Explore Art With Preschoolers: Concept Books

Art with preschoolers. Does the thought of trying to teach your preschooler art make you cringe? You just know that your preschooler is going to look at your attempts to make art and demand that someone who knows what they are doing teach them? Because you clearly don’t know what you are doing.

Exploring art with preschoolers - concept books

Well maybe not that far, but you do feel far from an art expert. Let me reassure you of something.

Art is not a science. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even pretty to be art. One of the best ways to remind yourself of this is to simply explore art with your preschooler. You will quickly see that some things are considered art that will even make you feel better about your skills. 😉

And since I am a huge fan of the two birds with one stone concept, I found a fun list of concept books (colors, numbers, etc.) to explore.

Explore Art with Preschoolers: Concept Books

Art 123: Count from 1 to 12 with Great Works of Art by Stefano Zuffi – Each number gets a painting or other work of art and has a little whimsical, rhyming prose to go with it.

I Spy Shapes in Art by Lucy Micklethwait – “I spy with my little eye…” each shape found in a famous painting. Lots of different styles of painting.

Art: A World of Words in 12 Languages by Doris Kutschbach – Simple format, a piece of art on one page and a word that describes it in 12 different languages on the opposite page.

A is for Art Museum by Katy Friedland and Marla K. Shoemaker – An ABC book about the art museum. Each letter gets a piece of art that corresponds with a word that starts with said letter. Each letter has a question or two to help guide you in exploring the pieces with your preschooler.

The Art Treasure Hunt: I Spy with My Little Eye by Doris Kutschbach – Each painting has a selection of items for your preschooler to search out.

Art Detective: Spot the Difference by Doris Kutschbach, illustrated by Julia Dürr – Compare the original painting to the “forgery” and see what differences you can find.

A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet by Stephen T. Johnson – If you love alliteration, you HAVE to get this book. Each letter has a piece of art created by the author and has a short passage of text that uses words that start with that letter almost exclusively. It is quite a feat.

I Spy Colors in Art by Lucy Micklethwait – Same format as the I Spy Shapes book.

Make Your Own Art!

The Big Book of Color: An Adventurous Journey into the Magical and Marvelous World of Color published by Walter Foster Jr. – This book is a wonderful tool for exploring color with preschoolers. I plan to use it this coming school year with my preschooler, who is four. There is another book that works with it called The Bib Book of….

So get out there and explore some art and then step out of your box and actually create some. I promise, no one will throw tomatoes at you!

You might also like:

How to Teach Art in Your Homeschool When You Have No Talent!

Books to Help You Teach Art in Your Homeschool Without Any Talent

There are fewer things as daunting in homeschooling than teaching subjects you are not good at. In my experience, art and math seem to be the two biggest struggles for homeschool parents. I’m not touching on math today, but I think I can help you with the art thing a bit.

Art is really a fun subject and one that most kids really get into. Below is a big list of books to help you teach art in your homeschool either by simply adding it to your other subjects or giving it its own space. But first, a little pep talk from me:

Art is not an exact science like chemistry. You are not going to make something explode when you get something “wrong”. In fact, mistakes can often make a piece of art more interesting. Here’s the thing, your kid doesn’t care if you are a great artist. The whole point of this list isn’t to make promises of turning you into a great artist who can then teach your child art.


The point of this post is to provide you with some resources so you and your child can explore art together. Art is a great way to relax and explore your creative brain (no matter how little you think you have…) while creating memories with your child.

So get out there and create some art with your child!

End pep talk.

Right now I have a list of books to help you teach art in your homeschool…talent optional.

How to Teach Art in Your Homeschool When You Have No Talent!

Books to Help You Teach Art in Your Homeschool (Talent Optional)

Arty Facts: Weather & Art Activities by Janet Sacks – Combining science lessons with a specific art project, this one is a good choice for older preschoolers and early elementary students. There are some really great projects in here and a good chunk of them use recycled materials.

