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Pollock Inspired Pumpkin Process Art for Toddlers & Pre-schoolers

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A messy paint session to try this Autumn!

When we lived in Canberra, we regularly visited Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles at the National Gallery of Australia. Inspired by this, we got very messy to make some Pollock inspired process art.

Blue Poles at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


  • IKEA Mala Paints
  • Non-toxic Washable paints
  • Paint palettes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pumpkins
  • Drop sheet
  • Large Plastic tub
  • Reusable wet wipe

What to do:

When it comes to process art, I tend to invite the children to paint by laying out all the materials for them to access. I try to interfere as little as possible myself, save to ensure that energies are being focused on the activity in hand, rather than painting the furniture, walls etc!

I put the pumpkins into a large plastic tub in order to contain them a little better, then the kids got down to painting. It’s always amazing to see how little direction they need in order to do this.

After using the paintbrushes for a while, to cover the pumpkins in non-toxic paints, I introduced the MALA paints. I did demonstrate what they could try first and then they happily went to town on the pumpkins!

Age Recommendations

My children are aged 17 months and 3.8 years both have regular exposure to art activities, which is why i’m confident with large-scale activities such as this.

I would really recommend this activity from around the age of 18 months plus, providing your child does not put everything in their mouths.

Of course, there is absolutely no denying that this activities can get super messy. My youngest is at the stage where he will cover himself in paint after a while. This is all par for the course and completely normal – he is not being naughty, but needs the full body painty experience – which is why we always use non-toxic paints.

I personally believe that kids need to go through this process in order to be able to paint ‘tidily’ in the future. My daughter no longer gets a scrap of paint on herself or her clothes but also spent her very early years covered in paint! If the above photo makes you come out in hives, check out this post for some guidance.

Key Benefits

Process art is hugely beneficial because it truly allows little learners to explore the materials on offer. There is no set task or intended end result so the children can really get stuck in!

Process art allows children to develop the creative side of their brains through the medium of sensory play.

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Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is a trained teacher mama to three awesome children and wife to Greg. As a family of expats, they travel the world every couple of years for new adventures. Right now, they live in Vienna, Austria.

One thing Sian is super passionate about? Helping mums worldwide navigate the early years of parenthood.

You can join her on her brand new venture, This Playful Home, by visiting www.thisplayfulhome.com or clicking the email sign up button below!

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