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Here is something simple to offer your child if they love working with play-dough, and you have the inspiration to introduce them to the world of fine arts. This idea came from my obsession to make every single activity meaningful and educational. I wonder sometimes if it’s a weakness or strength. Anyway, we all know how appealing play-dough is to young children.
Sometimes they can spend hours molding it in their hands. There are children who are an exception to this rule, for example, miss A. She is quite indifferent when it comes to play-dough. However, I still set it up for her every week to help prepare hand and fingers for writing.
DIY play-dough mat is a great way to enrich play with creativity and bring more purpose into the simple play-dough activity. I used laminated coloring pages of famous paintings. Looking at famous artwork allows introducing children to various colors and tones. It facilitates children’s learning to do simple analyses of paintings. Children learn to identify the highlights and main characteristics. As an extension, they can be invited to add their own colors and elements to the picture. It’s a simple, but engaging way to get them to appreciate the work of fine art.
Art and creativity are subjects I would like to include in our homeschool curriculum from the preschool age. In this activity we used materials from Art Appreciation Tool Box we received from Montessori by Mom – matching cards. Miss A chose her favorite painting. Then we picked a matching color for play-dough and found printables of painting outline to print out and laminate. There are a couple of sites you can download pictures for coloring. My favorite one is Super Coloring.
At this age, children gain the most benefit from process art that is self-driven. I have noticed that even a slight attempt to take control failed miserably. Fair enough. Most importantly the child receives an opportunity to engage deeply into their work without interruption. It is so essential to allow children to keep that individuality in everything, really, and build their skills on this foundation.
It took me 4 years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
Before working with play- dough we:
- read about the artist
- had a short discussion of the painting and title
- looked at what were the most obvious elements of the artwork
- pointed out some smaller details
Then the process began. I could tell that my daughter thoroughly enjoyed it. I printed some other pictures with artwork from different styles for the next time.
It was a simple and fun way to engage a preschooler to explore the world of art. Next time we will attempt to paint from observation and try to replicate a similar style with paints – preschooler style.
Art Resources You Might Find Helpful in Your Classroom
Art Appreciation Montessori Resources and Books for Children
Art and Artwork Research Worksheets
Invite your students to learn more about their favourite artists and artworks.
This printable is suitable for students in Grade 1-3
Native American Musical Instruments - Preschool Picture Cards
This resource is great for preschool and kindergarten students for learning about the cultural aspects of Native American culture. It presents 16 different types of musical instruments with realistic and accurate clipart. Invite your students to match cards and trace labels. Bind labeled cards to make a picture book.
Cards for Low-Hanging Wall Art for Babies
Uniquely designed by an artist for little people and inspired by nature.
Music Preschool Pack - "I am a Musician"
Learning activity pack for preschool children aged 3-5 that perfectly complements the musical handbells.
Musical Instruments Nomenclature Cards
Families of Musical Instruments and Keyboard Instruments Flash Cards for sorting.
My Book of Families of Musical Instruments and Keyboard Instruments – for practicing writing and for coloring in.
Sheet for self-check
This printables is also included in the Music Preschool Pack
Nature Journal - Children's Activity Book with Prompts I see I wonder I create
Contains 20 beautiful pictures illustrated by an artist – Alexandra Burda
The book invites children to use their imagination and experience in nature to complete each picture.
Angels in Art - Montessori Nomenclature Cards
Montessori Inspired Angels in Art – Montessori Nomenclature Cards
Art History Timeline
Twenty-two 3 part cards with art periods from Stone Age to Postmodernism and Deconstructionism.
every card includes key characteristics of the period,
one piece of art that represents this art period.
This is an overview of Art History.
This printable also includes a whole-page format for each card for those who would like to hang it on the wall for display.
40 World Landmarks Nomenclature Cards
World Landmarks Printable contains:
40 Control cards
40 Picture cards
40 Label Cards
Natural Landmarks and Artificial Landmarks in Europe | Sorting
Sorting activity – natural and artificial European landmarks. Invite your students to discover the most beautiful landmarks in Europe.
Study of Europe - Montessori Inspired Bundle
Introduction study of Europe that contains hands-on resources to teach students about unique aspects of the continent while developing their concentration, logical thinking, comprehension skills, reading and so much more.
Famous Artists of Europe Pack - Bio
Europe has an incredibly rich art history. This art study of the greatest European artists of all time is a wonderful way to introduce students to the world of art and art history, inspire them to create their own masterpieces.
How to Use the Child Size Masterpieces
How to Use Child-size Masterpieces by Aline D. Wolf is a manual that enables adults, who need not be art experts, to present beautiful paintings to young children.
Dispensing with the words "Don't touch," which normally accompany the study of fine art, this program invites youngsters ages 3 through 12 to handle postcard-size reproductions (sold separately in the Child-Size Masterpieces books) in a delightful series of graded activities.
Child Size Masterpieces of Steps 1, 2, 3 - Matching, Pairing, and Sorting - Level 1 Easy
This beautifully printed volume is the first in the 8 book series, Child-size Masterpieces for Art Appreciation, by Aline Wolf. This volume contains 36 postcard-size art reproductions to be cut out and used for the first 3 steps of the program: matching identical paintings, pairing two paintings by the same artist and grouping four paintings by the same artist. Carefully chosen to appeal to young children, the selections include a wide variety of subjects and styles. Appropriate for 3-7 year-olds in 3 levels of gradually increasing challenge. Using the How to Use Child-size Masterpieces Handbook, also by Aline Wolf, is suggested.
Wooden Montessori Puzzles, Picasso Art Puzzle Play Set 26 Wooden Parts, Kid Montessori Stem Travel Toy, Gifts for Children
Wooden Montessori puzzles "Pablo Picasso" will train children’s imagination and creativity. Such pretend games will allow children to learn a lot about artists and their world masterpieces, and help them become an artist.
