I love exploring art with preschoolers. Painting is one of our favorite art activities. You may want to explore painting still-life paintings with preschoolers. This activity is perfect for spring or any other nature-focused theme.
Creativity and Process Art
To encourage creativity, we want preschoolers to investigate and try their own ideas. We offer process art activities, activities that do not have a certain end-result in mind. The materials can be used in a variety of ways. When offering an activity like a still-life exploration, keep this creativity in mind and allow children to explore as they choose. They may want to paint a still-life or paint something else. Encourage their creativity.
You can offer still-life painting at an easel or at a table. (We’ve done it both ways.)
You’ll need the basic supplies for painting:
You’ll also need a few other things:
- Something to paint (For spring, use a vase of colorful flowers)
- Books or photographs of still-life paintings
- Biographies of artists
Set up the easel or table for painting. Place the vase of flowers (or other items) beside the easel or in the middle of the table
Talk about the kinds of paintings that artists paint. They paint people (portraits). They paint places (landscapes). They paint things (still-lifes). They paint designs (abstracts). They even paint events. All of these things are appropriate painting subjects and styles.
Indicate the flowers. Invite children to paint pictures of the flowers in the vase. But allow them to paint whatever they choose.
Show books and photographs of still-life paintings (and other paintings, too).
Read about artists. For painting about flowers, you may want to read about Georgia O’Keefe. She painted very large flowers (and other things). My favorite biography to read with children is My Name Is Georgia by Jeanette Winter.
Try still-life painting with your children. Use flowers or wheat stalks in a vase. Arrange vegetables and fruit on a tray. Set up a few toys as a subject for painting. Encourage children to investigate and explore a new way of painting.
Process art is focusing on the process instead of the end result. It’s encouraging children to explore their own ideas. However, that does not mean that we cannot provide some new ideas for children. Just don’t insist that the children do it “your way.” Allow them to be creative. You could be surprised at the results.
BIO: Scott Wiley, an early childhood educator for over 25 years, is editor for Pre-K Pages. He blogs at Brick by Brick, exploring the connection between play and learning. He enjoys using easel painting almost every week. Connect with Scott on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.