Art History and Activities for Children

Are you looking for educational crafts and activities to work on at home with your young children? Although you may not be an art teacher or ‘expert’, it is easy enough to don the cap when necessary to provide your kids with a bit of learning as well as an opportunity to develop their art skills. A great way to get your kids excited about art and art history is to create a basic lesson plan about one of the great artists in history. What follows is a breakdown of what you’ll need to come up with an art lesson for your children.

Your lesson should include some of the following*:

• Choose one of the great artists in history
• Provide biographical information about the artist
• Share some interesting facts about their lives
• Explain the mediums that they worked with and the works that they are known for
• Show examples of the artwork (photos, slideshows, images in books, virtual tour)

*Consider your child’s age when gathering and presenting this information – adapt your language to suit their learning style and ability.

At the preschool age, children are particularly receptive to and adept at learning language, thus it is a prime time to introduce them to the elements of art and art literacy. In teaching young children about art, a very basic understanding of its elements is invaluable. It will provide the rudimentary basis upon which children can develop and broaden their understanding, creation and analysis of art.

Once you’ve done your research, you can present the information to your child in a variety of ways. You could approach the task as you would ‘reading time’ with your child, and read from your sources. Alternatively, you could set up a study space in your house where you can sit and learn with your children. Regardless of how you present or share the information with your children, it is important that you provide them with an opportunity to do a bit of creating on their own.

Find a suitable medium and the materials for your children to work with. Set up an art/craft work area and let your kids explore and create independently, inspired by the artist you are introducing. Try to link the lesson taught with the medium provided. For instance, if you’ve been discussing Michelangelo’s sculptures, you may want to give your children clay to sculpt with.

These mini art lessons are a great way to spend q