Today the boys and I had a great time visiting the Indianapolis Museum of Art with my friend Jackie and her daughter. We went specifically to see the Henri Matisse exhibit before it closes. The art was wonderful, but I think my favorite part of the day was seeing the kids respond to the art in such a positive way. I was a little worried that my two balls of energy would unleash their madness on the museum, but they did an excellent job walking around and looking at the art, and talking about what they liked and didn’t like. Then they had a blast creating their own art in the Star Studio.
Before we viewed the exhibit, Jackie read an adorable picture book about Matisse’s art to the kids. They really enjoyed it, and after our trip the oldest wanted to read more books about art, so we headed to the library. We found some great books, and I wanted to share them here in case you have a little art lover in your home.
5 Awesome Books About Art for Kids
Mini Masters Boxed Set – The Matisse book Jackie read came for this collection. Small, easy-to-hold board books that spotlight art from artists like Matisse, Degas, Monet, and Renoir. I recommend these for even the littlest art lovers in your home.
My First 10 Paintings – I really can’t say enough about this book. In addition to introducing ten classic paintings, it also teaches counting. The verse is beautifully written, and of course, the art is beautiful. The author did a great job of choosing art that would be appealing to children. This one is a must-read.
13 Paintings Children Should Know – This book was over my younger son’s head, but my older son (age 4) loved it. The book introduces some famous paintings and discusses the history of the painting, the artist, and what was happening in the world at that time. My son and I had some really good discussions about the art, and I learned lots of new things!
Looking at Pictures – This is another great book for school-aged children. It introduces twelve major themes in art, and teaches children how to critically study paintings to learn about the art form and the artist. This book teaches concepts like light, portraiture, color, view, and how paintings are made. A fantastic introduction to art history.
The Great Art Treasure Hunt: I Spy Red, Yellow, and Blue – If you only buy one book from this list, get this one. It’s an absolutely beautiful book that takes children on a treasure hunt through works of art, looking for colors and details. Simple enough for younger children to understand, but engaging enough for much older children and adults. We checked this out from the library, but I am looking forward to adding it to our personal collection. (Here’s another Art Treasure Hunt book from the same author.)
Who is your favorite artist? How do you teach your kids about art?