This tape and watercolor canvas art is a must-try process art activity for preschoolers. Just a few simple materials can lead to hours of creative exploration.
We’ve made some variation of this watercolor art project so many times over the years. And each time, it’s been an absolute blast.
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Watercolor Canvas Art for Preschool
While I love setting up more in-depth invitations for the kids, I am also a big fan of simple activities.
In fact, these simple activities are usually the crux of what we do in preschool. And they often pack the most punch.
You really don’t need much to get this tape and watercolor art going with your students. Here’s what you need (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
That’s it! AND if you don’t happen to have canvases at the ready, you can definitely create this art on white paper.
Related: Easy Art for Kids with Dot Art
Watercolor Canvas Art Directions
The directions are so easy – place the materials out and let the children create!
When we first tried this tape and watercolor art, we did four different versions.
For three of the canvases, the children added the washi tape first. Most of them were so meticulous in choosing which patterned tape to choose and where to place the pieces of tape.
Others just loved adding as much tape as possible to the canvas (until their friends intervened and asked them to stop).
After the tape was placed on the canvas to everyone’s specification, it was time to paint!
We placed some liquid watercolors into old glass jars, and the kids got to work. They painted the bits of canvas peeking out from between the strips of tape.
I loved listening to them discuss which color would go where and working out who was painting next.
For the fourth watercolor and tape canvas, we did the process backwards. The children painted the canvas with watercolors first.
They ended up experimenting with the different colors on the canvas – exploring color mixing, discussing how certain colors seemed thinner than others, etc. Once the paint was dried, they added the tape.
Personally, I loved how all of the watercolor canvas art turned out! I know, I’m biased! 🙂
The tape didn’t stick as well to our last project, though. We were able to glue some of the errant tape down, so it wasn’t a big deal at all.
Benefits of Creating with Tape and Watercolors on Canvas
Creating for creating’s sake is a big enough benefit of art, in my opinion.
However, there were a variety of other benefits inherent to our tape and watercolor canvas art project. Here are a few:
- Cooperating with friends
- Conflict resolution
- Fine motor skills
- Artistic expression
That list doesn’t cover every single thing the children are practicing and exploring with this collaborative art project.
Watch your students as they put their art together. I’m sure you’ll be able to observe an incredibly amount of learning and creativity.
Adapting the Watercolor and Tape Art
In addition to the simplicity and open-endedness of this project, I love how easy it is to adapt.
You can change it up based on preschool themes, kids’ interests, holidays, seasons, etc.
To do this, change out the washi tape. For example, if you’re creating Halloween art you can use black, orange, and Halloween-themed tape. Then pair that tape with orange, black, and purple liquid watercolors.
Do your children love colorful tape as much as we do? Would they enjoy this tape and watercolor canvas art project?
Done-For-You Preschool Resources
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Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories says
Very cool effect. Process art is my favorite.
You could do this with masking tape and have them remove the tape after the paint dried. You could add more tape and a different color and then remove that tape when it dried. My mom did this with my brother and I one time when we were both home sick. It was a project we all still talk about in our adult lives. And I have the artwork that is affectionately known as “Red,red,red”
Would this work just as well on card stock? I work in a daycare and canvas for each child would really get costly.
Mary Catherine says
Hi Michelle! I think this would work well on card stock, but I haven’t tried it yet. Now I want to, though! 🙂