Imagine a child’s drawing of a house or flower. The image conjured in most people’s minds is probably similar, because we are personally familiar with the iconic images children draw. A house is a square with four windows, a rectangle door and a triangle roof. Flowers are basically big and little circles on a green line. While children actually know that the world is not limited to these generic houses and daisies, they are easy to draw and get the job done. Looking at art broadens children’s vision of the world and gives them a deeper vocabulary of images to express their ideas. They realize that there are many ways to envision a house or a flower.
Cubist-style houses painted by Picasso are radically different from those in an Impressionist painting by Monet. Visit an art museum and hunt for different houses. Ask children what they see or what the art makes them think about. Talk about the differences in colors, styles or materials. Most importantly, ask them, “Do you like it?”
Observing an object and forming an opinion requires higher order thinking skills later used in science and other curricular areas. Forming an aesthetic opinion requires children to develop a sense of taste and personal identity that will inform their future art, as well as influence how they dress and decorate their rooms.
Broaden your child’s vision with a visit to DuPage Children’s Museum’s newest art exhibition Trains – All Aboard Art! opening on September 17. See something new together.