Shape Art: Mix Art with Geometry!

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What You Need:

  • A computer
  • Paper
  • Water colors
  • Black permanent marker

What You Do:

  1. Prepare Ahead of Time. You’ll need to do a little research before you invite your child to the “museum”. Take a trip to the library, or look a few artists up online. Whichever method you choose, print out some color copies of their work, or purchase a few posters or art postcards. Unsure which artists to choose? Kandinsky, Miro, and Calder all exhibit excellent use of shapes in their art. Once you have your pictures, find a blank wall and hang them up exhibit style, (at a kindergarten appropriate height!) Then issue an invitation to visit the museum.
  2. Celebrate Museum Day. Tour your child through your museum. As you look at the pictures, ask questions like, “What shapes do you notice in the art?” Let her use her finger to outline circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, maybe even a hexagon or two. Talk about what makes a triangle a triangle, and what makes a square a square, as opposed to a rectangle. Point out some shapes that she may be unfamiliar with, like ovals, or octagons, being sure to give her some visual clues to make memory easier, like the fact that eggs are the shape of ovals, and stop signs are the shape of octagons. You can hop online for some more information about the artists, or more examples of their work.
  3. Make Your Child the Artist. After your field trip, give your child the chance to make some art of her own. First, have her describe the attributes of a shape. As she describes it, draw it for her on construction paper, using a thick black permanent marker. Create at least three shapes. Then give your child a set of watercolors and set her to work. The thin paint will look beautiful against the contrast of the bold black shapes. The end result? A beautiful piece of art for your refrigerator and a deeper understanding of geometric shapes.

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