Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Book Chook Turns to Art

In my last post, I talked about using Glogster as a means to encourage and motivate kids to publish text and images. Today I want to introduce another great online place to stimulate a child's creativity. It's the US National Gallery of Art Kid's Page.

If you have a child who loves to draw, or is interested in any kind of visual art, finding him books in that subject area might be just the ticket to encourage him to read. Art is also a great way in to writing. Kids can express their mood or feelings through art, and perhaps go on to use words in the form of poetry or even a word collage, to add another layer to their work.

From the NGA Kid's page,
Brushster is an online painting machine. There are over 40 different brush strokes, as well as special effects. Kids can save their paintings, or print them out. There's even a slideshow of paintings to show what Brushster can do. As a follow up, find some reference books at the library and compare your efforts with other abstract artists.

Have a look around the
NGA Kid's Page. There are all sorts of other visual activities like Collage Machine, and Photo Op - an introduction to digital photography and image editing. There's a lovely story to read about two kids who visit a sculpture garden, and a Dutch Dollhouse to interact with. Because I loved Rousseau's art when I was a student, my favourite was the Jungle, where you can choose from all sorts of animals and plants to create a jungle scene like mine above.

A real life visit to your local Art Gallery, or Sculpture Garden can make your kids aware of the thousands of different ways humans express themselves. Encourage them to talk about what they observe, and record their impressions through their medium of choice. And as a followup, use one of the activities at
NGA Kid's Page as yet another form of self-expression, or just for fun. We're only young once!

Book Chook Update: Stop by smarthistory for some more great art information. They just won a Webby for best education site (May 09). Wonderful!


  1. Thanks for posting this. I added this link to my library's website today. I think it will be lots of fun for the kids.

  2. Thanks for recommending so many wonderful resources all in one post! I will be sure to check them all out.

    I find that many children are motivated by art projects, and that art can be linked with just about any subject. As parents, teachers, and librarians, we're so fortunate to be able to find so many beautiful works of art in picture books, museums, nature, and even online.

    Thank you for sharing some of the many resources children can use to make connections to art!

    Recent blog post: Great Baseball Books for Young Fans, Part 1

  3. I'll bet they love it, Mechelle!

    Recent blog post: The Book Chook Turns to Art

  4. I agree, Dawn. Virtual art sure isn't as good as the real thing, but it still has a part to play, I believe.

    Recent blog post: The Book Chook Turns to Art

  5. What fun. I had to try out all the paint brushes. I loved yesterday's post too. Thanks for the links.

    Recent blog post: Where Are the Contemporary YA Novels for the Pollyanna Crowd?

  6. Sally, some of us are just kids at heart, I think! I'll be posting some more great new (to me) web wotsits soon.

    (BTW I am a YA reader and middlegrade reader who would LOVE some more Pollyanna books!)

    Recent blog post: The Book Chook Turns to Art

  7. Amy @ Literacy Launchpad24 April, 2009

    I love these links. Especially since I'm often encouraging my students to try their own hand at both authoring and illustrating.

    Recent blog post: You Can Help!

  8. Amy, I'd love some feedback on how your little ones go with some of these. Although, if I can do it, I think they will have no problem!


Related Posts with Thumbnails