Inspire your preschooler to unleash his creative side with activities based on the famous Impressionist painter Claude Monet. His style of art was an interpretation of what he saw, rather than a detailed perfect image, so children do not have to be skilled to create their own versions of the well-known paintings; they just need a few simple techniques.
Find a picture of a Monet painting your preschooler likes on the Internet or in a book. Talk about how the colors look like “lots of little splodges of paint” and then try creating your own version. If you are using a picture with black detail such as Monet’s paintings of Venice or Parliament, use black paper; if the detail is white, such as his gardens with bridges, use white paper. Help him mark out the buildings or bridge on the paper using tape, preferably painter’s tape. He’ll enjoy dabbing lots of paint over his paper in the different colors using his fingers or a sponge to create the speckled effect. When the paint is dry, remove the tape.
Make Monet’s Poppies
Monet’s paintings of poppies have vibrant colors that should appeal to your little artist. Have her paint or color her own version of a field using greens and yellows, with blues for the sky. Encourage her to experiment with mixing the colors if you are using paints, to create different shades. Cut out some circles of red tissue paper and pinch them in the middle to make them look like poppies. Help your preschooler stick these on her field. You can also wind them onto pipe cleaners to make your own vase of poppies.
Talk about how Monet did a lot of paintings of the outdoors and take a look at some together. Collect items from your backyard or on a nature walk to use for your paintings, such as leaves, small twigs, flower petals and grass. Have your preschooler glue these onto a piece of card stock to create his own Monet-style collage. He could also try using the items instead of a paintbrush to create different effects.
Many of Monet’s paintings feature water and reflections. Use these to introduce your preschooler to the concept of reflection. Place a small toy boat or person on a hand mirror or piece of aluminum foil and look at its reflection. Stick a piece of foil on a piece of card stock to resemble water. Glue on boat shapes, people or other items cut out from colored paper to help her create her own masterpiece around it.