One of the great advantages of exploring art history with your kids is the way it seamlessly goes along with so many other subjects. You can incorporate art history into your study of math, science, history, geography, philosophy, music, film and literature.
It's amazing how it relates to everything!
We just finished reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, and I couldn't help but to notice how many references in these books were reminiscent of surrealist art. As we excitedly await the release of the movie this weekend, we've spent the past few days recalling the book and looking for similarities in surrealist paintings. There are 2 really great ones we thought of immediately.
1. References to time
In the stories, there are several references to clocks, time going backwards, and other strange time-based anomalies. Have your children look at Salvador Dali's painting, The Persistence of Memory, and ask them if it reminds them of the book, and why.
2. Magically disappearing people (and cats)
Remember how the Cheshire cat would disappear into thin air? Check out this Magritte painting... there is a fun play of positive and negative space that makes it look like there is an invisible man.
A quick introduction to Surrealism
Surrealism began in the early 1920's, and was really a response to the structured, rigid nature of society at the time. Artists in the surrealist movement wanted to make a statement about the validity of imagination, the creative benefits of chaos, and the curiosity that led them to explore their secret dreams and desires.
I've made a Surrealism Study Guide for Kids for you to use in your lessons and independent projects... sign up here to get your free download!
Here are a few great art books for kids...
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More surrealist fun
If you're kids are having a good time with the concept of surrealism, why not make it part of your day to day routine? You could have them...
- write a surrealist story
- paint a surrealist painting
- dress up in a surrealist outfit
- cook a surrealist lunch
- come up with a surrealist game idea
- have a surrealist conversation with you
- make up a surrealist song
Download the free printable guide
Did you know there is a whole resource library of engaging art history materials for kids just waiting for you?! Sign up with your email below to get access to all the downloads. The resource library makes it easy to make art history games and projects a regular part of your daily fun!
What did you think of this project? Are your kids amused by the quirkiness of surrealist art? Did you think of another surrealist painting that relates to the Alice books? Let me know in the comments below, or we can chat on social media. Remember to use the hashtag #arthistorykids!