Saturday, April 2, 2016

One Way to Get Young Children Interested in Art

Most young children love to do art projects - cutting and gluing, painting, coloring, sculpting with clay. If I give my children a box full of paper, scissors, glue, glitter, stickers, and tape, they will be happy for hours! Children love to create things.

But how do you get your young child interested in real art? How do you get your child interested in the masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Bassano, and da Vinci?

I have found one way - The Art Book for Children.

Product Details

I purchased this book especially with my two youngest children in mind - Silas, 5, and Titus, 3 - but I knew that all of my children would read and examine it. We have never done formal artist study until recently {and, by the way, we love it!}, and I really wanted to get my younger children interested in art study now instead of later.

From the back of the book:

Can dressing up be art? How do you paint feelings? Why did Giuseppe Arcimboldo choose a grocery store to find his inspiration? How do you make an Alberto Giacometti? Can you paint a noise? Why did Jeff Koons make a giant sculpture from 70,000 plants?

Intriguing, right? Right off the bat, this has become one of our favorite books, and I'll be happy to tell {and show} you why!

This book has around 30 different works of art. Most of them are paintings, and a few are sculptures. On each two-page spread, there is a famous work of art, a description of the art and artist, and questions that will get your child thinking!

For example, this painting is called "The Party", by Pieter Bruegel. The first question on this page is "Can you hear the noise in this picture?" When you look at the painting, you can see men playing instruments like bagpipes, people talking and laughing, and people serving food and drink. You can hear the noise, when you start seeing it!

There are many details in this painting that are brought to the child's attention, and even six different pictures of people of the painting that your child can find in the big painting {sort of like "where's Waldo?"}. Titus had a fun time finding the people, and he even noticed some details I wouldn't expect him to - like the child eating the "pie" in the corner.

By far, Titus's favorite part of the book were the "splat" paintings done by Jackson Pollock. He laughed and said, "He's making a mess!". We are going to try to replicate this style by splat painting outside one day.

Titus had looked at this book almost daily since we got it. Seriously, I can come into the room and he is in his favorite chair, studying the pictures in this book.

Although my children have already read this book, I plan to use this once a week for my younger children. We will examine one piece of art, answer the questions in the book, and mimic the style of art. I also plan to buy the second in this series, The Art Book for Children, Book Two. The Art Book for Children has been a great addition to our library and such a great way to get my children looking at, thinking about, and discussing art!

** I am no longer an Amazon affiliate, as Louisiana passed a new sales tax law that prohibits it. Any Amazon links will be purely for your convenience and to share products I love. **


  1. That sounds great! We also love the Spot the Difference books; great for older kids. They have a work of art and on the opposing page there is a copy of the same work of art with a few things missing or added and you have to really study the paintings to spot the differences.

    1. That sounds fantastic! I'll have to check that out for my older kids.

  2. Looks like a great book! Art is an area that I really want to incorporate better into our school days. Thanks for sharing and I will take a look at this one.