Preschool Process Art Inspired by Kandinsky

In the world of early childhood education, the Montessori method has long been hailed for its emphasis on fostering independence, creativity, and exploration. One crucial aspect that aligns seamlessly with this approach is process art. The beauty of process art lies in its focus on the creative journey, rather than the end result. By delving into what process art is, its significance for a child’s development, and how it aligns with the Montessori method, we can discover innovative ways to introduce children to the mesmerizing paintings of Wassily Kandinsky.

Understanding Process Art:
Process art celebrates the creative process itself, placing emphasis on exploration, imagination, and self-expression rather than adhering to specific outcomes. This form of art allows children to engage with and manipulate materials freely, encouraging a deep sense of intrinsic motivation. Through process art, children are given the freedom to experiment, make choices, and explore various materials, textures, colors, and techniques.

Importance for Child Development:
Process art plays a vital role in a child’s overall development, as it provides numerous benefits to their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social growth. Here are some reasons why process art is of paramount importance:

  1. Encourages Creativity: Process art fosters creative thinking, imagination, and problem-solving skills. It allows children to tap into their unique ideas, perspectives, and abilities, promoting individuality and self-confidence.
  2. Enhances Fine Motor Skills: Engaging with different art materials and tools allows children to refine their fine motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and finger strength, as they shape, manipulate, and explore.
  3. Develops Cognitive Abilities: Process art stimulates cognitive development by promoting critical thinking, decision-making, and concentration. Children learn cause-and-effect relationships, develop spatial awareness, and make connections through their artistic interactions.
  4. Boosts Emotional Expression: Art is a powerful medium for emotional expression. When engaged in process art, children have the opportunity to communicate their feelings, thoughts, and experiences non-verbally, enhancing their emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

Alignment with the Montessori Method:
The Montessori method, with its principles of freedom within limits, respect for each child’s individuality, and emphasis on hands-on experiences, perfectly complements the philosophy of process art. Both prioritize the process over the final product, encouraging children to explore and create without restrictions or comparisons. Montessori classrooms provide a safe and supportive environment for children to immerse themselves in process art, fostering their innate curiosity and love for learning.

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Using Kandinsky’s Paintings for Process Art Experiences:
Wassily Kandinsky, a renowned abstract artist, offers a wonderful starting point to inspire children’s process art experiences. His vibrant and expressive paintings, filled with geometric shapes, bold colors, and fluid lines, ignite the imagination and sense of wonder in children. Here are a few ideas to integrate Kandinsky’s style into process art experiences:

  1. Color Exploration: Invite children to experiment with blending colors inspired by Kandinsky’s use of vibrant and contrasting hues. Provide various art materials such as watercolors, tempera paints, or colored pencils, allowing children to explore color mixing and create their own abstract masterpieces.
  2. Shape Collages: Introduce Kandinsky’s geometric shapes and have children cut out shapes of various sizes and colors. Encourage them to arrange and glue the shapes onto a canvas, exploring spatial relationships, balance, and composition.
  3. Sensory Abstract Art: Set up a sensory invitation by pouring liquid watercolors onto a large piece of paper or canvas. Watch as children explore the fluidity of the paint, manipulating it with their hands, fingers, or brushes, creating expressive abstract patterns reminiscent of Kandinsky’s bold strokes.

Process art serves as a powerful tool to nurture a child’s holistic development, igniting their artistic flair, problem-solving abilities, and self-expression. When integrated with the Montessori method and inspired by the works of Wassily Kandinsky, it creates an enriching and harmonious environment that empowers children to embark on a magical journey of creativity, imagination, and self-discovery.

Art masterpieces are an incredible source of learning opportunities. Through studying and discussing art children learn to pay attention to small details, colors, use of space, shapes, and creativity.

Among pictures of masterpieces that we received from Montessori By Mom with the Art Appreciation toolbox my daughter especially loved painting done by Wassily Kandinsky – a Russian artist. Kandinsky also was a musician and often drew his inspiration from music. Kandinsky said: “each color lives by its mysterious life.” You can notice that his work is filled with vivid colors, various shapes, and lines – which is a perfect inspiration for a young child.

kandinski activity on tray
child reading book about shapes

His painting inspired us to look into the use of shapes in art and everyday life. The Montessori Shape Workbook included in the Montessori by Mom toolbox was a great way to start. It presented different forms that we can easily find in our environment.

After reading the book, A was ready to create a picture using different shapes. We turned on classical music and prepared all our tools:

child gluing shapes

– picture of Kandinsky’s painting that A chose
– shapes cut out of colored paper
– glue and brush
– a mini-masterpiece on a mini isle taken from the Art Appreciation Toolbox

Later A was happy to extend this activity using colorful shapes – Designer Blocks. It brought a new dimension and allowed reinforcing the idea of using shapes for creativity.

child playing with shapes

I love this aspect of Montessori Art education when children learn to appreciate classic works of art because children get a glimpse into the world of great artists and their inner life by studying their work from early childhood.
My girl thoroughly enjoyed this process. How do I know? Because she kept telling me that she would like to make a picture inspired by Kandinsky almost daily.
We both enjoyed this process a lot and will continue looking for inspiration from the masterpieces of great artists.

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About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.