The art of Henri Matisse is not just for adults and art historians. Your child can learn about this famous artist too! Let your kindergartener use Matisse's bold style as inspiration to create a unique and funky paper shapes collage. This artistic project will help your child increase his fine motor skills and improve shape recognition skills. This activity is a great way to follow up a family visit to the art museum, whether you see an original Matisse or not.
What You Do:
- Talk about the art of Henri Matisse with your child. This can be accomplished by providing visual images like art postcards, reproductions in art books, or posters of the artist's work for an observation-based discussion. Ask your child simple questions such as: What do you see? What shapes can you find? How do you think that the artist made this?
- Set out a piece of construction paper for the background.
- Give your child the glue and paper shapes. The shapes can be either geometric (squares, triangles, rectangles) or organic (more free form and associated with objects from nature). Invite your child to also create whatever shapes he wants to include in his collage.
- Let your child choose the shapes and glue them down, and watch as your child creates his mini-masterpiece!
This art activity can be concluded by holding a family art show. Hang your child's Matisse-inspired creations gallery style on the walls for everyone to see. For added effect, glue the shapes collage onto a larger piece of paper to give the artwork a beautiful frame. Ask your child to name his collage and make a label for it.
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.