Art is an important and vastly under-appreciated element of education. Fortunately, there are a myriad of ways you can supplement art education in your home. Reading books to your child is one valuable tool for learning. Children will become better readers and writers while having fun with you and learning about art. There are so many different aspects of art education you could focus on – history, masters, colors, hues, composition, to name just a few – that it’s hard to know what your focus should be. Here are 10 art education books geared to preschoolers that your 3-6 year olds will love!
This cute picture book tells the story of Art and his art. Art is a budding young artist – like so many children. Follow along and watch as Art creates His fun masterpieces all over the pages of the book. With rhyming verse and messy, colorful illustrations, this is sure to be a hit with young kids.
2. Mini Masters Board Book Series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober –
(Dancing with Degas, A Picnic with Monet, A Magical Day with Matisse, In the Garden with Van Gogh)
These books combine rhyming text, short and simple phrasing and beautiful works from master artists. Young kids will learn about Degas, Monet, Matisse and Van Gogh in a fun, engaging and positive way. The artwork is vivid and beautiful and sure to delight even older readers.
3. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds –
“Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” The art teacher says, but Vashti is not convinced. She is not an artist and instead, she jabs angrily at the paper leaving an unremarkable dot. That dot, however, leads her on a completely unforeseen adventure through self-discovery and creativity. Children can learn right along with her as they recognize the value of each person’s unique, creative spirit.
4. Perfect Square by Michael Hall –
One perfect square. But oh! What a square CAN be! This adventurous story shows kids how a simple square of construction paper can transform into unlimited possibilities. Kids will be excited not only for the next page and the coming surprised, but will love applying this in their own creative lives.
5. Press Here by Herve Tullet –
This is no mere book about dots and colors, oh no! Press the dot and the book comes to life, bringing with it a magical, tactile adventure! Young kids will love following the instructions in this interactive book. They’ll press, shake, blow, tilt and jab their way through the pages and find delight in the shapes and vibrant colors.
6. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg –
With endearing drawings, vibrant colors and beautiful text, this book gives kids a lovely life lesson. Mistakes are ok. In fact, mistakes are great! They can help you learn and grow, lead to discoveries, and cultivate creativity. A spill on your masterpiece doesn’t have to ruin it. Look for a way to turn mistakes into art – when you’re drawing or in life.
7. Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka –
This hilarious romp through New York City’s Museum of Modern Art will have your kids begging for more! When the main character loses track of his friend, Art, he is directed to MoMA instead. He continues through the museum, looking for his friend, and in the process learns much about famous artists – Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso and others. Your kids can learn right alongside him with these playful illustrations and clever, comical text.
8. Touch the Art: Count Monet’s Lilies by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo –
This is a wonderful introduction to impressionism for very young budding artists with paintings by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, and Degas to name a few. This book is a wonderful take on the average “touch and feel” genre and is a tactile experience for young kids who will love feeling bumpy bark on trees, patting fancy hats and counting fruit. They’ll increase fine motor skills and learn about famous artists at the same time! (See the other “Touch the Art” books in the series as well)
9. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires –
In this creative tale with vibrant, quirky pictures, the unnamed heroine sets out to create the most magnificent thing. She has a plan and knows just what she needs to do. After trying and failing time after time, she decides to give up. What will happen to her creative vision? Is it lost for good? Kids will learn just as much vocabulary from the witty text with fun and functional action words and trilogies of verbs as they will about perseverance, negative emotions and creation.
10. The Museum by Susan Verde –
This whimsical look at art is told through charming illustrations and simple, lighthearted text. Follow the main character on an adventure through an art museum, where each piece speaks to her in a different way. This playful tale captures the emotion and experience of art, and children will better understand how artwork communicates to others and how they can feel energized to create and express themselves.
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com
For more educational ideas try these: