5 Simple Activities to Encourage Art Appreciation and Creation

CHP_BLOG_WFHUPGRADE_2020-3-24_COMM.jpgWhen I tell people what I do —that I work as Head of Curation for Meural—they will often respond with an apology: “I really don’t know anything about art”. Not children though.  Kids rarely have the same hang-ups about art that adults do.



And that openness to experiencing visual culture is enormously powerful. Because, at root, art helps us understand to ourselves, while connecting us to the past, igniting our imagination, encouraging critical thinking and revealing the world around us.


We’ve adapted five activities for young children (originally developed by the National Gallery of Art) that provide the basis for an engaging 30 mins of creative and critical thinking, and developed complementary playlists from the Meural Art Library. Enjoy!


  1. Storytime

Who doesn’t love a good story? Paintings and photographs can often provide children a unique starting point for creating their very own tale. All they need is the artwork and their imagination can do the rest!


See playlist and instructions




  1. Viewfinder

With some artwork, it’s all in the details. Encouraging kids to look closely, and describe carefully what they see can open up new visual worlds, while developing language and expression.


See playlist and instructions


town square.jpg


Pretend Play

If the people and animals in artwork could talk, what might they say? How might they be feeling? What might they be doing? This activity combines critical viewing, with a child’s imagination and expression.


See playlist and instructions


Ship Captain.jpg



  1. Shapes and Composition

By breaking abstract art down into its elements, children can come to understand the basics of abstraction, while experimenting with shape and composition.


See playlist and instructions



  1. Imagined Scenes

This drawing activity, in which kids change the setting and meaning of an artwork by adding an object they find at home to the setting, is both practical and conceptual.


See playlist and instructions





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