Growing up in Europe, my Dad took us to all the great art museums. And although I wish I could say I always appreciated it, I can say that I learned to appreciate art. Not all art mind you, there is still some modern art that I look at & say – my 1 year old could do better. So when we decided to homeschool, I wanted to make sure to teach my kids to appreciate art from a young age. Learning to appreciate a variety of art is like teaching a child to appreciate that we are all unique and special.
I introduced my kids to Pablo Picasso (from Spain) and his artwork. Goofy (6 ) was ready for the wonderful series Getting to know the World’s Greatest Artists: Picasso. (There are some of them available in video form that are a lot of fun. They present the information, actual artwork, and silly cartoons alongside – educational & fun!). Minnie (3 ) enjoyed Painting with Picasso, and Museum ABC. They both enjoyed When Pigasso met Mootisee – a fun story about two famous artists Picasso & Matisse who were in face in real life friends as the story suggests.
The kids colored in some of Picasso’s works of art from the Modern Art Masterpiece coloring book. Such a clever thing! It is a great way to very gently introduce kids to a variety of famous art.
Picasso went through a time after his friend died when his artwork was not appreciated and he was going hungry. All this was reflected in his paintings and he went through a “blue period” where he painted in shades of blue & mostly sad topics. We made our own “blue” picture.
Picasso painted things in new & interesting ways. He was not worried about making things look exactly like they are “suppose” to, but he was able to emote a lot of feelings in his artwork. To make our own unique Picasso (idea from Discovering the World’s Great Artists) we painted a picture of Goofy. Then we cut it up & put it back together in a more creative way.
We use this wonderful program called Child-size Masterpieces to play a memory-type game with famous artwork. The program uses museum quality postcards of famous artwork. The kids match them up first with the exact same picture, then by artists, and eventually by genre. There are I believe 6 books and each adds to the complexity. By the time the kids finish they will be familiar not only with a variety of artwork, artists, and styles, but will be able to match artists to their artwork.
Finally, there is a really neat puzzle of Guernica I include below in the Picasso Resources. My kids are a little young for a 1000 pieces puzzle, but when they get a little older we will be doing it too! If you’ve never seen Guernica or read about it – you should. I was very disappointed as a young person seeing Mona Lisa for the first time – don’t get me wrong the painting is beautiful, but it was… well… so small! Guernica does not disappoint, it is a HUGE – 12 x 15 feet!! I have gotten to see it on at least two occasions and find it to be very moving. I wont get into the whole back story here…but if you like art or WW2 at all, you should look it up.
Do you have a favorite art resource? I’d love to see it! Leave me a note in the comments section. And as always, I love comments!!