Children learn to express themselves through art at an early age.
If you had the privilege of taking an early morning Art History class in college, then you know that flipping through slides of artwork while trying to memorize names and dates leaves a lot to be desired. If the thought of teaching your little one about various artists makes your eyelids heavy, rest assured that you can inspire art appreciation in fun and creative ways. Just keep in mind that preschoolers learn by doing, so get them into the art scene with trips and activities as opposed to slides and lectures. As your little one gains an appreciation for art, she will also gain social, cognitive and motor skills critical for development.
1Hit the streets with your preschooler and visit a local museum. Review simple rules of museum etiquette with her to ensure you don't disturb the peace during your trip. As you walk through the museum, ask your child to point out her favorite pieces and try to identify features or patterns that occur in multiple pieces of art. Ask thought-provoking questions to develop her language skills, such as why an artist chose a particular color, how the subject of a painting may be feeling or what she makes of an abstract piece.
2Head to the library to check out books with works from different artists. As you look at different pieces, ask your little one to create a short story to go along with some of them. With the active imagination of a preschooler, she will surely come up with creative scenarios that would make even the Mona Lisa chuckle. After exposing her to a variety of artists, ask your kiddo to choose her two favorites and take their books home with you for further study.
3Focus on one single artist at a time and the style of art typically produced by that artist. After getting a feel for a particular artist, set your preschooler up with the tools to create a piece inspired by him. You might provide a canvas with outlines of squares and rectangles for your child to fill in with color, representing the works of Piet Mondrian. She can also make a finger paint collage one color at a time, then cut out figures just as Eric Carle does to illustrate his stories. When finished, post the art in a space to create a mini gallery for the work of your little artist.
- Check online for deals on museum tickets. Museums in many big cities have one day per month with free admission. Your local library may also have free passes for you to use.Explore a variety of art forms, including sculpture, photography, paintings and prints.