Autumn process art for toddlers

Autumn process art for toddlers

I love process art for toddlers and today I’m sharing an autumn (or fall) process art activity that’s perfect for right now. If you’re not familiar with process art then let me start by telling you a little about it. Process art is great for toddlers as the process is as important, if not more so than the end result. You provide them with the materials and let them create whatever they want to. As much as I love doing crafts with my two, especially my 5 year old, I find process art much more in line with what my toddler would like to do. We do crafts at playgroup and she loves the end result but I end up doing more of the craft than her and she would much rather just do what she wants.


Autumn process art for toddlers


Fall process art activity


You will need


Paint (we use washable poster paints)


natural elements such as conkers, acorns, pine cones and leaves


Autumn process art for toddlers


This activity is particularly perfect for autumn as it combines an outdoor activity with an indoor one. It also finds a purpose for all those “autumn treasures” that kids love to collect. How many walks have you come back from with pockets full of acorns, conkers and pine cones? I’m usually still finding them in my coat pockets in March. To start the activity, go on a short walk with your toddler to collect some natural elements like leaves, conkers and pine cones.



Autumn process art for toddlers


Once you have collected your natural elements and you are back home. It’s really easy to set up an invitation to create for your toddler. I put some paper on a tray (this is a tip I learnt a while back, it helps contain the mess a little), add a paintbrush and some red and yellow paint (we had a couple of these little squeezy bottles left over so we used them up and my toddler loved drizzling the paint around the paper) as well as a selection of the natural elements you have collected. I justed used red and yellow as they are perfect autumnal colours and it also creates an opportunity to explore colour mixing. You could use any colours you wanted though or make it part of the process and let your toddler choose colours. Then let your toddler do what they want to do.



Autumn process art for toddlers


For the natural elements I added, Conkers, leaves and pine cones. My little girl ignored the pine cone and didn’t really use the conkers that much. She loves painting the leaves as well as just simply painting with her paintbrush. When she started to lose interest, I cut an apple that was past it’s best in half and showed her how to paint it and do apple printing which extended the activity for a little longer.


Autumn process art for toddlers



Other activities your toddler may enjoy this autumn can be found in this post and for a selection of autumn books that they may enjoy head to my post on autumn children’s books. Don’t forget to see my September activities for kids page for even more ideas for seasonal fun with kids.


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Autumn process art for toddlers activity #art #eyfs #autumn #sensoryplay



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  1. September 22, 2018 / 6:43 am

    This looks like so much fun! It’s an excellent activity for them to do now that the weather is getting colder and wetter and they will be staying indoors more.

    • Claire
      September 22, 2018 / 6:57 pm

      Exactly my thoughts too.

  2. September 22, 2018 / 7:04 am

    I think I need to try this out. My kids will definitely do better being able to do their own thing.

    • Claire
      September 22, 2018 / 6:58 pm

      I’m sure they will love it.

  3. September 22, 2018 / 7:38 am

    Love this idea for missing up the weekends with Henry. We live next to a woods, so will get collecting some bits tomorrow and make an afternoon of it. Love the colours in the picture x

    • Claire
      September 22, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      I hope you both have great fun. I’m sure you will.

  4. September 22, 2018 / 7:50 am

    My daughter would love this craft idea.

    • Claire
      September 22, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      I hope she does if you give it a try

  5. September 22, 2018 / 8:16 am

    Fab! I help to run the crafts section at our local playgroup so will definitely be doing this – thank you! I’ll try to take some pics to share with you on Instagram! 😊

  6. September 22, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    I love it, creativity is so important for little ones. Perfect activity for autumn.

  7. September 22, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    She looks like she is having so much fun. I love art and I like to just have fun with paint. After you paint the leaves, you can save them for a little while before they crumble and dry up.

  8. September 23, 2018 / 9:46 am

    Those are perfect autumn colours, looks like so much fun! I’m sure my eight year old would love this. He loves anything which requires making a mess 🙂

  9. September 23, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    excellent overview thank you – it looks like she had a lovely time – and you’re right it’s about the enjoyment/process – have you painted over leaves so there’s a blank space on the paper? good for colouring in later when the paint has dried. love Becinmonton 🙂

  10. September 24, 2018 / 6:08 am

    I love autumn so this would be a great craft x

  11. September 24, 2018 / 7:02 am

    Aw what a great activity for the smaller kids to do. My boy used to love process art, he still loves collecting autumn treasures and crafting with them.

  12. September 24, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the post. Ive never heard of the term before, but Im a childminder and believe that a child should do all the art themselves as they learn so much.

  13. September 24, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    This is a really lovely idea, I totally agree when you try to force little ones you end up doing all the work, love the idea of letting them explore and have fun in their own way.

  14. September 26, 2018 / 8:39 am

    Oh I love this! What a fab autumn craft! looks like a lot of fun!

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