Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Toddler art appreciation

Art and music are so important to me and so is the idea that children should be exposed to the 'classics' from an early age.  We live really close to the Musée du Louvre in Paris and a recent visit there by Farfar and Farmor got me thinking about how to share some of the masterpieces with Freddy but without the huge queues.

The Mona Lisa is in the Louvre and is understandably one of the star attractions so it didn't surprise me to learn that it's hard to get a good look at it if you visit.

One day soon we will take Freddy (24 months) to visit the Louvre but until then he can admire the classics in our own little art gallery!

I used cheap photo frames from IKEA (which are plastic rather than glass) and I used this great site to print off copies of some of my favourite paintings.  They are just printed on to normal paper and mounted in the frames.

They are all mounted at perfect toddler perusal height.

I plan to change them regularly and display some of Freddy's artwork next to them too.

Freddy has already shown great interest in them (much more than I had expected) and can point out the Mona Lisa and lots of interesting details about the paintings.   He especially likes the paintings with animals.

He also likes to hang the pictures up (because he watched Farfar do it) which gives him another fun activity to do.  Isn't art fun?

This post is linked to the amazing Living Montessori Now.


  1. Great idea, and there are children's stories about meeting the artists etc ....I have one about Van Gogh ..and noticed there is one about a little girl and Mona Lisa on The Book depository

  2. Yeah, I've heard about the books by Laurence Anholt about meeting the artists and reproductions of famous paintings in the books.. but have not bought any.
    (I have the same pic of the girl reading too..)

  3. Like this idea. We took our five year old to the Pompidou Centre recently but hadn't done our preparation properly as she kept asking loudly for the Mona Lisa. She wasn't very impressed!

  4. Lovely, I've been meaning to do this for ages for B. Thanks for the link.

  5. I LOVE this!! What a wonderful idea! I try to teach them about art, read books, and do projects - but I love how you are getting & keeping wonderful art in front of your kids =-)

  6. Excuse me, auntie (faster) was also at the Louvre

  7. What a beautiful display! Children are always so captivated by famous art works and are drawn to the details. Thanks for sharing this idea!

  8. I came over from the Montessori Monday link-up and quickly got sucked into your blog, looking at all the incredible activities you've introduced with your son! My son is a few months younger and I'm always looking for new, age-appropriate activities for him to work on at home. I've found lots of inspiration here!

  9. Hi! Love your blog! Came across your site through Montessori Monday. I brought my son to the Louvre and he loved the place. He was in awe with the sculptures though rather than the paintings. But nevertheless... it's a wonderful experience.

    Jae from

  10. Awesome, Rachael! What a great place to live ... and I LOVE your art gallery! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

  11. Thank you all so much for your lovely comments and I'm really sorry I was so bad at replying individually.

  12. Oh and I found he books you suggested Jennifer / Hazel. Thanks xx

  13. This is an amazing idea! Definitely keeping it in mind for when I have kids, I want to introduce my children to as many things as possible.

  14. We've been doing a variation on this, where we have print outs of classic paintings in the box of colouring/activities that we leave out for the girls to help themselves to. They also have a big book of art where they can look at the real version and read a bit about it, before they colour in their own interpretation. They can then blue tack their picture in our "gallery". I suppose it is the version for older children :)

    1. Oh that sounds really good - I'll be trying it here when the boys are a little older!


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