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Art history is an excellent way for children to make connections with the world around them. Exposure to art and artists encourages learning naturally and creatively.
Meals remind me of car rides with kids. You are together sharing in a moment, and you usually have their full attention. Its a perfect time to sneak in some arts and culture.
You may find this approach helpful if you are looking to infuse a little art education into your daily family life.
I started with a handful of art prints that I collected from calendars and books. My collection came from years of teaching art. However, there are many other ways to get those images in front of your child. Tablets/computers or any devices is probably the fastest and easiest way to score an image. I’m a Gen X’er feeling old school when I say that I like the hard copy print best. If you are like me, here is a great little starter kit of prints that can help get your collection started.
Keep this step simple but have fun with it. A tablescape sets the mood and motivates. Not only can you teach your child how to set a table but this is an opportunity for your child to experience the pleasure of dining on a sophisticated table.
Cloth napkins are a sure way to enhance a meal and save on paper products. Flowers are another great addition to a table. Even greenery from a tree can do the trick. I had my daughter look at the colors in the painting and we were able to choose some backyard clippings to match.
I used a little clip board and attached an index card. On the card I put the artists name and on the back I added some “fun facts” about the artists and the painting.
I usually use the same flowers day-to-day until I need to refresh them. My plates are my regular white dishes from Target. I have been on a quest to find old antique dishes from local barn sales, but haven’t found any I like. I found these old bottles to put my flowers in. This is a great time of year to peruse your local yards sales to collect unique items for your table.
Fruit is a great way to use color and bring the tablescape together.
Choosing food that reminds you of a particular painting is fun too!
Here is another quick way to showcase a work of art at your table with a few colored napkins. They can function for many uses such as: lining baskets, create a runner, tuck into a vase, and of coarse to enhance your plate setting. I thought a mixture of colors is a great way to start.
Now that your table is set, here are some questions that can turn into a meaningful, intellectual conversation with your child.
1. If you could name this work of art, what would you name it?
2. Where is the first place in this painting that your eye is drawn to?
3. What do you think life was like in this painting?
4. What art supplies do you think was needed to create this work of art?
5. What colors do you like most about this painting?
6. After looking at this painting for a while, are you noticing anything new?
7. What mood do you think the artist was in when he painted this picture?
8. Does this painting have a mood? If so, what would you say it is?
9. Where in the world do you think this painting takes place?
10. Do you have any questions about this painting?
We are happy to go on this journey with you. Let us know if you have any questions or would like to share your table scapes. Cheers to a life sprinkled with art!