April 29, 2013

Mommy School - Summer School Plan 4

My boys love, love, love art.  As much as Rex likes superheroes, he's torn between his loves.  He says he either wants to be a policeman (which I figure is the closest he can think of to being a superhero) or an artist.  So, I want to spend a week of the summer on just art.  

I figured we'll pick an artist a day.  We can learn about the artist and try out his or her "style."  

1) First up is Eric Carle.  Baden is obsessed with him.  It's funny that he has a favorite author when he's only 3, but he'll sit and listen to any Eric Carle book.  I think it's the bright, bold art he loves.  And honestly, I love Eric Carle too.  I found a great short video to start with HERE.  It shows him working on his art and explaining his love of color.  It's less than 3 minutes, so it won't be hard for the boys to sit through.

Then I think we'll paint papers in different bright colors like he does.  We'll cut them into shapes to create our own pictures.  Here are a couple examples of kids attempting his art that I found.

2) Next up we'll talk about Vincent Van Gough.  We'll read the main summary about him HERE.  However, I want to emphasize to the boys that he wasn't very successful or accepted in his lifetime and only sold one painting.  I think it's neat for them to understand that we can follow our hearts and passions - even if others don't always understand us.

For our project I think we'll do self-portraits.  Vincent did 37 self portraits!  And maybe we'll try to mimic the type of brush strokes he used in the background.

3) We'll do a day on Andrew Warhol as well.  I want to stress that art is everywhere - not just in museums.  It's in packaging, people, and all the things we love.  We'll watch THIS little YouTube video on him (with the mute button on because everyone has to make videos with loud music on them for some reason).

For our art project I'll take pictures of the boys, turn them into coloring type pages (like I did in their quiet books below) and then..... 

.......make the classic collage so they can color them all different colors.

4) Lastly, we'll talk about Picasso.  I want to teach the boys what abstract art is.  I found this great site (which is loaded with ideas) at the end of all my art searching.  Anyhow, we'll follow her portrait Picasso instructions found HERE.  I think the boys will get a kick out of drawing noses on foreheads and what not.

5) On the last day we'll head to an art museum.  I've actually never taken the boys to an art museum.  Maybe I'll let them use my camera to take pictures of the art they find that they like and we can learn a little more about it.  Any recommendations for the art museum in Utah that would be most age-appropriate?

6) And just in case you want some more fun art projects to try, here's a short round up of ones that I think look really fun.  Click on the link below each picture to be taken to the original source.

Treasure Chests (but I think they'd make fun "books in a box")

Nature Art (and collect it while you hike)

And that's art week!  I know it's not even the tip of the iceberg that I'll be covering with them, but I just want to get their feet wet.  Feel free to link up an art project you've done with kids that was a hit or that you want to try.

Thanks for dropping in.


  1. Check your local city guide (often found in coffee shops and the entrances of grocery/convenient stores for free) for art museums. You can also ask the area's children's museum if they know of anything. If you can't find a museum that is kid-friendly, look around for public spaces that have art exhibits. Places like libraries, government buildings, sometimes even hospitals have art displays. Also, look to see if your neck of the woods has a First Friday event. The first Friday of every month the art galleries are open to the public to do an arts crawl. You can walk from gallery to gallery (often it's a downtown event), there's also music and performances. It's pretty cool. Don't forget, art is everywhere. Maybe take the boys for a drive and have them do a "scavenger hunt" for art (perfect for a fussy baby as well because the car ride may calm her). They can look for sculptures, advertisement art, graffiti (some is actually quite beautiful), etc.

  2. Really love this one! Thanks for all the work you put into it.

  3. I know there's one at Utah State in Logan. Or even check universities close to you. They are usually more low key and at the Utah State one they are used to having kids there because when I student taught we always went on field trips there. Also I really respect your decision to take a step back from blogging, everything you wrote about taking a break is so true and I admire you for recognizing how you can be your best self for your family at this time :) you will be missed though for sure

  4. That is a great idea. I love the art week. I love Eric Carle as well, and have done pictures like him. It was a lot of fun!

  5. BYU Museum of Art is the best art museum around! Springville also has a really excellent art museum. If you're not in Utah County, in the Salt Lake Valley the University of Utah has an art museum, and on the website it looks as if the exhibits are kid friendly. The Church History Museum also has paintings, but they don't cover as wide-range of art as other art museums.

    This is a great idea! My mom started a program at our school called FAME. Every month we learned about an artist and a composer and a famous piece from each. It was the best part of elementary school! I really think that kids should learn about art and music, more than just looking at and listening to it.

  6. Love this idea. My son HATES coloring with crayons, but loves doing other types of art. In his preschool, they frequently learn about different artists, such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, etc, as well as about the types; pop art, impressionism... It's amazing how much of the info he soaks in about these various artists and art types. He'll remember months after he learned about it, always impresses me.

  7. You might search the blog deep space sparkle art. The woman who runs it is an art teacher for grades k through 6 she posts a ton of lesson plans, step by step and lets you know what grade level they are most appropriate for. She has a ton of ideas and we've always had great success finding projects that were fun and not frustrating. Have fun! LT

  8. Oh my, this is why I'm gonna miss you sooo much. I just love your ideas and am sure gonna give it a try with my boys. Thank you, Cheri!

  9. I love the "books in a box" idea! We did an Eric Carle theme day and did some art to look like the inside covers of some of his books. Finger paint is awesome for that style. You can see it here if you are interested:


  10. I love Eric Carle's books! If you are up to searching...there is a full episode where Mr. Rogers (Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood - http://pbskids.org/rogers/videos/index.html), goes and visits with Eric Carle. It is really neat to watch Eric paint.

    Thought you might be interested. :)

  11. Thank you for doing the leg work for us! I have been talking to my two boys about art, and that is many different things for my 5 yo often still does what could only be described as a sort of abstract art, I notice he does it when he is trying to sort something out in his head, it seems to soothe him. And the 7 yo kept saying that the 5 yo drawings were no good, cause he couldn't see anything in them (despite my best efforts to get him to only say positive feedback). So I told them about Salvatore Dali, who is my favorite artist, and this prompted them both to start drawing from their imagination and less about what is right in front of them. It also made the 5 yo now not try to say his abstract pictures are an object, they are just "art". I can't wait to take them through what you have found - thank-you thank you thank you.

  12. These are amazing, awesome, fun ideas! Thank you for all the work you put into these posts. You will be greatly missed, but I completely understand and commend you for your reasons! Enjoy your new sweet babe when she arrives!

  13. Try the Utah Museum of Natural History on the U of U campus. They actually had Andy Warhol there a couple years ago (darn) but the other, permanent galleries and cool, too.

  14. You might like the guide available on Pineapple Paintbrush - she put together a series of art classes for preschoolers with great projects while teaching art principles. She also has a second guide to supplies - both very reasonably priced. Her website has previews on it, on the sidebar. http://www.pineapplepaintbrush.com/ Lots of really fun ideas!

  15. Check out Ed Emberley's books about drawing. Steps anyone can follow and there is a subject for everyone. They really help you see the shapes that make up the things around us. The Leonardo was very engaging for my 5 year old, so much so I was surprised, lots of interactive exhibits, the Kimball art center in Park City is a nice size for little ones.

  16. One of my favorite things to do with my younger siblings, is to do lifesize self pictures. With brown or white restaurant paper, they lay down while I trace them. Once I'm done, they draw on their clothes and faces, and color themselves how they see fit. When they are happy with it, I cut them out, and display them in the hallway.

  17. I live about an hour from the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA. I am actually planning a visit with my four year old this summer. I am pinning some of these activities to prep.


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