The Jumbo Book of Outdoor Art written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher – This book is written to kids, but to use it that way, you would likely need older elementary students. Add a parent to the mix and you have some fun projects for preschoolers. Great for nature studies.

The Kids’ Multicultural Art Book: Art & Craft Experiences from Around the World by Alexandra M. Terzian – Organized by continent, this book would make a great reference book to have on your homeschool shelves. As you cover topics in history or geography, you can pair a coordinating art project. I’m a fan of the two-birds-with-one-stone homeschooling philosophy.

Storybook Art: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of 100 Great Picture Book Illustrators by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter – The charts at the beginning of this book make finding just the right project very easy. You can easily choose activities based on experience level, preparation time, or technique with all the icons they detail. There is a chart of contents that lists all the books, authors, projects, style, etc. I’d say this fits in with literature or reading, however you classify reading picture books to preschoolers in your homeschool.

Art is Every Day: Activities for the Home, Park, Museum, and City by Eileen S. Prince – There are 65 projects in this book. This book could be used for middle or high school students to study some art concepts independently, but I’m including it here mostly for you parents, particularly those who feel you do not know anything about art. You read the chapters and then do the projects with your kids. This falls into the fine art or simply art subject category.

Cool Flexagon Art: Creative Activities That Make Math & Science Fun for Kids! by Anders Hanson and Elissa Mann – These projects would be great for upper elementary students. These projects focus on geometry.

Cool String Art: Creative Activities that Make Math & Science Fun for Kids! by Anders Hanson and Elissa Mann – Find projects that will fit with geometry and astronomy lessons. Another great option for elementary students and bringing art into other subjects.

Modern Art Adventures: 36 Creative, Hands-On Projects Inspired by Artists from Money to Banksy by Maja Pitamic and Jill Laidlaw – I’m a big fan of books that  tell you how to use them, give me clear, concise instructions any day and I’m happy. This book includes a bit of art history and I would say you could use it with just about any age in your homeschool.

Art for All Seasons: 40 Creative Mixed Media Adventures for Children Inspired by Nature and Contemporary Artists by Susan Schwake – As you would guess, this book’s projects are divided up by season. In addition to the projects, there is a section on materials and one on creating an art space. A lot of these projects would pair nicely with nature studies.

Art Stamping: Using Everyday Objects by Bernadette Cuxart – Part of a series of books written to be used directly by kids to explore art. This book focuses on stamping with objects like sponges, leaves, q-tips, and bubble wrap.

Art Painting With Different Tools by Bernadette Cuxart – These fun art projects are made with sponges, straws, cotton balls, and even homemade brushes. A total of 16 projects are included.

Art Painting On Everyday Items by Bernadette Cuxart – Paper is not the only thing that you paint on with this book. Aluminum foil, sandpaper, rocks, and bottle caps are just a few of the everyday, but not typical canvases used in these art projects.

Art Painting With Everyday Materials by Bernadette Cuxart – Have fun painting with chalk and salt, paint and soap, and even coffee with the art projects in this book. This series is a great fit for elementary students, especially those who may want to work more independently.

My Art Book: Amazing Art Projects Inspired By Masterpieces by DK Publishing – A great start into art history, it covers a lot of styles, mediums, and artists. Each has a famous piece of art with history on the style, artist, and other details. Then there is a project to complete for each piece. A total of 14 projects, great for all ages.

The Big Book of Art Draw! Paint! Create! An Adventurous Journey Into the Wild & Wonderful World of Art! by Walter Foster Jr. – I just love this book. It makes a great companion book for the Big Book of Color book I’ve mentioned before. I will likely use both of these with my little guy for his PreK year. This art book works best for preschool to early elementary aged students.

My Art Class by Nellie Shepherd – A fun book of art projects for toddlers and preschoolers. Beware, the projects and age range will likely create a mess, but just remember that is part of the process and maybe throw a tarp down.

My Animal Art Class by Nellie Shepherd – Ditto for these fun art projects and age bracket.

