Child-size Masterpieces are sets of over-sized art postcards that come in an over-sized book printed on thick cardstock. The art prints need to be cut (I do ours with a paper cutter) but you can easily remove them from the pages and use scissors and cut on the dotted line provided. The instructions for use are printed on the cover and I cut those out and put them along with the prints in an accordion type file. I own several sets so each set of prints is kept all together in a slot. On the backs of the cards are the title of the painting, the artist’s name, and a brief description of the art time period.
There are several activities suggested with these sets. The steps increase in difficulty and steps 1-3 are easily achievable by preschoolers. Steps 4-8 are appropriate for children from about age 6 and up. The cards for each step come in different sets so make sure you purchase a set that will accomplish what you want.
Step 1 – Matching identical paintings
Step 2 – Pairing two similar paintings by the same artist
Step 3 – Grouping four paintings by each of three artists
Step 4 – Learning the names of famous artists
Step 5 – Learning the names of famous paintings
Step 6 – Learning about the schools of art
Step 7 – Sorting schools of art
Step 8 – Placing paintings on a time line
What Do I Like About Child-Size Masterpieces?
1. Ease of use
2. Variety of prints
4. Able to use them in lots of different ways
5. Aid to learning names of the paintings
7. Able to use them year after year
8. Appropriate for a wide variety of ages
9. Comes with ideas for using them
10. Can adapt the concepts with your own sets of art prints
Do you need the “How to Use” book?
Not in my opinion.
Which set to buy:
I would start with Level 1 if I have younger children, but you can use any of the sets that say on the cover that they are for steps 1,2, 3. They are labeled Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced but they all have the same amount of cards and the same activities.
If you think your children are ready for a bit of a challenge, purchase either one of the sets that say step 4 or step 5 on the covers. These sets come with the painting’s name on separate cards for a matching activity.
There is a set for teaching steps 6 and 7 but I have not looked at it personally. If you want to link over to amazon.com and read the description, I will include the link here.
Child-size Masterpieces are a resource you will use over and over again. We pull the cards out from time to time for a little review. I like that the sets can “grow” with your child.
The first time through you can learn the names of the paintings.
The second time through you can learn the artist’s names.
The third time through you can learn the school of art (renaissance, impressionist, etc)
A fourth time through you can learn to put the paintings in order according to a timeline.
You can make up your own way of sorting the paintings. I use the cards to point out art terms such as shape, line, texture, portrait, landscape, complementary colors, neutrals, and so on. These cards are such a great resource for parents that are just getting started in learning about art with their children. I highly recommend them.
Written by Barb-Harmony Art Mom