Thursday, March 14, 2013

2nd grade art lesson - Piet Mondrian

We are fully engaged in art lessons in our homeschool. Buttercup and I love learning about different artists and new techniques.

We recently read about Piet Mondrian and tried some art work of our own using some of his techniques.

Our lesson included:

  • Reading a simple biography. (When I say simple, I mean a book written for children)
  • Looking at the artist's work in a book or online.
  • Discussing the artist's technique and what we like/dislike about it.
  • Doing a word search puzzle which we found at (This has become one of our favorite websites! More about them later)
  • Making our own Mondrian inspired art work.
Mondrian Inspired art work
  • 1 sheet of white computer paper
  • a few sheets of construction paper in black, red, yellow and blue
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Measure and cut a few strips of black construction paper in different widths. We used 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch strips
  • Place your strips on the white paper. Arrange them any way you want.
  • Cut squares and rectangles in different sizes to place between the strips over the white paper.

About Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian was born in Amersfoort, Netherlands, in 1872. At a very young age, his father Pieter introduced Piet to art. In 1892, Mondrian entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam as a teacher. While there, he continued to work on his own paintings, most of which were landscapes and pastoral images of Holland. He was initially influenced by the pointillist and fauvist movements. However, in 1911, Mondrian discovered Cubism which led him toward abstraction. As early as 1912 when he painted The Sea, it can be seen that his art work began to be dominated by geometric shapes.  Mondrian continued to explore abstract forms eventually developing a style he called neo-plasticism.

It was during his time in Paris after the war, where he painted one of his most famous paintings, Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue.  Piet Mondrian died of pneumonia in New York City on February 1, 1944.

Happy Homeschool Adventures!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Visiting Museums with Kids. It can be done!

If you love museums and want to teach your kids to appreciate art at an early age, please read on.

I hear all the time (from friends, families, and readers)that taking young children to museums can be a daunting task. I've even heard a family member say that she will not step into a museum until her kids are teenagers. Well, by that point, it's too late, you might as well forget about it. Kids need to be exposed to various situations in order to learn appropriate behavior as well as an appreciation for things other than the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter.

Download my Museum Scavenger Hunt FREE!

Kids CAN go to museums and actually enjoy them. Kids SHOULD learn to appreciate art and to behave according to their surroundings when they are still young. I think parents' big mistake is to shield kids from these places and experiences out of fear. Instead, both parents and kids would benefit from this exposure. Parents will take pride in the fact that their kids are well behaved and well rounded individuals with multiple interests.

All of that said, I strongly believe that kids need guidance and structure when visiting places like museums.

Both of my daughters love art and visiting museums; I've been taking them since they were two years old.

Here are some tips to make a museum visit an enjoyable experience for parents and kids alike:
  • Plan ahead
  • Get the kids involved (it makes them feels important)
  • Talk about the place you'll be visiting and what they'll be seeing
  • Do some research and choose a few of the art works on display to show the kids while still at home (this will get them excited for the visit)
  • Talk about artists (this can turn into a mini lesson!)
  • Take along a scavenger hunt (this gives kids purpose and they'll be excited when they find the items on their list) Print mine free here! or make up your own
  • Stop by the museum store BEFORE the visit and let your kids pick out a post card or two of art work. Then tell them they have to find those in the museum.
  • Know your kid's limit; if you see they are losing interest or getting antsy, it's time to leave
  • Bring a drawing pad and pencil and encourage your child to observe a favorite picture and draw it
  • Ask pointed questions about some paintings(this gets kids thinking)
  • Check with the museum if they offer their own scavenger hunt or other kid activities(many museums do). We recently visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and they had a short guided tour just for kids with a hands on activity at the end. My daughter loved it.


I have created a museum scavenger hunt that can be used in almost any museum! Print it here FREE.

Do you visit museums with your kids or are you afraid they'll be bored or misbehave? Share your opinions here!