There are so many great resources available for homeschooling parents to teach art history to even the younger school aged children. I have a 5-year-old so finding resources that make art history fun to learn and appropriate for her age is my endeavour. And since the theme of the Poppins Book Nook this month is “Artists”, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to share some of my great finds.
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Anholt’s Artists Activity Book Review
One great book for introducing art history for kids is Anholt’s Artists Activity Book.
- paint a portrait with Vincent van Gogh
- make a funky junk sculpture with Pablo Picasso
- design a marvellous machine with Leonardo da Vinci
- make an action sculpture with Edgar Degas
- make a colourful cutout composition with Henri Matisse
- learn to work with water colours with Claude Monet
- and take a charcoal challenge with Paul Cézanne
My daughter enjoyed the stories and was more than willing to get started on the art activities. If she had her way, she would have done every story and every art activity in the same day, back to back. She was less than thrilled when I only allowed her to complete one artist per day.
After going through the book once, I can say it’s a great book to include in an art history homeschooling curriculum. And it’s definitely not a one time use book. I can foresee us using it in our home school for many years to come, with my daughter getting more out of it with each year. For example, there’s a “Chat about Art” section after the story with each artist. I sort of hand-picked some tidbits of info to share with my daughter from that section, but for the most part, that section will be more at her level in a year or 2.
One thing I love about this book is it’s not a grab these exact supplies and follow step by step to create this exact art piece. Instead, it puts the creativity in the hands of the child while giving them art tips and techniques they can use in their own creation.
I had to hold myself back a bit from giving my daughter my creative input, and allow her to be the artist. She came up with things that I personally would not have come up with, but that was the point, she was the artist, and I had to allow her to be so.
I have compiled some more great books, art activities, lessons and even an occasional animated video to further supplement your child’s study of the 7 famous artists introduced in Anholt’s Artists Activity Book.
Vincent van Gogh
Leonardo da Vinci
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