Fall Process Art Projects for Toddlers

There has been a recent debate in art education about whether we should be focusing on process or product. Process art refers to simply the student focusing on the process of making art rather than the product. Art that is focused on product would result in well-made, well crafted projects that result in a beautiful “product”. 

The three projects we are sharing with you today are process art projects. My boys while making them were not given any guidelines, just materials and free expression.  These three process art projects were crafted with the theme of autumn in mind.

The first project is a yarn wrapped apple. I’m starting to think about teaching Ben how to tie a knot. Just becoming comfortable manipulating yarn or string will be an excellent start I think. So for this project I had him simply weave and wrap the cardboard apple with red yarn.  

In preparation for this project I simply cut out an apple shaped from cardboard. Then I cut slits all around the edge of the apple about a quarter of an inch apart and about a third of an inch long.  To start I taped one end of the yarn onto the back of the apple and began weaving and wrapping the apple while showing Ben how to find the slits and slide the yarn through.  He definitely had some trouble with this. He’s not used to manipulating string or tying. However, he did stay with it for a good 15 minutes working on it and we were able to work on it together to finish the project.

Our second project is a shofar. This project is for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. The shofar is an instrument made from a ram’s horn that is blown ceremoniously to welcome the new year. It was used by the ancient Israelites to call attention in the villages.  In Judaism it is considered a good deed or a mitzvah to hear the shofar be blown in the beginning of the Jewish year.  To make the shofars I simply drew and cut out the shapes from white card stock. Then I had the boys decorate with markers, stickers, and Dobber markers.

When the boys were done I stapled the sides of the shofar together and I popped a piece of toilet paper tube inside with some glue around the outside of the edge so it would dry inside and create that puffed out, 3-D look to our shofar.

Then the boys took the time to pretend to blow their shofars. They had a lot of fun making this project and watching it come together. While this project does have a definite product at the end, the children are focused on the process rather than the product. 

The last project is a collage using tissue paper squares I purchased from the Dollar Tree.  In fact, all of these projects could be made with items from the Dollar Tree.  They have an extensive amount of arts and craft supplies for kids. Most of the items in our art cabinet or from the Dollar Tree.  As we live in Las Vegas we don’t get the fall foliage here. I’m from upstate New York originally and the colors changing were such a part of fall and my childhood.  I spent many falls raking the leaves up and jumping in the pile.  So to give that a fact the tissue paper has a crunchy sound that it makes if you squish it up in your hands. I actually use this concept to create a sensory bag for my boys that I’ll be sure next week in my post. The boys used glue sticks and the tissue paper squares in fall leaf colors to create a collage.  This is a true process our activity. I was hands off. I just showed them how to rob the glue on the paper and press the tissue paper squares down in it. They took it from there.

The boys had a lot of fun making these projects.  They are very proud of their shofars and continue to play with them a week later. I love making handmade toys like that with them.  I hope you’ll try some of these simple, process art projects this season with your toddler! Please share and Pin for future reference.

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