I’m so looking forward to a summer of process art with my kiddos but even for me, seasoned preschool art teacher and mother of four art loving kiddos, the thought of all the materials and supplies, and yes the mess, can be incredibly overwhelming. Hopefully this post makes you less overwhelmed and even more excited to get started!
For my introduction to this camp-at-home idea head to my first Process Art Summer Camp post.
What kind of materials should I have on hand for Process Art Summer Camp?
Because summer is long and funds are usually short (amiright?!) I am suggesting as many recycled materials as I possibly can. When you start to look at every single thing you throw away as possible art material, the potential for making just grows and expands exponentially. I’m listing 15 different material things to start gathering right now. This list is fairly basic but it will give you a fantastic art stash to pull from all summer!
Materials to look for and save:
- Cardboard box sheets – nice big pieces make great canvases.
- Cardboard boxes – amazon prime anyone?
- Bubble wrap, old bubble mailers cut up, or other packing materials.
- Tp and paper towel tubes. Sometimes you stumble upon the gems that are wrapping paper tubes!
- Styrofoam meat or produce trays– these are my go-to for print making.
- Berry containers or farmers market produce baskets (the little plastic kind).
- Glass jars– these are useful for SO MANY THINGS but most notably perfect for paint! Oui yogurt jars, jelly jars, sauce jars. Save em all. I’ll even teach you how to get the labels off!
- Plastic containers or packaging– everything has a package. Start looking at what that package is and see if it looks like something a child could reuse in their art. Q-tip sliding boxes turn into a house. Mochi ice cream wells turn into the perfect paint pallets.
- Thrift store paintings or large canvas art. The trick to this one is to truly shop at thrift stores *not antique shops. You want canvases or old art that’s around $2 or less. You can truly paint over ANYTHING. I really want to find and have ready a big thrifted canvas (for a project from the ever amazing Art Pantry blog!) to keep in our summer process art materials stash.
- Stock up on a few plastic shower curtains. These make perfect drop cloths for indoor or outdoor art making. They dry, can be folded up and reused or hosed down if necessary.
- Actual drop cloths as a giant art canvas. I use these drop cloths the prep them before we do art on top of them. I’ll teach you how, don’t worry!
- Dollar store “mark makers” – mini paint rollers, fly swatters, brushes, combs, small squeegees, dust pans, squirt bottles, aluminum trays, strainers. Look at everything from a “can we make art with this?” lens.
- PAINT. Invest in some big bottles of premium tempera if you can. They’ll go a long way toward many projects over time. Sheet pan watercolors, liquid watercolors, acrylic paint, paint sticks, neon tempera cakes. Get whatever calls to you or you can manage to buy, skip the rest.
- Other materials: if I had to chose some favorites here I’d pick up paint pens, oil pastels, matte mod podge, large and medium embroidery hoops, and sharpies.
- High quality heavy weight mixed media paper. There is no substitute for good paper! It can make all the difference in the world!
Hopefully this post has given you some ideas on items you can start to save for use in process set activities. Everything is always adaptable so if you don’t have or can’t find some of these things, don’t stress! I’ll be sure to offer alternatives or adaptions that can work for different families, abilities and materials.
We love using recycled materials! Checkout the posts below for more ideas.