Entries in Montessori and art (6)


Montessori and Art

It's all about process

Here is another beautiful Montessori example of opportunities for art in the classroom. It involves a specially prepared environment with the freedom to choose, explore, and express. (It does not involve learning to color within the assigned lines with mandated colors, with the focus on the final product.)

The end result...well, this picture speaks for itself.

A still life drawing by Addison: "My grandmother brought this doll back from India." Look at her self-assured posture and the pride and joy in her face!

As Daphnea Solomon, owner/director of Children's House Montessori - Tupelo, Mississippi, stated: "Addison brought out her best features :)"

And as Brittany Collins Johnson, Addison's Mom, responded: "That's my girl!!"


So much to be proud of, all around. Thanks, Addison, Brittany, and Daphnea for sharing.


Art and Nature

This article excerpt and land-art picture (taken from The Artful Parent blog) is one of many creative ideas that utilize the beauty in our natural environment. (Be sure to also check out some amazing and fun beach sculptures on the Artful Parent weblink!):

"Richard Shilling on Land Art for Kids...

What’s a simple land art project we could all do with our children today in our backyard or neighborhood park?

  • Explore wherever you are and collect one leaf from each different plant you can find (beware of poison ivy!)
  • Examine each leaf and see the different colours, thicknesses, vein structures and so on
  • Lay your leaves out on the ground or thread them onto sticks to display them"

Art - Balloon Painting

A student project out of archives: Submitted by Ann Mannie of Greenville, NC, entitled Balloon Painting

The following is a conversation Trudy (UMA evaluator) and Ann (UMA student) had about the use of balloons:

Ann: My question to you is a safety issue. The project uses partially inflated balloons as a tool for painting. The children loved the bright colors and the squishy, bouncy feeling of the balloons and enjoyed mixing primary colors. I used helium balloons and only partially inflated the balloons so that they were less easy to pop, but I started to get concerned about balloons as a choking hazard with young children (and that they can be inhaled and not easily dislodged) so I have taken up the project for now. What are your thoughts about balloons in the classroom with young children?

Trudy: I am aware of the standard warnings on latex balloons for children under 8 years old. I am very big on safety, however, I believe this balloon Art exercise poses no threat to children. First, no primary-aged child is going to be tempted swallow a balloon with paint on it. Second, the Montessori classroom is all about observation. An adult is always aware of who is working with the balloons and observing. Any child working on this particular Art exercise will have had a proper demonstration, which could include a “safety warning.” Naturally, you would not put this activity out until the class was normalized. If we carried each “safety issue” to the extreme, then certainly we would have to remove all knives, sewing needles, magnets, marbles, small beads, scissors, sharp pencils, glassware, etc. from the Montessori classroom. In this case, the three balloons sitting in paint are just fine!

Ann: Thanks for your reassurance about the balloons in the classroom. My daughters agreed with you, saying that if we have knives and pin punching tools in the classroom, we should be able to handle balloons also! That said, I feel comfortable with the balloons and will use that as my art activity. 

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So, readers...what do you think? We welcome your comments!


Fun, Fantastic, Furoshiki

A better way of gift wrapping. It's eco-friendly - A gift within a gift! Explore different ways you can try this with your children. Beautiful!



It's Almost Spring!

March 20th is the first day of spring. Need a craft idea to help celebrate the upcoming season?

Claudia Nieze,* UMA graduate from Burlington, Wisconsin, shares a spring art project she introduced to Cal Bischoff. Cal will be 2 years old at the end of the month - Claudia has been his nanny since he was 5 months. "Now that Cal is getting older, I try to incorporate more lessons and crafts into his day." 

    Thank you for sharing, Claudia Nieze and Cal's parents - the Bischoffs!

       And thank you, Cal! ...You look very proud of yourself!

*A special congratulations to Claudia Nieze who is now Director/Administrator of Montessori Children's House - Burlington, Wisconsin.


Art: Cubism to Quilt

Daphnea Solomon of Tupelo Montessori School in Mississippi shares some creative ideas on Cubism - Art.

Daphnea: "I thought I'd share this with you. Kelly (teacher) found the Cubism on Montessori for Everyone during art week and put together the cubism paper you see in the picture (below). I think it will make a fine prerequisite to our 'already put together' quilt activity that we put out in the winter.

         (click to enlarge)

The Quilt activity is something we had already made up a couple of years ago, but the Cubism activity made me think that it would be a good idea to use as a prerequisite to the quilt thing as is it a simpler version. The quilt activities has squares and triangles with patterns on it. And we wanted the children to understand that quilt making is a form of art. 

I put that "quilt = art" and allow the children to come up with other things they think that "quilt =...." The student that did this example was a former student that had graduated with us and then moved away. She came back to visit and I had her help me with putting it together, so I use hers as an example now.

     (click to enlarge)

Over the years, I'm sure I will vary it, I've already got ideas swimming around in my head! Like; use real pcs. of scrap cloth, use what real quilters use to cut cloth into squares and triangles..., use fabric glue to glue real cloth squares onto real cloth to make a wall hanging... Of course the ideas are endless! I bring a special baby quilt that my mom made out of really small squares and put it on display."

Trudy: "I love the quilt idea. We used to have a giant loom in our classroom. We would collect different fabrics, tear them into strips a certain length, and allow the children to work on it at their leisure to make giant wall hangings (or small rugs)...a real community effort. It would take many weeks to finish one, but they always turned out so unique and beautiful. I love fabric art!"