Five Ways to Teach Children About Art History

English: Cave hyena (Crocuta crocuta spelaea) ...

Teach your kids about cave painting by letting them draw on brown craft paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Art comes in so many forms, and art history is a deep and varied subject. Neither, however, has to be boring. Show your child that art history is fun by getting them involved in the learning process. From creating skits to building replicas, your child will love the chance to interact with art and history at the same time!

Produce an Art History Video

After teaching your child how to use video recording technology, encourage them to write a script about the life of a favorite master or the history surrounding a particular period in art history. Help them to put together costumes with their friends, and focus the video on being educational. Your child will not only begin to understand the process of producing a video, but they will love seeing art literally come to life!

Feel the Art

Before showing your child a piece of artwork that represents a specific style, just use words to describe it to them. While painting a picture of the lines, shapes, and textures with your words, ask your child to draw what they hear. You might even suggest they close their eyes. You’ll be amazed by the result, whether your child replicates the style perfectly or creates something totally new.

Create a Cave Painting

Cave paintings are one of the first examples of human artwork. Line your home’s walls with brown craft paper, and let your child have a go. After learning about cave dwellings and seeing examples of cave paintings, they’ll love the opportunity to replicate such cool artwork.

Sculpt Greek Pottery

Educate your child about the importance of Greek pottery and the decorations on ancient vases, bowls, and the like. Then help your child construct his own piece of pottery with paper mache. While you may not be able to carry water in it from the well, it will make a great (and educational) decoration for the bookcase.

Visualize Art History

Acquire a long piece of craft paper to lay on the floor or hang on the wall, and help your child build an actual timeline of art history as they learn about it. With each passing artist, period, and style, allow your child to draw an example under the dates and descriptions. Being able to visualize art and the passing of time in this way will engrain the knowledge in your child’s mind and encourage a love of art throughout his life.

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Nona Taut

Nona Taut is Sales Director for Makit Products, located in Dallas, Texas.

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