You don’t have to know a lot about art to enjoy it with your kids. The books in this list open up the world of fine art in a way that lets you enjoy learning about the paintings and the artists together.
If you find an artist you really love, it is worthwhile purchasing a book dedicated to their works – a book with large pictures you can page through with your kids.
Recently, after my grandmother died (peacefully at 90) my brother and I were cleaning out her home. As we went through the shelves we found art books filled with the works of Van Gogh, Degas and Dali. We happily kept saying, “Oh! I remember looking at this with her!” Her enthusiasm lit a little spark in each of us to help us appreciate art and beauty. I am so grateful, and I just hope I can share a little of that with my own kids.
|Come Look With Me: The Artist at Work (Come Look with Me) This series is outstanding. I just posted one of the books here, but you can find art books on 10 different subjects ranging from landscape art to animals. These books are nice to open up at the table, flip through and just chat with your child about the art. They include interesting questions to help start the conversation.|
|How Artists See 6-Volume Collection I: Feelings/ Animals /People /Families / The Weather/ Play This series is another one you can use to start conversations about art. I could stand for the books to be a bit larger (They’re only about 8×11) But I really enjoy how they’re arranged by subjects that are very relevant to my kids and the simple questions work for my preschooler and my second grader.|
|Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning) This book gives a huge list of activities with a well organized table of contents. You can choose something based on medium, artist, style or even level of difficulty. I really think you can’t go wrong with books by MaryAnn Kohl.|
|The Art Book for Children This book has over 30 differnt works of art to flip through. The text invites readers to look more closely at the art and includes questions to get you thinking. This book is a children’s version of The Art Book which include 500 works of art and “more scholarly descriptions.”|
|13 Artists Children Should Know The books in this series have kind of an interesting format with a timeline on the pages that includes a little information about what else was happening around the time the art was made. They are more “fact filled” rather than having questions like the other books, but that may really appeal to some children.|
|Sister Wendy’s 1000 Masterpieces
This book is not specifically geared towards children, but I really love having it as an approachable art refference. I don’t have lots of art education and this is one of the first books that helped me feel like I too could enjoy fine art and it’s not reserved for “those in the know.”
Maggy at Red Ted Art came up with the idea of co-hosting the bi-monthly Kids Get Arty project along with some other wonderful creative bloggers: Red Ted Art, The Imagination Tree, Tinkerlab, Imagination Soup, and Mom to 2 Posh Lil’ Divas. Every two months, we’ll all convene and swap ideas on how to help children appreciate art and create artist-inspired mini masterpieces.If you have a post inspired by a great artist, please feel welcome to add a link below. We love to get inspired!
Alissa Zorn is an author, and founder of the website Overthought This. She's a coach and cartoonist passionate about helping people overcome perfectionism and shame to build authentic, joyful lives. Alissa is certified through the International Coach Federation and got her Trauma-Informed Coaching certification from Moving the Human Spirit. She wrote Bounceback Parenting: A Field Guide for Creating Connection, Not Perfection, and is always following curiosity to find her next creative endeavor.