Get Into Art Animals: Discover Great Art and Create Your Own by Susie Brooks – Explore animals in art with this book and the included art projects. Each of the 13 works of art have a corresponding project. Great for kids of all ages.

Get Into Art People but Susie Brooks – Another in the Get Into Art series, this book explores the various ways people are portrayed in art.

Get Into Art Places by Susie Brooks – Yep, same series. This time we are exploring places like bedrooms and landscapes…and making projects like the famous art included.

Get Into Art Telling Stories by Susie Brooks – The final book from this series (at least that I perused) explores how art can tell stories.

Art Workshops for Children by Hervé Tullet – I’ve become a fan of Tullet’s books, so has my preschooler. This book is for adults though. Tullet will teach you how to lead an art workshop (or lesson or co-op class) for children. The information is great, the projects fun. The photos at the end of the book of real-life art workshops is a great look through, too.

The School of Art: Learn How to Make Great Art With 40 Simple Lessons by Teal Triggs, illustrated by Daniel Frost – This book could be used by parents to teach or it could be used independently by middle school students and up. The lessons are simple, but lay a great foundation for budding artists.

That’s the list for now! We got books this time, in the future I’ll put together lists of other resources to help you with art. It is a fun subject, if you let it be!

You may also be interested in these other art posts I wrote:

11 Picture Books About Art

11 Picture Books About Art - Vicki-Arnold.com

Lots of kids like art. Making art is a pastime that my children love. They like to draw, paint, and sculpt. They are currently enrolled in an art class through our homeschool co-op. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to gain hands-on learning experience with someone who is passionate about art and does it very well himself.

I guess that is beside the point, but maybe not. If you have a budding artist, I’d highly encourage you to look into a local art class. If that is not an option, find some resources to encourage your artist online. I recently put together a list of drawing tutorials and also use Pinterest to curate art lessons/ideas for my kids.

I came across some fun books recently at the library about kids and art, so I decided to do a little more researching and see what other titles I could find. Here’s a list of 11 picture books about art to look for on your next library trip.

Picture Books About Art

Amelia Bedelia’s Masterpiece by Herman Parish, pictures by Lynn Sweat – I’m finding that people either love or hate Amelia Bedelia. I loved her as a kid, but may find her kind of annoying as an adult…it’s hard to say really. I do enjoy the play on words that is commonly found in these books though.

Louise Loves Art written and illustrated by Kelly Light – This sweet little book shows that even when your art doesn’t turn out just like you want it to or if a tragedy strikes it, it is still art and can be awesome.

Draw by Raul Colon – This is a beautiful, wordless picture book. Kids who love animals and/or dream of safaris in Africa will enjoy this one. Wordless picture books can feel awkward to read, but Caroline over on The Library Adventure recently wrote a post on how to use wordless picture books with special needs kids and I think her tips are good for most kids in general, too.

The Museum by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds – I love how the little girl in this story experiences the art she sees in the art museum.

You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser – Another fun, wordless book. This one follows the travels of a little girl’s yellow balloon when it becomes loose in front of the Metropolitan Museum and the guardian of the balloon as he attempts to chase it down.

Ella’s Trip to the Museum by Elaine Clayton – Ella and her small class visit an art museum. A good reminder to parents that when we want our kids to experience something, it may not look like we expect.

Art Dog by Thacher Hurd – Arthur guards the Dogopolis Museum of Art. When a famous painting is stolen (the Mona Woofa), he uses his art to catch the criminals responsible. A pretty silly read full of imagination.

Morris the Artist by Lore Segal, pictures by Boris Kulikow – A book about how sharing can lead to a lot of fun. It’s also a good book for discussing things like thinking of others when choosing things like birthday presents and not being selfish, which the main character could use some work on…

I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry – Giant Squid is the best artist in the ocean, but someone isn’t so happy with his art.

Meet Me at the Art Museum by David Goldin – A ticket stub and name tag take us on an after hours tour of the art museum to see all the exhibits.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle – I love all the colorful animals in this fun Eric Carle book.

