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Preschool Art: It's the Process, Not the Product! Paperback – May 1, 1994

44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Preschool Art is a lifesaver . . . All the activities are easy, all are fun. . . a real find. -- Sesame Street Parents, “Picks for Parents”

Preschool Art, by MaryAnn Kohl, offers help to parents of preschoolers struggling to meet the challenge of their children's creative impulses. Prodigies aside, most kids this age aren't interested in the final product; they are into the doing of art.

There is no right or wrong way, only their way. Kohl understands. She explains how to make and use many kinds of art materials based on the concept that the process not the product, is important. From old standbys like play dough to new craft discoveries like liquid crayons and frozen balloons, she provides hundreds of ways to enjoy and explore the creative process. -- MetroParent, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This is a very organized, thorough assembling of preschool art activities that could be a valuable asset to any preschool teacher as well as individual interested in doing art with young children . . . I can see this book becoming my primary art resource. -- Tot Spot Coordinator, Discovery Center Museum

We found the book very well put together, easy to use and the instructions complete and easy to follow. . . . -- Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia

Young children do art for the experience, the exploration and the experimentation. It's a process by which they can discover the world. . . Using materials commonly found in the home, child care or preschool program, children can explore discover and create open-ended art experiences. Best of all, there are no adult-made samples so the imagination of the artist can roam free.

Each activity has up to five icons Age, planning/Preparation, Help, Caution, and author's Favorite which serve as a guide for making the projects more usable and accessible for the artist, caregiver, teacher or parent. --Family Times

From the Back Cover

Preschool Art offers over 200 process-oriented art experiences for children ages 3-6. Using materials commonly found in the home, child care, or preschool program children explore, discover, and create open-ended art experiences. There are no adult-made samples to copy-only the imagination of the artist and materials at hand.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Gryphon House (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876591683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876591680
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARYANN PRESENTS! Bring MaryAnn to your location and she'll put on a full day event with hands-on art for the attendees. Receiving RAVE reviews all over the country. Write or call to schedule. Go to:

MaryAnn Faubion Kohl, a former elementary education teacher, launched Bright Ring Publishing, Inc. in 1985 with her first book, "Scribble Cookies" (now available as "Scribble ART"). Bright Ring has published seven books by MaryAnn about art for children, their parents, teachers, and care providers, as well as twelve titles for Gryphon House, Inc. (with international rights in over ten languages).

MaryAnn presents internationally on the topics of art for children and self-publishing for writers, writes for Parenting and Family Fun magazines, has been a prop designer for a Jim Henson Company's TV program, and consults for numerous educational groups, Kaplan Early Learning, Discount School Supply, and Fisher-Price. She enjoys writing short essays on memorable childhood experiences.

MaryAnn and her husband reside in Bellingham, Washington at the foot of a steaming volcano.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 6, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not an artsy-craftsy person, but I am not going to let that stop me from getting my son's little paws deep in paint or covered in glue. This book is great for a beginner like me, but to say that its usefulness is limited to beginners is to sell it short. There are lots of great ideas here and many variations listed.
Each of the almost 250 projects gets its own 8-1/2" by 11" page and has numerous line illustrations to clarify techniques and materials. The page is organized into a Materials list, a Process list, and Variations, and includes hints to make the project easier (such as cleanup tips or materials that can be reused). Icons on each page indicate the suggested age, how much time is needed to prepare ahead of time, whether or not extra assistance may be needed, whether or not caution is required (for sharp, hot or electrical materials), and whether it is one of the author's favorites, based on its being extra fun, extra fascinating, or extra easy and creative.
The book would be great if that was all there was to it, but value has been added by the wonderful organization and indexing. First, the Table of Contents is organized into basic projects (like chalk drawing and watercolors), followed by seasonal projects. And the indexes at the back are great: first, the Project Index lists projects alphabetically; next, a Materials Index lists them by -- materials (so if you want to do something with buttermilk, for example, you can find a project easily); finally, an Art Medium Index categorizes projects by medium -- drawing, painting, clay, sculpture, collage, craft or construction. These indexes make it terribly easy to find just the right project you're looking for!
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By J. Gregory on October 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I think I own most all of the preschool art/activity books on the market and this one is by far the best one. The main thing that sets this book apart is MaryAnn's Kohl's philosophy that it is the process not the product. The projects in this book focus on the experience that preschoolers get from doing the project, not creating a craft in the way that a grownup tells them to. Oftentimes, in the process of exploring the art materials the project takes a direction that is different from where the adult thought the project would go. The preschooler learns so much more from this type of art project than a pre determined craft project. All of the projects in this book are based on this philosophy and provide opportunites for open ended art exploration.

The book is very well laid out and is easy to use. She has a basic section with alot of "classic" projects and then projects organized by month. I found this organization to work very well because each month I would look at the projects for that month

Most of the projects use basic art materials and only a few projects require you to buy special items. Although a few of the projects are relatively basic, most of the projects listed take a different twist on a basic idea. For example, most parents/educators would have thought of fingerpainting, but most of us probably would not have thought of fingerpainting on a cookie sheet. Or most of us would think to give our kids crayons, but might not think to put a rubber band around a bundle of crayons and let them draw with the all of the crayons together.

If you are a parent with preschool children at home and are looking for fun art ideas, then this book is a must have on your bookshelf.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Susie Jarvis on April 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was reading through the reviews on Preschool Art, and was VERY surprised to read a negative one. This book is like the basic manual for art all preschoolers [no wait, all KIDS] should do in their life times. If you also look at the variations and extensions, you will never run out of art for the rest of your child's life. BASIC? Well, certainly, some are basic -- but then, we've been around for years and years, and all these little kids are new to what we think of as basic. In fact, the first chapter is all about basic "must do" project ideas. Ok, if you're a fabulous successful artist, you don't need this book for YOU, but you might still need it for your kids. This book is very well organized, FUN, easy, and if you don't have the "extra materials" on hand (like ROCKS AND LEAVES, for goodness sake, go out with your kids and get them! That's the whole point of a book like this! Enjoy your children from the basic moments on up. Give them the gift of creative opportunities. Start basic and let them expland their imaginations and art expression from there. I vote 5 stars and then some.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you read the variations and extensions in this book of some of the basic ideas, I think you will be THRILLED to find so many new ideas. As far as basic ideas, I need reminding of how vaulable they are for kids, and I love having reminders all in one big thick volume. This book is so well organized, you can give your other ones away. This is the only one you will need.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Mathiot on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I own an art store and take projects right out of this book and other books by MaryAnn Kohl. Her instructions and pictures are easy to follow and if you have even an ounce of creativity, you can adjust the ideas to suit your tastes, the situation, the available materials or the ages of your students. I teach somewhere between 5 to 8 pre-schoolers every saturday morning. I can say from experience that the Process really is more important to the child than the outcome. They don't come in to art class thinking like adults "Oh, what kind of masterpiece can I create for my portfolio today?" They just want to have fun, get messy and live in the moment. But while they are processing, they are learning quite a bit. The parents of my students really love the projects and I come up with new ideas almost every week because I have a huge library of books. The simplest looking projects that may seem dull to an adult, delight the children. So you really need to try them! Some people laugh when I tell them I teach art to 2-year-olds. They think that children so young cannot benefit from art education. But my little artists are so creative and fun. They really do make art! Get a few good books with projects like this and get involved with your children making art. You won't be sorry!
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