One of the things I enjoy the most about parenting is learning new things and gaining new perspectives about old ones. From discovering mundane facts such as why a tutu is called a tutu (ask me why!) to philosophizing whether God ever rests, it has truly been one adventure after another with the Energizer Bunny.
One subject I am particularly excited about these days is art and art appreciation. Admittedly, the subject was my waterloo in grade school. Until now, I draw a pig while singing, “Small circle, small circle… big circle!”
The Benefits of Art
Art, however, has so many benefits that I can not just ignore my daughter’s constant invitation to “do arts and crafts.” We may not have a budding Picasso in our home (well, who knows?), but we love how our art projects have inspired creativity and encouraged experimentation.
Art also helps develop fine motor skills which are essential in writing, something that we will start to be more intentional about in the coming months. We have also seen the pride and confidence in our daughter whenever she feels happy about a certain creation. Exposure to other works of art has also made her appreciate beauty and be attentive to details, sometimes even noticing which masterpieces are similar to others.
Introducing the Energizer Bunny to the Masters of art has become a natural extension of our interest in art techniques. I love how Five in a Row, our main curriculum these days, exposes us to the different methods used in book illustrations, and connects them with the techniques of renowned Masters.
Laurence Anholt’s Artist Series
So, when Mariel and I discovered Laurence Anholt’s lovely Artist Series, I was hooked! These well-researched books featuring seven of the Masters are perfect for introducing the people behind the famous pieces that we study.
Children will feel a certain emotional connection with the stories primarily because each book tells of a child who actually met and somehow influenced the artist. I also love how Anholt explains an artist’s moods and methods in a way that children understand.
Anholt’s storytelling brings the artists out of the museums and into your homes, making them more human and real to the children, inspiring these potential future Masters to “be like them,” if not better.
Aside from the picture books in the series, Anholt also wrote an activity go-along book that can help parents and teachers encourage their children to explore the different techniques of the Masters. Mariel recently gave me a copy of the book and I cannot wait to use it in our next arts and crafts session!
Being intentional about our daughter’s education, I am really thankful that we have all these resources to keep learning fun and interesting for her. Of course, learning with our children makes for wonderful memories too!
Where to Find Laurence Anholt’s Books
… in the shop, of course! We are so excited to share with you several sets, albeit incomplete ones, of Laurence Anholt’s Artist Series. We hope that you and your children will enjoy them as much as we do. Just click here and look for Laurence Anholt on the search bar.