Painting is a fun activity for children from the time they are toddlers. As they start to get older and able to do more artistically, you can begin to introduce your children to different styles of art. The impressionist style of Claude Monet is a great place to begin as he is revered as one of the most renowned artists in the world. Use Monet's paintings, as well as books and art projects to teach your little one about his famous works of art.
Claude Monet Children's Books
You can find several books that introduce who Claude Monet was to children and that feature his art work. For kids ages 4 and older, "The Magical Garden of Monet," by Laurence Anholt, follows the story of a little girl who befriends an old gardener in a beautiful garden, who turns out to be the owner, Monet himself. Another book, also for children 4 and older is "Linnea in Monet's Garden," by Christina Bjork, about a little girl painter who shares her experiences visiting Monet's garden and learned what it meant to be an impressionist. For kids ages 8 and older, "Who Was Claude Monet," by Ann Waldron, provides a biographical overview of Claude Monet to kids. Children will be interested to learn that he became an art student at the young age of 11 and began his career drawing caricatures.
For young children, talk of impressionism style and negative space can be hard to grasp. Instead of getting technical, show your child how Monet's paintings look distorted up close, but much clearer from a distance. Help her recreate a Monet-style garden painting using blended finger paints, in similar floral and green colors. First place tape on the paper to look like a horizontal, bent ladder, representing the bridge in Monet's painting. Have your child to use her fingertips to dab paint in all over the paper and tape. Remove the tape when dry to complete the Impressionist style painting. Encourage your child to create other pictures in the same manner, using the tape in several different ways.
Other Monet-Inspired Art
Create paper water lilies, which were the main subject in several of Monet's paintings. Cut green construction paper cut into an oval,, then cut out a small triangle. For the flower, help your child cover a soda bottle cap with tissue paper and cut out layers of pink or white tissue paper petals to glue to it, then glue strips of yellow paper inside the bottle cap. Glue the flower to the pad. For another craft, your child can create a Monet-inspired 3D sunset painting. Create puff paint by combining equal part self-rising flour and salt with enough water to make a paste, then add food coloring. Have her paint the sunset on a square of cardboard. When she's finished place in the microwave for 10 seconds, as the paint will rise for a 3D look.
Art Museum Field Trip
Original paintings by Monet can be found in many art museum across the country, including art museums in most major cities, such as New York, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Houston and Philadelphia, just to name a few. If possible, take your child to art museum near you to see original Monet paintings up close. However, if you do not live near a museum that includes Monet's works, see if you can find a museum that features work from other impressionist artist so that your child can start to see the differences. Otherwise, you can take a virtual tour to show your child some of Monet's most iconic paintings.