Monet for Kids & by Kids

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watercolor flowers behind fence

Many teachers and parents want to give children some culture. The way they do that is often by having the children learn about famous painters and then giving them artwork that is similar to that painters style.

Claude Monet  was a french painter who was considered one of the leaders of the Impressionist movement. The Impressionists painted what they saw and felt as opposed to the exact replica of what there actually was. (Sounds like our toddlers doesn’t it?)

If you want to learn more about his life then get a  condensed view of of Monets life here.

Monet’s style was such, that he used short brushstrokes and dabs of paint. He used splashes of beautiful colors and painted many flower and pond scenes in the sunlight. He wold try to catch the light and reflection in his paintings.

I have found that there are not that many ways to do Monets kind of art. The ones I have seen are for the most part very similar to each other.

When you are introducing kids to various artists to give them some culture, I find that Monet is a good one to start with.

  1. He was often not happy with his work and ripped things up and started over and over again. Children need models of artists that are not perfect. When they hear that a famous artist was often not happy with his paintings, it will make them feel like they can also make mistakes and start over.
  2. He didn’t paint much realism. I am firm believer in not giving children lots of realistic artists to learn from as they will just want to do things perfectly. (They don’t have to know when they are very young that most of these very successful non realistic artists were in actuality very proficient realists but they just chose to express themselves differently.)
  3. His style is loose and easy and his techniques are quite easy to follow.

A good idea is to begin by giving the children some of Monets paintings to look at. This way they can get an idea if  of what they are trying to imitate. If you have a color printer then print out some of the images.  If you can’t print out any of the images from that site then maybe a book from the children’s section of the library would work better.

Another idea would be to gather some postcards that have some of Monet’s images .

Once the children have seen some of Monet’s work its time to point out to them how he got some of his techniques.

  1. Show them how it looks when the brush is smushed down on the paper as opposed to drawing and have them 
  2. Let them use some sponges and paint to get those effects.
  3. Let them do some watercolor dabbing on dry paper and then wet paper and then compare results.
  4. See if you can get some real flowers and have them paint them in a sunny area.

Below I have 4 different sites that give you some more concrete ideas on how you can recreate some of the water lilies, flowers and bridges that are so dominant in Monets work.

If you don’t want to make those pictures then have the children just experiment with the techniques he used.

Monet watercolor flowers

The first one is actually a  post of mine of an activity  that I did a while ago in our Summer camp. It was not done specifically to copy the Monet style but, it really does have the basic elements. Using tape as a resist is a common one in copying Monet.

watercolors flowers 2

When looking for Monets work you will often come across Monets bridge  and this activity is  from art is what I teach

monet bridge


Then  go check out how to create these water liilies at The talking walls


And  here is a compilation of 4 monet ideas from Artree

4 monet ideas
monet roundup

Leave a Comment:

Robin Paulin says March 4, 2010

Thank you so much for such a wonderful resource. I’m a retired Marine and I’m starting my second career as a teacher. Your site provides wonderful inspiration. The information and activities are age appropriate and easy enough to make more detailed. I’m very excited to share this with everyone!

Faigie says March 4, 2010

Thanks so much for your encouragement. I will be adding lots more stuff in the near future

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