Process art is certainly a buzzword in early childhood education, and rightly so. Art for children should be free of adult-imposed constraints and expectations of a particular product. However, many teachers cringe at the idea of letting young children loose with paints, glue, glitter, and other art materials, fearing the disasters that could possibly ensue.
But process art doesn't have to leave a wake of mess for the teacher to clean up. (At least not every time!) Marble painting, a great example of process art, can be quite manageable for both young children and their caregivers. We found that the lids from office paper boxes make perfect trays for this activity, keeping the marbles, paint, and paper neatly contained. Putting the paint in squirty bottles also helps eliminate a lot of mess. (Keep in mind that marbles are a potential choking hazard so young children should be well-supervised during the activity. For very young children, golf balls are a safer alternative to marbles.)
Materials needed: washable paint, marbles, paper, cardboard box lids
1. Place the paper into the lid. Squirt small blobs of paint onto the paper.
2. Place several marbles onto the paper. Hold the box lid by the sides and gently tip back and forth. The marbles will roll through the paint creating unique lines and patterns.
3. Continue until most of the paper has been covered with paint. Remove paper from box and dry.
4. That's the marble printing part, but you don't need to stop there. Once the paint has dried, there are countless ways to use the beautifully patterned paper. We created a fish collage, but really it's up to the imaginations and creativity of the little artists!