Small Frye is a free monthly program for preschoolers and their caregivers. If you are not able to attend with your kiddo, you can check back here every month for a different art-making activity inspired by a work of art or storybook. To learn more about the program, including how to register, visit our programs page.
In April, we looked at artwork from the current exhibition Flying Woman: The Paintings of Katherine Bradford. Take a moment to look closely at the artwork and talk about it with your child using the questions below.
What’s going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that?
What colors do you see? Point them out!
What shapes do you see? Use your finger to trace them.
How many people do you see? Count them. Which one is the biggest? Which one is the smallest?
How do you think the people are moving? Fast or slow? How would you move if you were in this picture?
If this picture made a sound, what sound would it make? Try to move and make the sound at the same time.
Katherine Bradford likes to “be in the moment” when she makes art. Things like listening, paying attention to our bodies and how we feel help us be in the moment. For this activity, we’ll use music to help us practice listening and paying attention.
You will need: watercolor paper (a thicker, more absorbent paper will do), a couple of different sizes of paint brushes, watercolor paints, cups filled with water to clean your brushes, and a variety of water-resistant drawing materials like crayons, oil pastels, or colored pencils.
You’ll also need a few different types of music and a way to listen with your child. We recommend our Small Frye playlist!
First, let’s choose a material to start with. Give your child an option between two different materials. Use descriptive language when presenting opposite choices like, “thick or thin crayon”, “big or little brush”, or “red or green pencil.”
Next, choose a song to play—just listen first. How would you describe this song? Is it fast or slow? Quiet or loud? Then, move or dance to the music!
Now, grab the material they chose and move your hand to the music. First in the air, then on their paper to make marks that match the music.
After a couple of minutes, repeat the process! Choose another material, a different song, and then get moving! You can continue to do this until your child feels their artwork is complete. Reflect by asking them to tell you about their artwork or give it a title.