Free choice art is my favorite and a perfect time to do classic art projects like coffee filter painting. While I enjoy crafts for skill development and one-on-one time with your child at home, process art should make up most of your art time with your students. This activity takes process art and adds in a craft element but only if the artist wants it to. The goal is to challenge your students to turn their coffee filter paintings into something if they want! This is vital. One of the lessons I am trying to teach my students is when they do and when they don’t have choices. This year has been filled with a lack of control for everyone, and giving children control when they can have it, can help stop them from trying to grasp at it when they can’t. This free-choice art activity is in two parts. For my class, we have multiple free choice times in our day. If you only have one, you will have to stretch this activity out over two classes.
Gather your materials. For the first half of the activity you will need some watercolors, a paintbrush, water, coffee filters ( have enough so that students can use multiple filters if they choose). For the second half grab what you have. Construction paper, buttons, glue, scissors, markers, whatever you have.
Start by painting the coffee filters.
I love when children mix colors and using inexpensive water colors ( use my affiliate link to get some) like this can help teachers relax about mixing. It’s easy to wipe and clean up the paint after.
Step 2 – Turn Your Coffee Filter Painting into…
Now it’s time to invite your students to turn these paintings into something else – IF they want. This is why I like doing this at free choice not a group activity time. I don’t require a child to participate in this, I invite them to. Show them the materials and ask what they think they could make with them. I like to have a painted coffee filter on hand to model my brainstorming. “Hmm what does this look like? I wonder if I folded it… or maybe cut in two what I could make?”
Let them create!
The ideas are limitless, just let them create. Oh and don’t forget if they aren’t interested in step 2 that’s fine! Thier paintings are complete when they say they are.
Books About Art
Find some great books about fine art to help drive home the idea that every child is an artists while learning about some famous ones. See the list here.