Kids' Flower & Leaf Press Nature Crafts Wooden Art Kit Outdoor Play Learning Toy Creativity Pressed Flower Art Kit DIY Recycle Floral Press Gift for Kids & Teens, Girls & Boys
This flower and leaf press is a fun, beautiful, and well made press for preserving botanical samples for study or just for art purposes
Making Music in Montessori
Infused with a warm, affable tone, Making Music in Montessori is the Guide’s guide to music education, providing Montessori teachers all at once a snappy, practical handbook, music theory mentor, pedagogical manual, and resource anthology. The book’s goal: To give teachers confidence in music, so that when their children walk away from a lesson all fired up to compose their own music, their teacher will know how to guide them.
Wonder Art Workshop: Creative Child-Led Experiences for Nurturing Imagination, Curiosity, and a Love of Learning
In Wonder Art Workshop, educator and educational development expert Sally Haughey shares her approach to hands-on, play-based learning with parents, teachers, and other facilitators, offering 25 activities that let your child take the lead in developing their own sense of intrinsic motivation to imagine, experiment, and discover.
Art Workshops for Children
A guide to twelve children's art workshops by one of the world's most innovative facilitators and best–selling bookmakers.
Art Workshops for Children is a guide for parents and teachers to organize and execute artistic workshops for children. 12 workshops are featured, each offering a list of materials needed, a step–by–step guide to facilitation, practical tips, illustrated examples, and photos of workshops in progress.
Introducing Visual Arts to The Montessori Classrooms: The natural art method that aligns with a child's growth
How children learn visual artsThe 5 domains of visual art programmingHow to set up an classroomHow to stage art suppliesMaterials ListArt Supply ListTeacher Management Tips
Montessori Crafts: 101 Montessori-Inspired Crafts to do with Children Ages 2-6 at Home or in the Classroom
From Montessori teacher, Rachel Peachey, comes 101 easy-to-follow Montessori-inspired craft activities that you can do with children ages 2-6 at home or in the classroom. This book contains crafts inspired by locations all over the world. They help children learn about cultures and geography from every continent. Other activities teach practical life skills, such as letter writing and creative skills like botanical painting. Each activity gives a short introduction, followed by a list of materials needed and steps to complete.
Women Artists A to Z
An empowering and educational alphabet picture book about women artists, perfect for fans of Rad American Women A-Z.
How many women artists can you name? From Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe, to Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Xenobia Bailey, this lushly illustrated alphabet picture book presents both famous and underrepresented women in the fine arts from a variety of genres: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and more. Each spread features a simple line of text encapsulating the creator's iconic work in one word, such as "D is for Dots" (Yayoi Kusama) and "S is for Spider" (Louise Bourgeois), followed by slightly longer text about the artist for older readers who would like to know more. Backmatter includes extended biographies and discussion questions for budding creatives and trailblazers.
Kid Artists: True Tales of Childhood from Creative Legends (Kid Legends Book 3)
Hilarious childhood biographies and full-color illustrations reveal how Leonardo da Vinci, Beatrix Potter, Keith Haring, and other great artists in history coped with regular-kid problems.
Every great artist started out as a kid. Forget the awards, the sold-out museum exhibitions, and the timeless masterpieces. When the world’s most celebrated artists were growing up, they had regular-kid problems just like you. Jackson Pollock’s family moved constantly—he lived in eight different cities before he was sixteen years old.
The Arts: A Visual Encyclopedia
This beautiful art encyclopedia charts the evolution of the greatest cultural achievements in painting, sculpture, and photography.
The greatest art exhibition at your fingertips! Packed with fascinating facts, clear explanations, and stunning photography, this awe-inspiring art encyclopedia for kids aged 9-12 years takes you on a magical tour through time exploring every artistic style and movement in stunning detail. From Leonardo da Vinci's iconic Mona Lisa to Vincent van Gogh's spectacular The Starry Night, this art history book celebrates the lives of groundbreaking artists and their most famous art masterpieces.
Famous Artists Biography and Coloring Book: Volume 2 (Meet the Artist by Magic Spells for Teachers LLC)
This biography coloring book is all about teaching kids about the lives of famous artists while encouraging their own creativity through coloring and creating. This is Volume 2 of the Famous Artists Biography Coloring Books! Almost 100 coloring pages include 13 original biographies written just for children with age approximate language and content.
ABCs of Art (Sabrina Hahn's Art & Concepts for Kids)
Learn the alphabet through fine art!
Spark your child’s creativity and curiosity with this delightfully curated alphabet book featuring some of the world’s most iconic paintings.
Nature is an Artist
Nature is an Artist explores different art forms that kids can find in the natural world. In the book, a group of children follow Nature—the most inspiring of teachers—as they discover the world’s greatest art show hidden in plain sight. As they witness beautiful landscapes, stunning vistas, and unusual creatures, each child is inspired to recreate their own fine work of art.
Colors in Art (Sabrina Hahn's Art & Concepts for Kids)
Explore colors through fine art!
Spark your child’s creativity and curiosity with this delightfully curated colors book featuring some of the world’s most iconic artworks.
In this collection, explore unique palette combinations and revolutionary color choices throughout art history, from the lush greens of ancient Egyptian panels to Franz Marc’s vibrant Cows, Red, Green, Yellow to the iconic orange sky in Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great Masters (10) (Bright Ideas for Learning)
Fun and easy art-appreciation activities abound in this resource that features over 60 great artists across the ages. A concise biography for each artist tells why his or her work is important, and a kid-tested art activity tries out the artist’s approach. Young artists will sketch inventive designs in the style of da Vinci and draw in a nature notebook like Audubon. To understand Rodin, they will create a clay carving.