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I’m not exactly an artistic type of person. Although, one might argue my love for photography could be an artistic outlet, it’s not the same to me as drawing or painting or sculpting. I just don’t have that in me. So when I opened up to today’s lesson in the What Your Preschooler Needs to Know activity book and saw that it was an art lesson, I got a little nervous. There were lots of thoughts. Like, crap I’m going to mess this up. Crap he’s going to know I have no idea what I’m doing. Or, crap he’s going to end up hating art because of how bad I am at it.
But I took a deep breath, got over myself, and we dived right in. First we read a little bit about Henri Matisse and his piece of art, “The Snail” in the What Your Preschoolers Needs to Know book (companion to the What Your Preschooler Needs to Know activity book). We compared it to an actual picture of a snail and I asked Wyatt if he could tell why the artwork might be called “The Snail”. He was so quick to point out how he could sort of see the shape of a snail in it. It was totally fun to see him working that out and “getting it” right in front of me.
The next part of the activity was to tear up paper to make your own Mastisse-inspired picture. We worked on that for a while, and when we finally had a big pile of paper, I let him loose in the workbook with a glue stick. I stressed to him that there was no right or wrong way to “do” art so he should just have fun and glue the paper where he thought it would go best.
Guys, he was so proud of what he did. He’s never been super into arts and crafts, and barely even likes to color in a coloring book. So it was really sweet to see him participating in an artistic activity and actually getting pleasure out of it.
How to recreate this Matisse-Inspired Art Activity
I think this is a great art activity for the preschool to kindergarten age group. It’s fun, easy, and doesn’t require a lot of supplies. And since it only involved tearing paper, you don’t have to worry if your child hasn’t developed great scissor skills yet. Here’s what you’ll need if you want to recreate this Mastisse-inspired art activity:
A simple image for your child to paste the paper over, or you can go a step further and first have them draw their own picture to paste the paper onto
Start by having your child tear strips of paper and then tearing the strips into squares. You’ll probably end up with more than a few pieces that aren’t quite square-like. That’s ok! Once they have a decent pile of paper, show them how to glue one down and explain that they get to pick where each of the pieces of paper goes. They can overlap. They can go outside the lines. There’s no wrong way to do it.
And that’s pretty much it! You can take it a step further though by having them identify colors in their art or count the pieces of paper they used. And if your child is ready for it, you can also discuss Henri Matisse as an artist and what collage art is.
If you try this art activity and share it online, don’t forget to use #EverydayTrish so I can find it and give it some love.
And don’t forget about cleanup! We had a lot of extra paper leftover that I didn’t want to just throw away, but I knew if I just threw it back in the “homeschool drawer” it was going to get messy. I was just going to stick them all into a file folder, when I remembered I had these Smead poly envelopes leftover from another project. They worked perfectly! I really like that they’re clear so I can see what’s inside, and they expand a bit too so I can stuff a lot more in there.
Moving on to later in the day and we tried some sight words, but since he claimed to have “forgotten” all of the alphabet, it turned into a total wash. So we called it quits for the day. Although I did find a way to sneak in some counting practice later in the day without him noticing. Muhahahaha.
Oh, and we made it through chapter seven of Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone. You should hear me trying to do Hagrid’s dialogue. Actually no, you don’t want to hear that. But Wyatt doesn’t seem to mind. And we’re having tons of fun reading all about Harry Potter together.
And that was pretty much our day. Looking forward to seeing where tomorrow takes us. And hopefully he will have miraculously remembered the alphabet again.
Tell me, how do you effectively teach art in your homeschool without wanting to hide in a closet? I’d love to hear your stories!
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