DIY Art Museum


I love museums, specifically art museums. My son has been really into the Mona Lisa and Birth of Venus since I bought him the first book in the reviews at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He also keeps asking to go to the Louvre after seeing an episode of Little Einsteins, don’t I wish! So while he was napping on Sunday I made him a museum, kids could be a part of this for sure – instead of using masterpiece stickers you could make your own art! It’s been played with multiple times since making it .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a shallow card board box, some foam or construction paper in 2 colors, some markers, glue, scissors, art stickers, little people blocks and little people.
  2. Start by cutting your foam into rugs.
  3. Draw some fun squiggles to make the foam look like oriental rugs.
  4. Cut out a door.
  5. Cut a runner from the other color of foam.
  6. Add glue for the rugs and runner
  7. Pop them down.
  8. Time to add stickers- here is a close up of the stickers we are using. I found them at the St. Louis Art Museum ages ago but have seen them at the Vancouver Art Gallery .
  9. Add them to your box. The Mona Lisa is from the cover, I’d already used the sticker, I just taped it on.
  10. Add the furniture- I used a few blocks.
  11. Add your doorway. My son has been saying “Please pay for museum here” when he plays. If you have time you could make a little desk!
  12. Time to play.


“Brush Mona Lisa’s Hair” by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo is the inspiration for this post and my son’s new found love of Renaissance Art. The book is a board book with touch and feel aspects to it. The text is cute but not a story, each page asks the reader to do something with the touch and feel item . The real gem is bringing the art to young eyes. The book includes wonderful masterpieces : Girl with A Pearl Earing , Birth of Venus, The Arnolfini Portrait and more!

“Babar’s Museum of Art” by Laurent de Brunhoff is one of my favorite art books for kids. My son has recently decided he hates it because he doesn’t want to see the elephant versions of the art. All the art in the museum are masterpieces that you will recognize redone with elephants. He slams the page in the way only toddlers with a definite sense of justice can and says ” No elephant paintings Mama, real ones!” Trust me though this book is awesome and he loved it a few months ago. The story is about how Queen Celeste wants to change the abandoned railway station into a museum to house all their collected art . The museum itself looks just like the Musee D’Orsay in Paris and the story also explains art for children.

“In The Garden With Van Gogh by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober is a little board book filled with easy rhymes and great art. The book doesn’t really have a story so much as a theme but it works. My son enjoyed it and asked to read it again after we were done. I like that books likes all these bring art into little hands for them to explore.

Abstract Art Activity

abstract art activity for kids

Kids get so hung up on drawing sometimes and this abstract art can be really liberating. It also helps learn how to color in the lines if you are working on fine motor control. I don’t know what to call this, this is what I used to do in math class, which explains why my grades were so horrible. It is really relaxing, great for a rainy day or even to keep your antsy kids busy while watching a movie or traveling! And they look really cool too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some markers and paper. Yes that’s it!
  2. Start by drawing loops and squiggles that criss cross all over your paper.
  3. Next using your colored markers fill in the closed shapes however you like.
  4. Keep going until you either fill the whole thing or just feel like it’s done!


Mini Masterpiece

Miniature Masterpiece

When choosing activities for older kids I try to link it to fine art where I can. Exposing children to art appreciation doesn’t have to be on a field trip to a museum, although I recommend that too. This would make a beautiful gift for a mom or grandma for Mother’s Day, especially if you made a group of 3 or 4 and put it in a nice box.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need glass beads, magnets, rubber cement, a pencil, pictures of your choice and scissors. * I just want to say that I am not ruining a perfectly good book, I was gifted a duplicate and have been saving it for art projects.
  2. Start by choosing your pictures, if you are using an art book this will give your child a chance to look through many choices, and gives you a chance to ask them what they like and why, or why not.
  3. Trace your bead over the picture with a pencil.
  4. Cut out
  5. Cover the bottom of the bead with rubber cement, not too thick but it should have a nice layer of it.
  6. Add your picture
  7. Glue your magnet on and let dry.
If you are new to No Time For Flash Cards, Naptime Creations are for school age children, these special activities are not for toddlers or preschoolers.

Matisse would be proud… I hope !

Scrap Paper
Masterpiece !

I love art, I specifically love Henri Matisse. My love affair with his work started many years ago now my son has a Matisse print in his room and I look at it every night as I snuggle him to bed. I think exposing our kids to fine art at a young age is a great idea, if they can find Dora in a busy toy store, why not appreciate Matisse, Klimt or Picasso? Matisse is a great artist to try to copy because in his final years he didn’t paint, instead he used painted cut outs. It’s easy to collage in his style for a great tribute. We made our version of Matisse’s masterpiece
“The Snail”.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multicolor scrap paper, plain white paper, scissors and glue.
  2. Look at the masterpiece you want to pay homage to. I love this painting and when I showed my son a few different ones he liked this the best.
  3. Cut the paper needed. I tried to copy the shapes and colors best I could but there really is no need to be exact. If your child is able to cut let them cut it out.
  4. Add glue to the edges.
  5. Add the frame pieces.
  6. Have your child ad some glue and start placing pieces. At first I was directing it and things were fine, but then I heard ” I do it!” so I conceded. If I am going to preach allowing your child to do it, I best practice that too.
  7. Add the rest.
  8. Let dry .
I am so excited my son had fun – especially after I sat down and played photographer only, because later when I showed him the Matisse on the computer he said ” I make, glue!” which in his toddler language was ” I made that with glue!” I was so pleased that he got it!

Naptime Creation: Make a Point !

Make at Home

Georges Seurat is the artist best known for pointillism, which is essentially a painting made of many many tiny dots of color to create a large homogeneous work of art. For examples of his work click here and here. When teaching children about fine art I think that a great way to do it , is to have them try it out. Making images using this technique is hard and will foster some appreciation after testing it out! Here’s how.

  1. Gather your materials. If you have some art books on hand grab a few , or check some out of your local library, although some pictures online are good, being able to manipulate the pictures helps. You will need some markers ( more colors the better) and paper.
  2. Look at some of the paintings with your child, make note of how from far away they look like regular painting you would paint normally. Up close you can see the individual dots. Ask them if they think this would be easier or harder than normal- would it take more time? Let’s find out!
  3. Let them go! Have extra paper on hand because this can get frustrating, it’s not easy. Show them how the marker can be used on the side to make a large dot and on it’s tip to make a small one.
  4. Suggest using different shades colors for effect.
  5. Go clean the house cause this might take them a while ! If your child is getting frustrated , suggest doing the outline of drawings with the points, and filling in the rest traditionally.

Field Trip !

Museums are fantastic places for kids, the coolest thing I have ever seen as a teacher was a group of 4 year olds in Paris sketching a Rodin sculpture. They were sprawled everywhere and even now many years later that memory reminds me how vital art is!

So here is a list of fine art museums with Georges Seurat’s works!