Exploring Art and Artists With Kids

I have been enjoying a series called Kids Get Arty which promotes exploration of great artists. The idea behind the series is simple: 1) choose an artist to explore with your child and 2) allow a piece of work by the particular artist to inspire your child (and you) to create an original piece of art work. The concept is lovely. The series inspired this activity. Our approach, however, was opposite. We led with the original art work and ended with the artist study.

We moved recently. So along with continued unpacking, our days have been spontaneous.  On a beautiful afternoon the boys played in our backyard as I unpacked a goldmine of a box – ART SUPPLIES.  At the same moment, I glanced across the room to the boys’ kitchen and eyed a mini pasta strainer. That was it. I grabbed red and blue paint, our large pad of paper and the sweet little strainer and headed outside. The approach was really quite simple.

We squeeze blue and red paint into the strainer, which was a whole activity by itself. Then we watched the colors mix together and eventually creating a beautiful purple.

Then we let the paint take over with banging the strainer and making dots on the paper and then, my favorite, whipping the strainer in the air. The latter, I suddenly noticed in the middle of the activity, reminded me of abstract expressionism a la Jackson Pollock in the later years.

We displayed it for a few days. I showed him some images from the internet to introduce him to Jackson Pollock, specifically, and then the type of artwork, abstract expressionism. That information was a lot for a 3 year old so I am pleased with simply being able to expose him to the artist and to get him a little messy along the way.

I ordered a few books from the local branch of our library, too. I am really excited to pick them up later this week and revisit this activity. Anna’s Art Adventure and Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters. The books I ordered were recommended to me by Red Ted Art.


Kids love painting!  Here are some other fun painting projects for kids:

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About Marnie Craycroft

Marnie writes Carrots Are Orange, a Montessori inspired homeschooling blog she started in 2010 after the birth of her first son. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living in Seattle with her husband and two young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Marnie can be found on Facebook, Twitter @OrangeCarrots, Pinterest and Google +.