Art History for Preschool and Kindergarten

Art history is for everyone! Even the youngest members of your family can get in on the art history action... no one is too little to explore fun artists and make their own mini masterpieces.

Preschoolers and Kindergarteners are notoriously tactile and ACTIVE. So, finding ways to make art outside and to use fun textures and materials will go a long way to making your projects successful.

At this age, it's best to start with a storybook, and follow it up with an activity (or two). There's no need to get into anything fancy right now. Just keep that spark of curiosity alive and make it fun!

Story time

There are so many amazing board books just for toddlers and preschool aged kids... an afternoon stroll through your local bookstore or a quick click through Amazon will give you LOTS of inspiration... you'll probably see too many books about famous art and artists!

That's a pretty good problem have.

I've put together a list of my favorite books for every age here, so you'll have someplace to start, but exploring is so much fun. Whenever possible, I try to preview books at my library or bookstore before I decide if I like them enough to buy them.

Creating art

Here are a few projects that are perfect for the 3-6 year-old crowd:

A felt board Mondrian exercise

Doing Warhol prints with a bell pepper

A Matisse paper cutting project

Pin the nose on the Picasso

Rauschenberg collages

Lichtenstein pop art clouds

Seurat pointillist painting with pom poms


Try this at home!

  1. Read the book "Action Jackson" to your kids.
  2. Get out a large piece of poster board or foam core (you can usually buy them at the dollar store) and some washable tempera paints.
  3. Go outside to an area that will be easy to hose down later. ;)
  4. Invite them to create their own drip paintings. Offer them popsicle sticks, chopsticks, paintbrushes, and any other "tools" that may be fun to use with the paint.

If you'd like to narrate a little, it can be helpful for reinforcing ideas from the book. Follow your child's lead. If they are asking a lot of questions, by all means, start a conversation. But if they seem focused and are working intently, save the discussion for another time, and just simply be there with them as a quiet observer as they create.

Let's connect

What are your favorite activities and books for preschoolers? Come join us in the Facebook group and let's chat!