Thursday, April 23, 2020

Easy Michelangelo Kids Art Activity

Inside: What are some creative ways to learn about Famous Artists? This post shares one simple art activity to teach your kids about Michelanglo.

Art Appreciation with kids doesn't have to be complicated or boring. Start with hands-on art activities and I guarantee they'll love learning about the Greats! Today's under the table painting activity was a hit!

How do you introduce Famous Artists in a fun way?

As part of our Famous Artists series, we are sharing seven simple art activities inspired by Famous artists this week. You can find them all HERE

One of the best ways to introduce artists to kids is to get them out of their comfort zones! 

We did that today with some Sistine Chapel inspired Table Art where kids actually painted from UNDER the table!

Want to see our art activities in action? Follow me at @KristinaToddlerApproved on Instagram or go HERE to see them in our Art Instagram Stories highlight

RELATED: Need even more unique painting ideas? Here are my 15 favorite ways to paint with kids.

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How do you introduce Michelangelo to kids?

When I introduce a new artist to our kids, I like to do 3 things.

1. Teach them a few simple facts about the artist, including showing them a short video about the artist. There are so many simple & short ones on YouTube. Make sure you preview anything you show to your kids first.

2. Read any books we have about the artist.

3. Get them creating, inspired by the artist!

Here are some of our favorite Michelangelo resources:

READ: Michelangelo by Mike Venezia (This book has great pictures)

WATCH FIRST: Biography of Michelangelo for Kids
(This is a short video with history about Michelangelo. It isn't very fast paced, but is only 4:30 minutes long)

WATCH: Michelangelo with Artrageous with Nate

This is a longer video with more information, so probably better for older kids. It is very entertaining.

Michelangelo worked on the Sistine Chapel for four years. The Pope asked him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He couldn't say no to the Pope.

Painting on a ceiling was hard work. Michelangelo stood to paint (he did not lie down) while he worked on the ceiling. The work was physically exhausting and he ended up permanently damaging his eyesight. 

How do you do Table Art inspired by Michelangelo?

For this activity, we challenged our kids to paint on a "ceiling" (underneath a table) inspired by Michelangelo's work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. They could lie down or sit up.

  • washable tempera paint
  • paint brushes
  • paper plates
  • roll of white paper
  • painters tape
  • scissors

RELATED: Want to learn about other famous artists? Go here for more simple activities inspired by Great Artists.

  • Take a large piece of white paper and tape it underneath a table with painters tape. You'll want to secure all four sides of the paper to keep it stuck to the table. Make sure each child has their own paper spot.
  • Next, get the painters palettes ready! Give each child some washable tempera paint and a paintbrush.

  • Let the kids start painting! Kids can lie down underneath their canvas or sit up. 
  • This activity was out of our comfort zones! We talked a lot about trying new things, being flexible, and focusing on enjoying the process of painting versus worrying about what our creations looked like! I encouraged the kids to make lines, shapes, and mix colors. This was not a realistic painting activity and they didn't have to "make something."

  • I even joined in and tried painting my youngest daughter's paper after she was done. It was exhausting! I decided I'm to old for all the maneuvering it took to get under the table, LOL!

  • Encourage kids to use small amounts of paint each time they dip their brushes so that they don't have big globs of paint falling on them.
  • Make sure you use *washable* paint as well!

Each kid had a different response to this activity. All kids tried it. 

  • My 7 and 9 year old both loved it. 
  • My toddler loved it for a little bit but wasn't super interested in painting today, so eventually shifted to using a pencil instead to make her mark. Once she had her pencil, she was hooked. 
  • My 12-year-old declared "I hate it," because trying new things that are physically uncomfortable or out of his comfort zone are hard for him sometimes. I encouraged him to try it and then let him know that he could be done anytime. He stuck with his art creation until he was done and then went off to read while the other kids created.

I'll bet you'll have different reactions at your house too. I'd love to hear about them.

Don't forget to have a Gallery Walk and let each child showcase their art in some way after this art experience. Gallery Walks are such a great way to talk about art.

Do you have any other favorite art activities for kids inspired by famous artists? Please share them with us!

You can find all of the art activities found in our Famous Artists series HERE.

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