled Magazine Paper
Markers or other drawing implements
*Try painting on different materials, such as Bubble Wrap
*Send a friend a packet of different paper and a note that invites they to enjoy an exploration.
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