Family Process Art

26 Mar

Family Process ArtWe do process art pretty often around here.  With two toddlers, process art feels like the perfect introduction to art and materials.  My girls are used to creating freely with little or no expectations besides being safe and not eating the materials.  It was so nice to bring my husband into the mix this time! It didn’t happen totally on purpose but now that it did, I want to do this more often.  We all sat around a table and experimented with crayons in an attempt to make a crayon art sculpture.  I learned two things from this experience.  1.  Glue gun glue resists wax so you can’t use it to glue bare crayons to bare crayons.  Oops.  2.  Creating together as a family is an awesome bonding experience that can be so much fun!

Collaborative Family Crayon Art It started with this little monkey and a jar of crayons.  It is so funny to see what keeps a toddler entertained.  D must have dumped that jar, opened and closed the lid over 50 times.  After about 20 minutes or so I brought out the glue gun and Evan and Gigi joined us.  I was thinking Ev was going to make the crayon sculpture and Gigi would be his assistant, but like I said, we quickly learned the wax and glue was not the best combo for any major building.  Instead, we tried melting crayons at the tip and pressing them into cardboard.  It was great because D was content to move the crayons back and forth in the jar and Ev helped Gigi with the glue gun.  I can hear mom’s gasp as they see my almost 3 year old using a glue gun.  Everyone has their own comfort level.  Gigi has used a glue gun many times, actually, and it’s never been a problem.  We make sure it’s low temperature and I feel comfortable with it.  So, there you go.

Collaborative Family Crayon Art When the crayons melted a little, it was really cool to rub them over the cardboard.  We were able to make them stick up from the cardboard and called it a city.  Before long Gigi got the bag of crayon wrappers and added those to our art as well.  Ev continued to experiment with trying to bind the crayons together.  He doesn’t give up easily!

Collaborative Family Crayon Art Collaborative Family Crayon Art Collaborative Family Crayon Art After about 20 minutes or so, it occurred to me that we were all collaborating on this process and it was so much fun.  Family process art can have great depth to it.  There is decision making, compromising, sharing and communicating happening throughout.  My style is so different from my husband’s.  It’s fun to see how he goes about making things.  If I didn’t stop him I think he’d still be sitting at the table trying to get the crayons to melt together into a perfectly symmetrical castle or something.  I’m much quicker to give up and move on.  Regardless of our different styles, it was really fun working together.  I love that our kids got to see us working together too, and see we all play a role in creating something.  Process art would be a great way to commemorate birthdays.  I’ve been looking for a tradition to start and I think we found it.  Do you ever create as a family?  I’d love to hear about it if you do in the comments below.

Collaborative Family Process Art

9 Responses to “Family Process Art”

  1. hellokidsart March 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Great post – we totally subscribe to the “process not product” philosophy for kids art too. 🙂

    • Meri Cherry March 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

      Thanks for commenting! I just spent a bunch of time on your blog and I’m so inspired! You’ve done a bunch of ideas that I’ve been wanting to do, like painting with flowers and large scale paper mache. Looks like you’re doing fantastic things at your art space. Thanks for inspiring me!

  2. raelynncameron March 27, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    I love that dad joined in 🙂 how fun for everyone! My husband and I definitely have different styles as well, he’s more of a stay inside the lines kind of a guy. I’m just curious with all of this glue-gun-crayon-fun if anyone tried to put the crayon through the glue gun? I’ve been curious to try ever since I saw your previous post with the crayon sculpture but I have yet to dig out the glue gun.

  3. maryann_kohl March 28, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    I don’t often say much but I’m so proud that my work bringing process art to the forefront has taken hold. It is a dream come true!! Keep doing wonderful things, Meri!

    • Meri Cherry March 28, 2014 at 3:38 am #

      Wow Maryann. It is such an honor to have you over to my blog. I have so many of your books and would read them over and over just taking in all of your incredible ideas. I am also so proud that your work and dedication has now spilled over into my life and the life of my family and friends. Thank you!!!

  4. JayNine April 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    Ahhhh this looks like soooo much fun!!!! Is it a low temp kids glue gun? I SOO need to find one! My daughter wants nothing to do with any melted crayons hot glue guns warming trays etc etc…she burnt her hands third degree just over 2 years old (loooong story) and has had a hard time with “warm stuff” ever since. I need to help her get over this somehow. Anyway, thanks soon much for the continued creative inspiration

    • Meri Cherry April 12, 2014 at 3:47 am #

      Ohh, poor thing. That really stinks. This is low temperature yes. Still may be a little scary for her though : (


  1. Wood Working with Toddlers Family Process Art | MeriCherry - April 2, 2014

    […] since we did it all together as a family.  All of a sudden I feel so much energy around Family Process Art.  We’ve done it countless times but I never labeled it before.  Somehow giving it a name […]

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