One of the biggest homeschooling perks is the ability to incorporate art into the day. The truth is, between the budget cuts and high-stakes testing, there is less room for the arts in our public schools today. Parents who value the arts are often forced to add it in elsewhere, by seeking out music lessons and art classes after school. This is something I worried about when my children were in school. How would we squeeze it in? And then we ended up unexpectedly homeschooling and art happens naturally. We enjoy drawing, nature journaling, outdoor art, doodling, online classes, and lots and lots of fantastic books. Today, I am sharing some of our family’s favorite art books for children. I will be sharing picture books, books about artists, how-to drawing books, and even games and curriculum.
Easy Ways to Add More Art to Your Homeschool
Adding in more art can be easy, I promise! Here are some simple tips:
- Keep art supplies accessible – Make sure your children can reach those supplies and teach them to clean up after themselves. In our home, kids can reach everything except for glitter.
- When you read aloud, let the kids doodle!
- Participate with them! Monkey see, monkey do! If your children see you drawing, they will want to join in.
- Add in a mandatory doodle time. We love our Doodle Diaries!
- Coffee table books– When you go to the library, pick up an oversized art-themed coffee table book and leave it on your coffee table. Your kids won’t be able to resist!
- Pack a journal on your nature hikes.
- Surround yourself with great art books for children – Keep reading to find out our favorites.
Art Books for Children (Picture Books)
If you know me well, you know how hard it is for me to pick favorite books. There are so many fabulous children’s books on the market today. And, when you are looking for art books, there are even more! Are you looking for a picture book? Books for an artist study? Curriculum? How-to-draw books? Today, I am sharing our favorites in all of these categories.
Here are some of our favorite art picture books. We love anything by Peter Reynolds. His books are fantastic for the little perfectionist in your life. Art is messy and fluid and there are no mistakes! We also adore the new Patrick McDonald book, Art. But the truth is, there are just too many fantastic picture books to choose from. Here are our favorites:
Children’s Books About Artists
There are three artist study series that our family loves:
In addition, we have recently fallen in love with a brand-new book called Vincent’s Starry Night: A Children’s History of Art. We plan to read a bit every Thursday as part of our art study this year.
How-To Art Books for Children
Art is calming, not just for children but also for adults. I highly recommend picking up a few drawing books, playing some soothing music, and drawing together. Last year, we started daily Doodle Diaries and it has had such a tremendous impact on our homeschool routine. It never fails to help us all feel calm!
If you are looking to incorporate more art into your homeschool curriculum, here are some fantastic choices. In particular, I think the Great Artists book is one that every homeschool family should have!
Art-Related Games and Activities
Games and activities are an excellent way to build upon and expand knowledge… all while having fun! And that’s why we play so many games in our homeschool!
Our Family’s Favorite Art Supplies
Here are some of our favorite art supplies of late:
There’s something incredibly calming about outdoor art. • No matter how crazy (or crabby!) the day, if we make space for art we always feel refreshed. • Of course, this is easier said than done because sometimes the mom in me thinks of the spills and the mess and the cleanup. • (But those things are all easier to manage when you are outdoors!) • Lately, the kids and I have been having fun filling our nature journals with inspiration from Nature Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, Food Anatomy, Animalium, and Botanicum. • If you are unfamiliar with these titles, write them down and check your library! • Follow the link in my profile for tips to make outdoor art super-duper easy! • What will you create today? Share here! • http://my-little-poppies.com/outdoor-art/
Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource
Does art overwhelm you? Do you hate it, but you want your children to feel otherwise? Outsource! Find a class in your community or online. Let someone else do the work for you!
There’s nothing like hands-on art. Our family loves to get messy and create. We create independently, but sometimes we take online art courses. My children have been having an absolute blast taking Alicia Hutchinson’s Studying the Masters Course for Kids. This week, they enjoyed learning about Paul Klee:
If your family loves art, be sure to check out these related posts:
And from our littlest blogger:
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Do you have a favorite art book for children? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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