Art exploration is both fun and educational. Unrestricted experimentation with art both stimulates the mind in early learners and helps young children forge connections in their growing brains. The art of creating provides our kids with the freedom to manipulate different materials, dabble with colors, and familiarize themselves with various textures.
In March, art exploration and authentic art creation was our primary educational focus. Our project based learning question? Create your own museo! The Mi Casita niños focused on creating and developing their own personal pieces of art while simultaneously learning about some of the most prominent and historical artists, such as Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.
Over the course of 4 weeks the children worked on both group and individual art projects that they then presented at the end of the unit at their very own Mi Casita-made art museum. The kids replicated famous artworks, such as Starry Night, and also used different existing art pieces as inspiration to create their own masterpieces.
To successfully create our own museum at Mi Casita, we wanted to have the kids get hands-on experience with art at a museum. As part of this unit we were fortunate enough to be invited to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art as well as the Academy of Natural Science. Here we were able to explore art outside of the classroom and see the natural structure of a museum. We were able to identify how pieces are curated, organized, and displayed.
These museum visits served as real life examples that help the students curate and display their own work. Whether they know it or not, the natural processes of art creation involve tuning fine motors skills—grasping pencils, crayons, paintbrushes and all other art material helps children develop their motor muscles. The kids also work on practicing critical thinking skills my making a mental plan and then projecting their ideas on paper. By identifying shapes, sizes, and making comparisons between different aspects of their arts the children hone in early math skills.
An important aspect of our trip and of the museum-creating process was presentation. The kids were able to show off their artwork to their peers, and at the end, to their parents and the entire Mi Casita community. This process of describing the artwork they are so proud of builds language skills—in both Spanish and English.
Gracias to the PAFA and Academy of Natural Science for having us. Mi Casita loved the adventure!
If you want to expand upon what we did at the museum and throughout our art unit, talk to your kids about art and everything that they have created! Here are some other local resources for exploring art in Philadelphia which have programs specifically geared towards families and children: