Here’s a fun Valentine’s Day open ended art activity for preschoolers – a mixed media heart collage.

valentine's day process art for preschoolers , child holding mixed media heart

Open ended art vs. product art

Open ended art (also known as process art) is an art activity that focuses on the process of creating it and not on the final product. During process art activities you set the materials out and let the children immerse themselves in the materials and their creativity.

Click here to read more about open ended art, its benefits and some examples.

Product art is usually adult-led, has specific steps to follow in a specific order, and intends for all of the final products to look fairly similar to one another. Product art is what you would consider a craft project to be. 

Materials we used

For this Valentine art, I set out the following materials:

  • acrylic craft paints in various colors
  • scissors
  • brushes
  • different kinds of paper in varous colors or patterns. My son picked out the patterns he liked from a big pad of patterned scrapbook paper. Ripping paper into pieces or using leftover scraps from other projects work too!
  • glue stick

Click here for my list of the best art supplies for 5 year olds

valentine's process art for preschoolers , child cutting out paper heart with scissors

First he cut out the heart. His cutting skills are getting much stronger lately.

child cutting out paper hearts with hole puncher

Next he cut out a bunch of hearts from the scrapbook paper using the hole punch. He loves this punch – it’s a good size and weight for little hands to work with. You can find them in other shapes as well.

valentine's process art for preschoolers , child painting red onto a white paper heart

Next he wanted to paint using pink and red “because they are Valentine colors.” The metallics and teal will wait for another time.

child counting paper hearts

He really enjoyed counting all the hearts and showing me how many he’d cut.

child adding heart cut out to painting

Next he wanted to glue on the hearts.

child adding heart cut out to painting

And more hearts.

child using glue stick to add paper hearts to painting

And more hearts.

child using glue stick to add paper hearts to  Valentine's Day process art painting

And more hearts until he decided it was finished.

valentine's day process art for preschoolers , child holding mixed media heart

This is probably my favorite piece he’s made so far. It’s so much fun to stand back and just observe kids when they are making all the decisions, experimenting, and learning while they work. For example, not using enough glue results in hearts falling off when you pick up the painting. Lesson learned. Or mixing red and pink creates a new shade of pink.

Click here to download the heart template we used for our Valentine’s Day open ended art project.

valentine heart template
valentine heart template

Click here to download the free printable heart template

Template is for personal, non commercial use only. You may use it at home or in your classroom. Thanks!

We’d love to see your preschoolers’ Valentine’s Day open ended art projects – drop a photo in the comments below!

Kym

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