TAG: Early childhood (ages 3-5)

Photograph of artist Carlos Frésquez with his artwork in the background.
Lesson Spark

The Magic of Discovery

Carlos Frésquez is a local artist who participated in the Cuatro[4] series of installations. Find out how he was inspired early on to make art.

More
Metal is threaded together to create the appearance of fabric, mainly silver, red and yellow colors
Art Exploration

Piecing it Together

Young children make creative choices while practicing fine motor skills of threading, punching holes and attaching things together.
  • Have a basket with twist ties or cut up pipe cleaners in a center and another basket of cut up cardstock shapes (cereal boxes are great for this!) Hole punches should also be available nearby.
More
Blanket/Rug with bright red, white, and blue patterns in various shapes
Art Exploration

Weaving with Various Materials

Young children make creative choices while practicing fine motor skills of weaving and threading using various materials, also exposing them to textures and creative elements.

Provide an 8x10 piece of felt that has slits one inch a part almost the entire width of the piece. Leave a one inch space around the entire felt piece as a border.

Provide various material choices to weave in and out of the slits.

More
Collage made of colorful images on paper
Art Exploration

COLLAGE WITH GLUE, PAPER AND TISSUE

In this self-guided exploration, young children will make artists' choices about which shapes, colors, and placement to use. 
  • Collect scraps of colorful paper (tissue paper, patterned paper, cardstock, computer paper) and place them in a basket in an art area. Encourage children to tear or cut pieces in various sizes.
More
Kerry James Marshall, Better Homes, Better Gardens, 1994. Acrylic paint and paper collage on canvas. Funds from Polly and Mark Addison, the Alliance for Contemporary Art, Caroline Morgan, and Colorado Contemporary Collectors: Suzanne Farver, Linda and Ken
Creative Practice

Ten Times Two

The art of observation will provide an opportunity for children to look into the detail of the artwork. This activity will reinforce math skills, build vocabulary and introduce descriptive language.

More
Thomas Hudson, The Radcliffe Family, about 1742. 126 in. x 174 in. Long-term loan from the Berger Collection, TL-17968.
Creative Practice

Make a Pose!

This close looking activity is great for kinesthetic learners and can be used with art and books. 

A tableau is a frozen picture. It is an effective tool for encouraging children to notice details, which is an important reading and pre-writing skill. Follow these steps to create frozen pictures in your classroom!

More
Painted screen depicting a garden party from the Spanish Colonial period
Creative Practice

Machines

This close looking activity is great for kinesthetic learners and can be used with art and books. 

Building machines with our bodies is a great way to understand abstract concepts in a concrete physical way.

Before introducing this activity with an art object, start out with a familiar machine, such as a bus or a blender.

More
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Summer, 1572. Oil on canvas. 36 x 27-2/4 in. Denver Art Museum; fund from Helen Dill bequest.
Creative Practice

Going on a Picnic

In this new twist on an old favorite, children will practice close looking by engaging their senses with an art object. 

Choose an object (this could be a still life painting or photograph with a variety of recognizable items).

Engage children in this game by singing each call and response phrase.

More
Child standing in front of large pink and orange abstract painting of Sweet Potatoes at the Table by Roberto Juarez, 1987
Creative Practice

Eye Spy

Children will focus on seeing shape, color, and line in this game of Eye Spy with an art object.
  • Choose an art object with a variety of shapes, colors, and lines.
More
Theodore Waddell, Motherwell’s Angus, 1994. Oil paint on canvas. Denver Art Museum; Gift of Barbara J. and James R. Hartley.
Art Exploration

Tinker with Mark Making Tools

Using uncommon painting tools allow children creativity and a choice when determining what and how to create their artwork.  

Artists often tinker with non-conventional tools to help create their art. In Motherwell’s Angus, artist Theodore Waddell uses masonry trowels and specially modified brushes originally intended to apply tar to roofs to create a heavy build-up of paint on the surface of the canvas.

More
Hadley Hooper, Tableau, 2016. Theater flats, paper, wheat paste, Ikea chairs. © Hadley Hooper.
Art Exploration

Seeing Texture

Inspired by the whimsical installation, Tableau, created by Hadley Hooper, this printmaking exploration invites children to discover textures and patterns of different tools and materials as they reveal colorful ink prints! 

Prepare an art center with Styrofoam trays, printing ink or paint, rollers, paper, and a mixture of tools and materials that create imprints, such as:

More
Sam Gillam, Abacus Sliding, 1977
Art Exploration

Layers of Resist

Young artists will explore negative space by layering paper to resist paint and create a pattern. This activity will support children in discovering how to create shapes through resist. 

Ideas for the Art Center:

  • Add pre-cut paper shapes in various sizes.
  • Painters tape
  • Rollers with ink or paint
  • Paper

More
Ink pad and stamps laid out for artmaking
Art Exploration

Building Stamps

Using everyday materials, young artists will build their own stamps and explore the power of repetition in creating a pattern. 

Materials for the art center:

More
Artist Melanie Yazzie
Lesson Spark

Collecting Things

As seen in her interview, artist Melanie Yazzie is never at a loss for ideas because she collects objects and images for a wall of inspiration in her studio.

More
Hopi Eagle Dancer, Dan Namingha, 1995
Creative Practice

Sorting Box

Support children in building connections through looking closely and sharing their thoughts on the relationships between art objects and everyday materials. 

This routine will encourage children to relate their personal knowledge of a concrete object with a more abstract image. Students will explore how artists make choices when creating as they investigate different colors, textures, and shapes.

More
Road to Santa Fe, Theodore Van Soelen, 1948
Creative Practice

Shrinking Story

By engaging their imaginations, students will notice details and think critically about their five senses as they “shrink” to fit inside any artwork. 

Invite students to close their eyes and, using their imaginations, “shrink” their bodies down to the size of a butterfly. Without actually moving, prompt students to use their imaginations to “jump” or “fly” into the painting and land on something or someone represented in the artwork.

More
Tête et Oiseau (Head and Bird), Joan Miró, 1967
Art Exploration

Building with Natural Found Objects

This self-directed exploration supports children’s experimentation with forms, structures, and materials, as they build and balance found objects from nature. 
  • Collect or invite students to collect natural materials (twigs, rocks, pinecones, leaves, etc.) and place them in a basket that you will add to an art area. Provide additional nature pieces to offer a variety of items for children’s exploration.
More
Blanket Story, Marie Watt, 2013, blankets and tags
Lesson Spark

Our Objects, Our Stories

Objects, like blankets, are important in telling the stories of our lives.  

“The blankets in this piece were given with the heirloom-like intent of passing on stories, remembrances, and teachings” -Marie Watt

How can you encourage students to share their stories related to an object or idea?

More
Mandarin Duck Rank Badge, Artist not known, China late 1700s-early 1800s, Qing dynasty
Creative Practice

Zoom In!

This quick activity done regularly with a variety of objects promotes active observation and children's participation in the world around them.

During circle time or another daily routine, pass out a detailed image of an artwork.

More
If, Richard Patterson, 1999, oil paint
Art Exploration

Drip Drop Paint

Children discover what happens when paint drips over a 3-D form. Pouring one color at a time, children see the effect of layering colors.

More

Pages