We have been hosting monthly art classes in one of our homeschool co-ops at our local library. Our librarian is amazing and supplies us with paint and paper as long as we clean up and supply the teaching! We have taken a break for the holidays, but I have decided to do a repeat of our first class for the families who didn’t get a chance to attend. It’s a very simple Monet watercolor class that even toddlers can do with parental help.
Have the kids paint a water scene. You can supply them with some examples to see to start with if they need them. Use Monet books from the library, like Monet Paints a Day, for examples, or make a handout to distribute. We usually create one-page write-ups about the artists we cover, followed by a copy of one of their famous paintings (or more).
Next, help them glue down a coffee filter and paint it like a lily. They can paint lily pad leaves around the flower, or they can cut out various leaves from green construction paper and glue them on as well. Many kids may want to paint a few paintings, so it’s a good idea to have lots of surfaces ready for them to dry on.
Here’s a supply list if you need it:
Painting paper (at least three sheets per child)
Masking tape to hold paintings down with—it’s a good habit to start kids with when they are painting with watercolor
Paintbrushes—at least one for each child, but you may want to provide every child with varying sizes of brushes
Watercolor sets—one per child if you can, though they can share
Water cups—be sure to change out the water regularly as it gets dirty
I have been trying to encourage families to take turns teaching the monthly art classes, but so far, I’ve only had one taker one time. It’s fun to host, but if you can create a schedule with just 12 moms or dads, you would only have to do it once a year! Of course, having everyone pitch in for cleanup is also quite helpful.
Simple art classes like these help introduce the kids to an art master and their style in a very comfortable, easygoing environment, which is definitely how art should be introduced. Without any pressure and with lots of freedom, kids can freely express themselves and explore new mediums with your patience and help.