Art History Projects

Exploring Monet Through Finger Painting

So, building on our previous post about Monet our next art project was finger painting inspired by Claude Monet’s “Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies”. I found several ideas on Pinterest, including one from and another from and then modified them to fit the supplies that I already had at home and to what I thought would work best for my little one.

If you want to try it out for yourself at home here is a list of supplies that we used (“ThriftyFloridaMom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”):

  • Small square canvas (this was left over from a pack I bought several years ago for another project but was similar to this one:
  • Finger Paints. We have been using this set for the last several years:
  • Painter’s Tape similar to this one:

I like to do all our finger painting projects out on the lanai as it makes for easier clean up. We did this particular project over 3 days time in order to let the paint dry in between each stage. (It also gave us a go to fun activity to do over the course of several days).

The first thing I did was place the painter’s tape on the canvas. I tore several small pieces in order to make the arched design I wanted to mimic the bridge. Next, I set up a paper plate with the finger paints squeezed out. We used warm colors on the first day. I showed my daughter how to make the impressionism type look by using her fingers to make dots on the canvas.

We let the warm tones drive overnight and then came back the next day and repeated the same process with cool tones.

We once again left the paint to dry overnight and then removed the painters tape to show the shape of the bridge. I then helped my little one to finger paint in the bridge. Since our paint set did not include brown pain we mixed the paint together to get the brown color. This way we also got to talk about how if you mix colors together you can get a new color. I forgot to grab a picture at this stage but here is our finished project.

It even got a spot on the mantle!

So what do you think of our Monet project? Did you try it with your little one? How did it turn out? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Art History Projects

Art History Fun: Monet

Here is a review of how I taught my little one about Monet prior to our next art history project for toddlers, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies. Check back soon to see how we completed the project and how it went!

Going forward with our art history lessons I chose Monet as our next artist to explore. I chose this artist as I felt that there were a lot of strong preschool resources that corresponded with Claude Monet. I started off by reading my little one Where is the Frog?: A Children’s Book Inspired by Claude Monet by Geraldine Elschner. This cute children’s book uses Monet’s water lily paintings as the background into which a small frog tries to place herself into his work. For more information click on the photo below for a link to Amazon (We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.)

After reading the book I attempted to reinforce Monet and his work by having my little one watch a DVD of another famous children’s book about Monet: Linnea in Monet’s Garden. The story follows a young girl as she travels to Claude Monet’s garden, sees his paintings and learns what it means to be an Impressionist.

If you are uncertain if your little one will be interested in Monet or you are don’t know that you want to purchase the items linked above don’t forget to check out your local library to see if they have these items or are able to request them from another library for your use. I was also able to find Linnea in Monet’s Garden on YouTube. Check out the blog tomorrow for our art project we completed to correspond with these works! Any suggestions for which artist we should try next? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Art History Projects, Fine Motor Fun

Fine Motor Friday, Scissor Fun with Matisse

We continued our Art History Projects by combing a fine motor activity with an art lesson by exploring Henri Matisse. We had recently been at our local art museum were we had been able to see several Matisse works. As my little one is also discovering and enjoying scissors I thought this would be a fun project for her.

Since we had been so busy we had been unable to make a trip to the public library to borrow a copy of Henri’s Scissors but fortunately I was able to find a video of it being read on YouTube and we pulled it up on our Smart TV and I let her watch while I set up the materials. After that we also watched an episode of Art with Mati and Dada on Matisse in order to try and interest her more in the topic with the fun and brief cartoon. Click on the red YouTube button below for a link to the video.

Needed Supplies:

  • Construction Paper
  • Glue Sticks
  • Scissors-My recommendation for toddler scissors and the ones that she is using in this picture are below. Click on the image if you wish to purchase from Amazon.

As we already had all the needed supplies this was once again a “free to me” art activity. I essentially just set out the supplies and let her go to town. I found that doing it this way was a little bit more difficult for her as she was only mainly able to cut rectangles. Here is her finished product.

As you can see she got a little over zelous with the glue stick. That’s one reason I make sure and always have several at the house!

I decided that we would repeat this activity again in a few months and see how her scissor skills have progressed. Currently she had more fun practicing using her glue stick. Our next planned artist is Monet. Do you have any other artists that you think we should explore? Leave us a comment below and let us know.

Art History Projects, What We're Reading


I chose Picasso for our next famous artist study. It was a great pick because it turns out my little one loves Picasso. I found a project on Pinterest from

Next we made a stop at our local library and found this book on the shelves.

I read the book to her and we had fun looking at the pictures and discussing the different periods or finding different items in the pictures. In particular she had fun looking at the Cubism paintings and identifying different items in them.

In preparation for this activity I had precut out a variety of shapes in different color construction paper. I did have to go out and purchase glue sticks as this was a new item for us. So this project did cost $2.89.

I set out all of the construction paper cut outs and let her self select and glue the shapes.

She enjoyed herself so much that she made several of them. She will even ask to read “Picasso book” when we are picking out books before bed time.

One of her finished “Picassos”.

Do you have any suggestions for other artists she may enjoy? Leave use a comment below.

Art History Projects

A is for Art

As we continue our Letter A activities I decided that we would throw in a weekly art project and a brief lesson on a famous artist. I started by explaining to my little one that when some people go to work their job is to make art. While scrolling through Pinterest I stumbled across an art project that I felt my non-artistic self could handle, a stamping project about Andy Warhol’s famous Flowers painting from (An added plus was that as his name started with an A I could have my daughter “find an A” on the title page.)

Supplies needed:

  • Paper or Canvas (I had a few small canvases left over from a pack I bought for another project we did a few years back so I did let her use one for this project)
  • Paint (We used Crayola Finger Paints as that is what we already had. I mixed colors until I made black)
  • Half of a green bell pepper ($0.89 at Target and then we used the other half in a salad later that week)
  • Paper plate to hold the paint

Since we had all put the pepper already at home this project cost only 89 cents!

I had been busy and forgotten to look up/request a book from the library in advance so we wound up with the one book that was available at our local library branch, Fortunately I did include lots of photographs of Warhol’s work and several photographs of the work we were going to use as our inspiration. We looked through the pictures together and explained to my little one that we were going to try and make our own painting like Andy Warhol’s and showed her the pictures.

I stamped the first “flower” for her and then let her go at it from there. After repeatedly stamping her canvas she wanted to do more so I found a few pieces of scrap paper and let her stamp them as well. When she grew bored we set the paintings aside until the next day in order to let the black paint dry before adding color.

Dip in the paint…
…then stamp. Ta Da!

The next evening we came back to the project and I let her add color with a paint brush. She didn’t quite grasp the concept of staying inside the lines but had a lot of fun regardless. I am planning on repeating this project again with her next year to see how she grows and changes.

Adding color on the second day.