Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Do You See?: Dots! Dots! Dots! At The Museum Book & Activity

Last week I wrote about the importance of viewing art (in addition to creating art) with young children, and shared some tips and strategies for visiting an art museum.  Today I’m sharing a fun book that I mentioned in this previous post with a quick and easy activity that goes along nicely with an art museum excursion.

by Francie Alexander

This is an interactive book that showcases real works of art and asks the reader what do you see? It’s an entertaining way to expose your child to famous artists and their works, and they will have a blast trying to discover what they see in the dots.

Enjoying Dots! Dots! Dots! At the Museum
ACTIVITY: Painting with Do-A-Dot paints

Do-A-Dot Paints

If you don’t already have a set of these paints, I encourage you to get some!  They are nearly mess-free and can be used with babies, toddlers, and older children, which makes them a versatile addition to your art set. The paint is washable and the bottles are shaped perfectly for little hands. There is a sponge applicator that applies the paint in perfect little round dots to craft your next masterpiece.

After reading Dots! Dots! Dots! At the Museum we created our own dot-themed painting like those in the book. When baby bookworm was satisfied with her work, I asked her to title it. She named it "Starry Night" (hmmm...sounds a little familiar, right?).

Creating her masterpiece

To complete the activity, I followed the phrasing from the book, and asked her....

"Dots! Dots! Dots!
I see colored dots everywhere.
What can they be?" 

The dots are the "stars" she told me, and the blue and black is the "sky". What will your child see in his or her painting?

And just as a reminder, in case you need a few good reasons to pair a book with an activity:

  • it's a great way to spark interest in a topic.  For instance, reading about what a Paleontologist does may not be as fun as "doing" what a Paleontologist does. 
  • it can motivate a child to read; after doing an activity, a child may be more interested in reading the book again and again, or other books on the topic.
  • it helps to build connections between a child's knowledge base and new learning
  • it helps with the transfer of knowledge; learning concepts and skills in different contexts will help your child transfer their knowledge from one situation to another
  • it aids learning through repetition of concepts and ideas 

Check out The Educators' Spin on It blog for more books and activities shared on their site from other bloggers. It's a very comprehensive list!

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