Well, your child is going to take apart a portrait—transforming it from a realistic looking piece of art to something a bit more abstract.
This activity doesn’t just teach your child about a historically significant artist. It also helps her to build problem-solving and critical thinking skills, develop fine motor abilities and explore math (shapes and patterns).
Before your child gets to the art-making, start with a brief discussion about the artist. Take a look at a few of the artist’s works (such as “Ma jolie” or “Le guitarist”). Don’t worry if you can’t go to a museum and see one of these masterpieces in real life. Look for reproductions (posters or postcards) or find pictures of the paintings in art books or online. As your child looks at Picasso’s works, ask her what she sees. Continue with a few open-ended questions, such as, “What can you find in this picture?” or, “Why do you think Picasso made art in this way?”
Picasso for Kids
And, now on to the art-making. Instead of paints, this famous artist kids’ art activity uses craft felt. This makes it possible to reuse the activity over and over again. Your child can build critical thinking
skills, puzzling together the felt, observing what happens and evaluating the results. She can then take apart her cubist creation and figure out how to re-make it! When she’s done getting artsy for the day, pack up the felt pieces (but them in a bag) and save them for later. Your child can try the activity out again tomorrow, next week or any time that she wants.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Craft felt sheets (or scrap craft felt) in different colors
Choose a subject for the portrait. Ask your child who she wants to create in felt. This could be a self-portrait or a portrait of someone she knows (such as you or a sibling). She can also choose to go with an imaginary portrait, imagining her own person or using a character (from a book or movie) as inspiration.
Cut out felt shapes. Your child can start with the face, creating a circle. If it’s a challenge for your child to cut out the shapes freehand, have her draw them onto the felt with a marker first. She’ll also
need smaller shapes to make eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth and hair.
Arrange the portrait on a solid piece of felt (you can use an 8x10-inch felt sheet). As your child presses the pieces on, they’ll stick together (creating a DIY felt board). Before your child lets her inner Picasso out, she can craft a realistic portrait. This gives her the chance to name the different facial features, and put them in the correct places.
Remove the felt pieces from the face circle.
Rearrange the shapes in a not-so-realistic style. Your child can be her own Picasso, and put the eyes where the mouth goes, make a grid with felt hair strands or just get as creative as she wants!
Famous Artist Projects for Kids
Erica Loop is a mom, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. When she's not teaching, she's busy writing kids' activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.