Process Art

What You Need:

  • Long lengths of material (such as raffia, ribbon, string, and yarn)
  • Extras that your child wishes to incorporate (i.e. stuffed animals, artwork, photos, army men, etc.)
  • Stepladder

What You Do:

  1. Invite your child to go on a scavenger hunt to find long lengths of material around the house. Be sure to stipulate any off-limits areas, such as the kitchen, that you don't want him rummaging through.
  2. Help him randomly tie the pieces together.
  3. With your child, select stationery anchor spots, such as a closet rod or sturdy light fixture. Don’t use movable anchor spots, such as the doorknob, unless you will be disassembling the sculpture right away.
  4. Use the stepladder to secure lengths of yarn or string to the anchor spots. It is safest to do any necessary climbing yourself.
  5. Have your child start connecting anchor spots to form intersections.
  6. Encourage him to add photos, artwork, and other items to the web as desired. 

Before starting this project, show your child photos of notable “disposable” art, such as Tibetan sand paintings. Be sure to discuss the philosophy behind this type of art—that satisfaction comes solely from the creation of an artwork, and that becoming attached to it or saving it is unnecessary because of the entertainment and fulfillment that has gone into creating it. Hopefully, when it comes time to take the masterpiece down, there should be minimal resistance, especially if you tell your child that he can begin a new creation again soon!

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