Try These Kids Art Projects Inspired by Art History!
Although making art just seems like fun when you’re a kid, it’s actually an important building block to a child’s development.
“Making artwork promotes many of the physical and cognitive developmental milestones that are vital for your child’s growth,”
… said Erin Dower, editor at FamilyEducation.com in a Shutterfly guide about age-appropriate art. Children use imagination, creativity and exploration to fill in the blanks about the world around them and to develop motor skills, learn about shapes and colors, and express emotions. Introduce art and history at the same time with a hands-on approach, and help your child make a masterpiece with kid-friendly art projects inspired by famous works of art history.
3 Kids Art Projects Inspired by Art History
1. Mini Monet Art Project
Inspired by: Claude Monet; Agapanthus, c.1915–26; oil on canvas; Left Panel: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Center Panel: Saint Louis Art Museum, Right Panel: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Learn more about the Agapanthus triptych here.
- watercolor paper or card stock
- various colors of acrylic paint
How to Make it:
Create your own series of Claude Monet’s impressionist paintings by applying globs, stripes, dots and splotches of paint to one half of a sheet of paper. Fold the paper in half and press or rub firmly to distribute the paint evenly; unfold to reveal your work of art. Experiment with different color schemes and paint application techniques for maximum enjoyment – Monet had 250 paintings in his water lilies series, so create abundantly!
2. Junior Van Gogh Art Project
- canvas or poster board
- yellow and blue acrylic paint
- yellow and green crepe paper
- green twine, yarn or floral wire
- colored paper
How to Make it:
Bring your own version of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers to life with a mixed media art project of found objects. Have your child paint a blue and yellow background onto a canvas and let it dry. Draw a vase shape onto colored paper, cut and glue the pieces to the painted canvas. There’s no exact art to making the flowers, so experiment with different folding techniques with your child, using the Van Gogh flowers as inspiration. Note that his sunflowers aren’t perfect—yours don’t need to be either! Once you find a suitable flower shape, staple it together in the center and glue a button down to hide the staple. Glue green twine, yarn or floral wire to the canvas for stems and glue your crepe paper and button flowers on top. Creative and fun is the way to (Van) go!
3. Minor Mondrian Art Project
- clear contact paper
- red, yellow and blue cellophane
- black Washi tape
How to Make it:
Appreciate the basics of color and shape with Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow. Create colorful abstract stained glass by cutting a rectangular piece of clear contact paper and placing it sticky side up. Cut the primary colored cellophane into different-sized rectangles and have your child press them into place. Make a black border around each rectangle to create a grid-like effect with the Washi tape and hang on a window for your own mini Museum of Modern Art. Take a detour lesson by layering the different colors of cellophane to make new hues and learn the basics of the color wheel.
Visit an Art Museum to See Famous Art in Person, Too!
Great artists are frequently inspired by one another’s work, so the next time you take your petite Picasso to the art museum, encourage him or her to take a new look at old classics and get inventive about recreating amazing art at an age-appropriate level. In no time at all, the front of your fridge will rival the walls of the Louvre!
What’s your kids’ favorite art projects? Which are the art projects that you save and treasure the most? Tell us about it in the comments below!