Have you read any of these? Any of them you will be adding to your reading list?

Free How to Draw Tutorials

This free how to draw tutorials round-up post is the most popular post on the blog. I believe this is because art is one of those subjects that seems to intimidate a lot of homeschool moms. Or they simply feel inadequate to teach art. A hands-on art class is a fantastic tool, but if you can’t afford it or fit it into your schedule, the internet can certainly help.

One recommendation before jumping into the free tutorials. If you haven’t heard about See The Light art DVDs, those are a fantastic resource as well. I reviewed one of the classes previously, so you can read my review of the Pointillism class to get a better idea of what they are.

This post will be part of a series that I will put together over time. This post will focus on DRAWING tutorials. Look for more art tutorial round-ups soon. Currently in the works are more drawing tutorial round-ups, painting, and great YouTube channels to help your student grow in their artistic skill.

How to Draw Tutorials

There is no shortage of how to draw tutorials on the internet. I’ve started with a list of the most common tutorials people often look for and will add to the list with some themed followup posts.

How to Draw People

Drawing people is one of the most intimidating subjects for most budding artists. The following how to draw tutorials hope to reduce that intimidation.

How to Draw Animals

Animals are fun for a lot of new artists. You can choose to draw a cartoon version or a realistic version. These how to draw tutorials offer a mix of those styles.

How to Draw Flowers

If you have a particularly artsy budding artist, starting with these how to draw tutorials for flowers is a good idea.

How to Draw Other Objects

That’s it for today’s list. I’ve updated all the links and added several more, bringing the total to over 50 how to draw tutorials. Look for more soon!

For more arty goodness, check out my Homeschool :: Art Pinterest board!

Original post image:

40+ Free How to Draw Tutorials - People, animals, flowers, and more - Vicki-Arnold.com

See The Light Art Projects: Pointillism Fruit {a review}

Please note that I received this product free of charge to review. All opinions are my own.

See The Light Art Projects: Pointillism Fruit {a review}
About See The Light Art Projects

See The Light is a Christian art curriculum created by Dave and Pat Holt. The curriculum features artists with specialties in a wide variety of techniques; including chalk, crafts, creative lettering, and art history. See The Light products include Art Class, Art Projects, and Bible Stories. You can also purchase gift sets and materials through the company.

The Art Projects feature master artist Pat Knepley. They are for ages 10+ and include 4 lessons on each DVD. The lessons vary from 20 to 30 minutes in length. Each DVD focuses on a single artist and medium. Art history is weaved throughout the lessons and each lesson has a Bible verse connected to the material.

The Art Projects series includes:

  • Paper Jungle focuses on Henri Rousseau and paper.
  • Tiffany Window focuses on Louis Comfort Tiffany and markers.
  • Sunflowers focuses on Vincent Van Gogh and oil pastels.
  • Plus six other artists to draw, paint, and create with.

You can purchase the projects individually for $14.99 each or you can buy the whole set for $99.99. You can also set up a subscription where you receive one project each month for 9 months for the discounted price of $12.50 per month.

Create pointillism pumpkin for a fun fall project!

About Pointillism Fruit

I was asked to choose the Art Project DVD of my choice to review. I chose Pointillism Fruit which focuses on Georges Seurat and uses acrylic paint. Georges Seurat was a revolutionary who created a whole new style based off of my favorite style, impressionism and cutting edge science (chromatography). The style he created was called pointillism. It’s quite fascinating.

The four lessons for Pointillism Fruit are:

  • Color Theory and Initial Drawing
  • Laying Down Base Color
  • Optical Color Mixing
  • Finished Still Life.

You will create a still life of fruit. The required materials are something to paint on (Bristol board or poster board); acrylic paints in pure hues; real or fake fruit; clean cotton swabs; waxy coated paper plates; paper towels; pencil; and eraser.

