Inside: The best toddler process art activities often used recycled products, making them extremely easy to create. Using empty thread spools is a fun way to stamp paint onto paper, plus they leave a fun design. There’s lots of action in this project that young children love!
I love process art, especially with toddlers.
The plus is that it’s so easy to put together and is gentle to the budget, since it requires few materials, often using something from your recycling bin.
In this activity we used recycled thread spools that resulted in lots of stamping. Just what this age group loves!
How to Put Together a Toddler Process Art Activity Using Spools
Many years ago, possibly over a decade, someone dropped off bags (yes, plural) of empty sewing spools of all sizes.
At first we weren’t sure how we’d use them, so we just tucked them into our storage closet where they were forgotten for quite awhile.
Sometime later, when I was thinking of how to add some detail to a winter art activity, I pulled those bags of spools from the closet and decided to put them to use.
Our toddlers dipped those spools into white paint to create snowmen and had such a fun time with it, I knew to try this technique again.
Setting up this toddler process art activity:
I placed large sheets of paper on our Simplay3 Activity Table along with shallow containers of washable tempera paint. (I actually squirted 2 different colors in each container as an extra color mixing activity.)
I then added a spool in each container of paint and invited our toddlers to explore stamping the spools with paint onto the paper.
I purposely don’t use chairs when I have art activities at this small activity table because toddlers love to walk around the table, moving as they work.
This is especially helpful for busy toddlers who might be hesitant to try an art activity because they don’t want to sit.
A extra benefit to using spools is the way they fit a toddler’s small hand.
They have good control of the spool as they transfer the paint from the container to the paper, then lifting and pressing the spool many times on the paper.
While watching toddlers stamping the paint around, it’s obvious why process art works so well with them.
It’s all about the motion.
Picking up the spool, stamping the spool, watching the paint splatter on the paper.
It’s also all about the repeat motions.
Toddlers love to do something over and over again.
To someone who only sees the end result of this toddler process art activity, they might not think much of it.
Okay fine. There are some circles stamped on paper.
No big deal.
But when you are actually watching the process take place, it’s pretty obvious why toddlers love these types of activities.
This is one of the reasons I take photos documenting the activity, so I can send them to our families at the end of the week, explaining the process and the skills that were developed.
What is your favorite process art for toddlers?
More process art activities: