One of the things I love most about working with preschoolers is the possibility. When we get a group of 3 and 4 year olds in the Art Studio, few think “I’m not an artist” or “I’m no good at this.” Instead, they jump in feet first, exploring materials, trying out their ideas, and letting their imaginations go. I often wish that I could be a little more like that.
This month in our Arturo’s Art & Me class, we talked about dogs—everything from what they eat and how they can be trained, to why we love them and how artists have portrayed them. We read a wonderful book, Dogs’ Night by Meredith Hooper that imagines dogs in paintings at the National Gallery in London coming to life and jumping out of the art. We searched the European galleries to see how many dogs we could find in paintings here at the Dallas Museum of Art. (A few of which we highlighted here). Then in the Studio, the children decorated little stuffed dogs and created homes for them out of shoeboxes. Everyone had a great day, and the children found personal connections to the works of art by talking about something familiar—dogs.
We don’t always know how much that happens in the museum stays with the children, but last week we received an email from a dad that reminded us of how powerful a visit to the museum can be for a young child. (It also reminded me of why I love my job!)
The kids [got] so excited about discovering the art. My 4 year old talked about it all afternoon, then slept with his new dog, his Best in Show ribbon on his pajamas. He is still talking about how “dogs in London can jump out of paintings.” And his 2 year old sister goes around singing “doggy doggy where you go?”
Art is going to the dogs, and we couldn’t be more happy about it! We’d love to hear about what your children think and say about art. Please share your stories by making a comment.
Posted by: Leah