I know it’s only April but I’m starting to gear up for summer and think about what my little girl crew is going to want to DO all day every day (arts and crafts). We usually swim as much as possible but if I’m being honest there are only so many swimming-with-four-kids-days I can handle each week since they aren’t all able to swim by themselves yet. For us, “process art summer camp” will be our cool thing at home. We can invite friends over to join in, work on things for weeks if we feel like it, and make a mess outside. Win win win!
Now obviously I’m always overflowing with ideas for art projects with my little kids- it’s a blessing and a curse truly, ha! But what do you do when you don’t have those ideas? All you need is a spark of inspiration and some supplies on hand and I promise you can have the most creative summer ever. I’m always surprised what kids can think to create almost entirely on their own with very little guidance and help from you. And if it gets too messy- just hose them down. No harm in that!
Preparing for process art creation:
These three books are some of my favorite go-to’s right now. I love the ideas they spark and how simple, approachable and cheap the projects are. You can work on them as they are presented or just show them to your kids and let them use the ideas as a jumping off point.
This beautiful book is a love letter to all things collage. Made in cooperation with the Eric Carle Museum, it’s filled with assemblage ideas for all that interesting paper we seem to collect. Shannon’s book teaches you how to create amazing collage materials and use ready made materials too. While we’re talking about Shannon, I’ve got to mention the Hatch Art Studio Instagram account as well. One of my favorites for process art inspiration!
Cardboard Creations – this book got me hooked on recycling cardboard! I seriously am a cardboard hoarder now and want to make all the cardboard art all the time. These cardboard art Christmas trees are our favorite project (maybe ever) but we’ve been loving it this spring too making all the cardboard chicks for spring too! We also LOVE making cardboard dollhouses. Hopefully my family forgives me for all the tripping over folded up boxes and flattened cardboard after we use it for process art summer camp projects. Haha! This book comes from the amazing artist and teacher behind Art Bar Blog.
Find your favorite process art inspiration!
Bar Rucci shares so many incredibly perfect ideas for process art with younger kids and I love all of it! Make sure you get on her newsletter list because every single one is FILLED TO THE BRIM with creative inspiration from all over the web. Probably my favorite newsletters ever.
Art Lab For Little Kids (can’t find our copy at the moment- kid thief. So I’ve pictured the original Art Lab book for now!)
I’m also super excited about Meri Cherry’s new book PLAY MAKE CREATE coming out in June. It’s available for preorder now and I’m already sure it’ll be worth it’s weight in gold. Meri Cherry’s blog is also filled with wonderful art ideas to turn your summer at home into a process Art summer camp wonderland!
If you don’t want to buy all these books see if your library has them or can request them. No shame in the library game!
Stay tuned for my next process art summer camp post. It’ll walk you through what materials to start gathering (many for free or super cheap!) and help you prepare and get set up for a summer of creating art with your kids. So excited!
For now you’d probably love these kids art ideas: