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Art History for Kids

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.  

I’m sharing the best videos, books, and activities I have found that will make learning art history fun for kids ages 4 to 8. We will learn about 7 famous artists:

  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Edgar Degas
  • Henri Matisse
  • Claude Monet
  • Paul Cézanne
teaching art history to kids. Ideal for 4 - 8 year old children.
teaching art history to kids. Ideal for 4 – 8 year old children.

Art History Books For Kids

Anholt’s Artists Activity Book Review

One great book for introducing art history for kids is Anholt’s Artists Activity Book.

It introduces children to 7 famous artists, one at a time, in a kid friendly comic book style.  Children will get to:

  • 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

Our Experiences & Opinions of the Book

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.

Art History for 4 - 6 year olds.

Famous Artists for Kids

I have compiled some more great books, art activities, lessons and animated videos to further supplement your child’s study of the 7 famous artists introduced in Anholt’s Artists Activity Book.

Vincent Van Gogh

Here’s a fun YouTube video for kids about Vincent van Gogh:

Check out my Van Gogh for Kids board on Pinterest to see some fun activities you could do when learning about this artist.

Pablo Picasso

Here’s a Picasso for kids board on Pinterest, where you can find some fun art projects or activities to learn about Picasso.

Leonardo da Vinci

Here’s a fun YouTube video for kids on Leonardo da Vinci:

You can find a variety of activities to learn about this artist in this Leonardo da Vinci Pinterest board.

Edgar Degas

To introduce kids to Edgar Degas, here’s a cartoon for kids to watch:

You can find some Edgar Degas activities on my Pinterest board for the artist.

Henri Matisse

There are 2 fun animated short stories for kids about Henri Matisse on Youtube:

Here’s a link to my Pinterest board where you can find a variety of educational activities for kids on Henri Matisse.

Claude Monet

Here are some cartoons about Claude Monet:

Check out my collection of Claude Monet activities on my Pinterest board.

Paul Cézanne

I’ve collected a variety of activities for kids to learn about Paul Cézanne on a Pinterest board.

10 Amazing Art Picks for Your Homeschool! - A Helping Hand Homeschool

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

[…] Tree Valley Academy has compiled some fantastic resources for making art history fun for little ones! These lessons are designed for kids around 4 to 8 years old…but honestly, I want to do them. They just look like that much fun! […]

Jenn Roberts

Friday 6th of November 2015

I'm definitely going to have to spend some time on this link up as soon as I can find it. What an awesome resource! Thank you for sharing!

Lisa (mummascribbles)

Wednesday 4th of November 2015

Wow all that information. I quite like researching and finding things, I'd be good at that side of home schooling hehe! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

Karen W

Tuesday 3rd of November 2015

That sounds like a great book. I think it sound familiar, I think it was one I was looking for for this month's Book Nook but our library didn't have it. We did find some great books on Van Gogh though. Thanks for linking up with Littles Learning Link Up. Your post is one of the featured posts this week. I hope you can stop by again soon.


Tuesday 3rd of November 2015

This. looks. perfect! I have been struggling with wanting to add more substance to art time, and this looks like just what I need! Thank you !!!