Category Archives: Art Appreciation

Fine Art Board Books for Toddlers

I really wish these Mini-Masters board books had been available when my kids were little.  I would’ve owned every book in the series (and they probably would’ve had nothing but these books for their early board books!).  Plus, it would’ve given the kiddos an opportunity to spend as much time exploring the reproductions as they might want (rather than having Mommy standing careful continual guard over the expensive family art books).

Personally, I’m not sure I would actually read the accompanying text to my kids (it seems a little childish), but I would sit with the kids and talk about (“narrate”) what is in the reproductions, themselves.


Every reproduction of Mary Cassatt’s work in this book contains either a child, or a child with a parent.  Young children will be particularly drawn to the images in this board book.


Children can enter Edgar Degas’s magical world of toe shoes, tutus, and elegant ballerinas.


The artist’s Tahitian paintings transport mini art lovers to a lush, colorful island where they can join in the celebration of island life.


The little ones will love spending A Magical Day with Matisse in a world full of music, color, bobbing sailboats, and tickled toes.


Claude Monet’s light-filled paintings take children on an enchanted picnic in the countryside.



“Picasso for kids?  Yes, it can be done!  This book includes several of his earlier works as well as some later works appropriate for young ones.”


Set against the backdrop of well-known works by the artist, Auguste Renoir, rhyming text tells a story of activities that can be shared by two people from the artwork.


In Dreaming with Rousseau, the artist’s vibrant paintings invite readers on a journey to dreamlike jungles packed with playful monkeys, a racing tiger, and other surprises.


“The colors are beautiful and each work has a ton of detail to hold a child’s attention for a long while.”

Van Gogh

The sleepy trees, golden haystacks, and juicy fruits of In the Garden with Van Gogh will delight little ones.



Fine Art Resource: Cezanne Block Puzzle

When my kiddos were small, they had a block puzzle made up of Peanuts character pictures. It was one of their  all-time favorite toys/puzzles. I wish we’d had something like this Cézanne block puzzle, however. Fine art and puzzle play, all in one. 🙂

A block puzzle featuring six reproductions of paintings by Paul Cézanne. Pomegranate block puzzles are composed of twelve 2 in. square blocks which may be flipped and turned to form six different artworks.

Twelve 2 in. laminated cardboard blocks in a decorative box.

Puzzle size: 6 x 8 in.
Box size 6 ⅜ x 8 ⅜ x 2 ¼ in.

The works of art in this puzzle are:

  • Bottle and Fruits (Bouteille et fruits), c. 1890
  • The Large Pear (La Grosse poire), 1895—1898
  • Ginger Jar (Pot de gingembre), c. 1895
  • A Table Corner (Un coin de table), c. 1895
  • Still Life (Nature morte), 1892—1894
  • Still Life (Nature morte), 1892—1894

Other block puzzles of interest:

Timeline of Art History

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an online Timeline of Art History.  What a wonderful resource!

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Autumn Art Appreciation Ideas

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Here are some possible paintings for Autumn art appreciation and picture study.  Just click on the small photos of the artwork to open a larger version for easier viewing.

Autumn Leaves, John Millais 1855Millais-AutumnLeaves

 [Excerpt] “… Millais decided to embark on a painting that was beautiful in its own right without any attempt to tell a story. His models were four young girls, all under 13 years of age, chosen for their youth and beauty. They were to be shown standing around a pile of gently smoldering autumn leaves which they had just collected from their garden. The painting, which became known as Autumn Leaves, was designed to evoke a mood and a feeling of the transience of life and beauty – all is doomed to eventual decay, even the greatest innocence and beauty is overwhelmed by the passage of time. The painting is considered to be Millais’s masterpiece. He wanted the picture to awaken the deepest religious reflections Continue reading

Affordable Picture Study

by Sheila Carroll
Guest Contributor

The study of great works of art is an important component of a Charlotte Mason education. Many educators think children should first learn to “do art”, that is learn free-hand drawing and other art techniques. Then later, usually much later, the child is introduced to great works of art. Continue reading