We had such an event yesterday. Incorporating little ones in our homeschool hasn't been a necessity for quite some time, but this week we spent an afternoon watching a nine week old baby and a nineteen month old toddler while their parents worked and spent their spare hours moving house. Although we are studying the ancients, I decided to throw in an impromptu modern art lesson, since many are so easily managed by a toddler. I chose that old school favorite, Kandinsky's circles.
While the baby slept and the toddler played with toys, I used our favorite art books (click here to be linked to the page that lists them) and some pictures on the web to introduce the girls to Abstract Art and Vassily Kandinsky. We spent some time flipping through our main spine and observing how realism slid into the softened images of Impressionism, followed by the blurred lines of reality and abstract that became known as Fauvism. Kandinsky abandoned reality and became one of the first to create truly abstract art. We put a few key points on the white board, along with our favorite Kandinsky quote. I showed the girls one of Kandinsky's circle paintings and sent them to gather supplies.
Using countless lids, cups, bowls, etc. in different sizes, the girls and I traced a stack of circles. By this point, the toddler, Bowie, was rather intrigued by what was happening at the table, and I put him on my lap. Holding his fingers in the scissors, I coached him through cutting out the circles. Somewhere along the line I started naming the colors for him to see if he would use the words. Moments later I decided that the lesson would be better if we cut out other shapes as well, so we decided to cut out squares, then triangles, then rectangles--all in different colors. As we cut, we named the shape and color names.
Of course, when it came time for gluing, our little guy was all over the idea of mastering the glue stick!
Since it seemed silly to only glue on the circles, Bowie did his own thing and his Kandinsky turned into a Kazimir Malevich. Pretty cool, right? The little guy moved himself into the next great art movement all on his own! Organic homeschooling is the best!
Of the two girls, Reagan was the only one who stuck to the lesson plan (for the most part) and her final product looked like a more true-to-the-original reproduction.
Chloe, bless her, just couldn't let go of realism long enough to embrace the abstract for even the one assignment. You can tell what the beginning of school means to her--bring on the snow!
After Bowie decided his own masterpiece was complete, he decided that Reagan's Mod Podge technique wasn't quite up to par and took it upon himself to assist. Reagan is so awesome with the little people--she didn't even hesitate to let him leave his stamp on her project.