A review of See The Light Art Project: Pointillism Fruit

Review of Pointillism Fruit

My students are ages 7, 9, and 11. Even though the ages suggested are 10 and up, I decided to give it a try with all of them. I participated as well. The lessons are very easy to follow, are not too long that they lose interest, and the history is actually fun to learn.

The lessons are broken down into manageable steps, though we did run into issues since we watched each lesson and then did our projects. The best way to do this would be to watch the video as you are doing your project so you could pause and go back to information that you missed or want to clarify.

I enjoyed learning about Seurat’s disciplined life and his fascination with how the eye perceives color.

I thought the Bible verses that were chosen fit very nicely with the lessons and Pat did a great job of connecting them with the lesson in her commentary. I also found Pat Knepley to be engaging. My girls liked her clothes, which is kind of a moot point, but hey, I like to do thorough reviews.

We chose to use only one piece of fruit per person. I decided to do this because I thought that three larger-than-life pieces of fruit would be too much for my students’ attention span. They proved me right. I like the fact that we can actually go back and do this again in a year or two and simply add more fruit.

Pricing for the DVD’s seems high to me, unless you consider that you are basically getting 4 weeks of art lessons for $15 (less if you choose other purchase options). Add in the fact that you can have more than one student and it seems pretty reasonable. The local art shop here in town (awesome, by the way) has weekly drawing classes for $10 per class, per student.

Overall, we really enjoyed this project and look forward to trying out some of the others.

Check out our projects, not too shabby, eh?

A review of See The Light Art Project: Pointillism Fruit

My review is only 1 of 50 and not everyone chose Pointillism Fruit, so be sure to check out the See The Light reviews linked up at Mosaic Reviews.

See The Light's Art Project: Pointillism Fruit taught my daughter how to create this!

See The Light’s Art Project: Pointillism Fruit taught my daughter how to create this!

Huge List of Books for Composer Study

HUGE list of books for composer study! Over 75 books organized by time period and composer. There is also a list of bonus activities!

I recently put together a list of resources for teaching music study in your homeschool for Free Homeschool Deals (coming soon). As I was compiling the list of online resources, I thought it might be nice to have a list of some of the many books available for the various composers. Whether you purchase the books or look for them at your local library, they are sure to add depth to your homeschool routine.

The Amazon links in this post are affiliate posts, which means I earn a very small commission if you purchase something after clicking on the link. This costs you nothing and helps to offset the costs of maintaining the blog. You also have my gratitude, which let’s face it, is priceless.

I have divided the composers by time period and most composers have more than one title available. Some of the books come with CD’s with audio files to enjoy as well.

Updated to note: A lovely reader commented with a good reminder that you will always want to preview material before reading it to your children. She specifically noted the first book by Kathleen Krull as having material that some may not consider appropriate for children. Thank you, Heather, for the heads up!

Multiple Composers

Early/Medieval Composers 476-1600

When it comes to medieval times, I could not find more than the one book below that would work for composer study. I did come across a section on About.com called Composers/Musicians of the Middle Ages that had some listed with links to other resources. You may find that interesting.

Guido D’Arezzo

Baroque Composers 1600-1760

Johann Sebastian Bach

George Frideric Handel

Henry Purcell

Antonio Vivaldi

Classical Composers 1730-1820

Joseph Boulogne/Saint-George

Franz Joseph Haydn

Maria Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Nicolo Paganini

Romantic Composers 1815-1910

Ludwig Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

Johann Brahms

Frederic Chopin

Franz Schubert

Robert Schumann

John Philip Sousa

Peter Tchiakovsky

Giuseppe Verdi

Richard Wagner

Twentieth Century Composers 1900-2000

Leonard Bernstein

Aaron Copland

Duke Ellington

George Gershwin

Marvin Hamlisch

Charles Ives

Sergei Prokofiev

Igor Stravinsky

Additional Resources

I am adding this post to Teach Beside Me’s Share It Saturday and Upside Down Homeschooling’s Hearts for Home.