Our Favorite Process Based Projects


We love doing process based projects with kids of all ages. “Process art” means focusing on the process of making art rather than the end product. For younger kids, it teaches them to not be afraid to get messy, experiment, explore and “play” with materials. For older kids, it helps them relax, not stress or get frustrated about the outcome of a perfect product, and keeps art fun.

We sometimes hear parents innocently put pressure on their kids and say, “paint me something I can frame on the wall.” We try to tell parents that their child may spend 90 minutes totally focused in our studio and not leave with a single piece of artwork. But, you can have pictures of them covered head to toe in paint and filled with smiles. We’ve tried SO many fun processed based projects with kids of all ages. Here are some of our favorites!

Painting with unconventional materials


What You’ll Need:

  • Washable Paint

  • Anything that can be used as a “paintbrush.” Some of our favorite tools include children’s toys, toothbrushes, combs, kitchen utensils (spatulas, whisks, forks), toy cars, rubber brayers, toy animals, and fun “brushes” (this set is one of our favorites).

  • Paper - since you’re doing this project for the fun of creating you can use anything to paint on (newspaper, cardboard, canvas, fabric, paper, etc)


  1. Dip your tool in paint and make marks on your paper. Experiment and play with all of the different types of materials and see how many different types of marks you can make. Remember, this project is about playing with the materials and not about the end product.

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Paint with bubbles

What You’ll Need:


  1. Make your bubble paint. Pour some bubble soap into a no spill paint cup. Add a few drops of liquid watercolors.

  2. Dip bubble wand in paint and blow bubbles at your paper. When the bubbles pop, fun marks are left behind. Continue until your whole paper is covered with paints!





  • Paper - you can use construction paper, recycled paintings, newspaper, paper scraps, etc.

  • Hole punchers of various sizes and shapes. We have some shaped like hearts, stars and large circles

  • Oil pastels - we love Crayola brand because they are water soluble and make clean up a breeze.

  • Glue stick


  1. Punch out lots of holes out of scrap paper in various shapes and sizes. Start to glue them onto a piece of construction paper.

  2. Rub oil pastels over the negative space to create fun patterns on your paper.

  3. Continue until your whole paper is covered. Don’t be afraid to keep layering and keep punching. We find kids LOVE hole punchers!


Watercolors With String

What You’ll Need:



  1. Cut a piece of string about 6-8” long. Attach a clothespin to the end of the string.

  2. Make a diluted cup of watercolors. Drop a few drops of liquid watercolor or food color into a cup and add a little water.

  3. Dip string into the watercolor and let the excess drip off. Make your string “dance” on your paper to create fun patterns and marks.

  4. Continue until the whole paper is covered

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Tinker TRAY

This is a fun project for kids who like to build. We save and recycle everything in the studio - wine corks, baby food pouch caps, bottle caps, buttons, cardboard, etc. Make a tray of “loose” parts, colored masking tape, glue and string and see what kids create!


Paint with feet

This is a project to be done either outside or with those not afraid of a mess! We do it at our pre-school summer camps and it always brings lots of giggling!

What You’ll Need:


  1. Squirt some washable paint onto a tray. Use colors that mix well together so you don’t end up with a big brown piece of art (unless that is the look you are going for!)

  2. Have kids remove their socks and shoes and step in the fingerpaint trays. *WARNING - the trays will be slippery so please hold the child’s hand if you are doing this with a younger child or a new walker!

  3. Step on your paper with the paint covered feet!


ACTION Painting Booth

We love setting up splatter paint booths in the studio (inspired by Jackson Pollock). Kids usually give us a crazy look when we tell them they can throw paint at the wall! This is another project that will need to either be setup outside, for those not afraid of a mess, or come to the Art Project!

What You’ll Need:

  • Drop cloth

  • Easel OR you can masking tape paper to a wall

  • Paper or a canvas

  • Washable paints

  • Paint brushes, palette knives or spoons


  1. Set up your paint area. Roll out drop cloth wherever you will be flinging paint and tape it down.

  2. Dip paint tool into a cup of washable paint and fling it at your paper or canvas. Continue until the whole piece of paper is covered.

    *NOTE: If you’re doing this on a piece of art you would like to preserve, we recommend spraying with some spray-fix or applying a clear/glossy top coat (such as triple thick) once it is dry. It will prevent the washable paint from cracking!


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