Young children can appreciate art

Young children can be drawn into the color and amazement of art work. Learn how you can enjoy art with your young child.

Children have the capacity to both create and appreciate art.

Children have the capacity to both create and appreciate art.

Young children make art with great pleasure, learning as they go.  To make the most of young children’s enthusiasm, keep a variety of materials on hand at home such as finger paints, tempera paints with brushes, colored markers, modeling clay and other fun craft and art materials.  Designate an area in your home where your young child can use these art supplies without concern for messes or spills.

Did you know that children not only have the capacity to create art, but also to appreciate art?  Young children can be drawn into the color and amazement of art works made by others, and can learn to appreciate art by well-known artist such as Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gough at a very young age. Works of art by known artists, both traditional and modern, have features that make them especially appealing to young children. This is because traditional art and sculptures often tell a story, while modern art provides an opportunity for kids to explore the basic elements of art: colors, lines and shapes.

When viewing and talking about art with your young child, Penn State University Extension recommends asking your young child the following questions:

  • Tell me what you see.
  • How does this work of art make you feel?
  • What do you think about this work of art?
  • What do you think is the story of this work of art?

These questions can open new ways for you to talk with and listen to your young child. You can even learn things about your child’s way of seeing and understanding the world. Enjoying art together can bring you a little closer, too.

In addition to actual works of art, books can also be a window into the world of art for young children.  You can find some wonderful children’s books about art and enjoy reading them to your child. Try looking at your local library for the following Michigan State University Extension recommended books:

Augustine by Melanie Watt

Picturescape by Elisa Gutierrez

Art 123 by Stefano Zuff

Markey Day: A Story Told With Folk Art by Lois Ehlert

Have fun enjoying and exploring art with your child!

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