All You Need to Know about Beautiful & Easy Montessori Art

Although there is no specific Montessori writing on art in a Montessori classroom, we can only imagine the appreciation Dr. Montessori must have had for this approach to learning. Her emphasis on order, neatness, and love of nature gives further indication that she would support artworks within a Montessori classroom.

In addition to the general appreciation of art, activities within a Montessori early childhood classroom involve fine motor development, math, science, language, and sensorial. Integrating art into other learning areas is key to introducing art to children.

Montessori Art focuses on the process and allowing the child to truly experience art on his own terms. Children are born naturally inclined to art. So, then, our job is to nurture that natural tendency towards creativity. I think you will agree that art is about the experience the child has with the materials, the mediums, and the textures that ultimately create the art. This idea is known as process art.

Montessori Art Activities, Materials, & Shelf Ideas

You won’t find crafts or step by step art projects in a Montessori environment. More often than not, an art project is integrated into other areas of the classroom such as language (storytelling), history (visual representations of time), math (beadwork), and geography (tracing & coloring maps).

Montessori Art Theory in a Few Words

So, what is behind Montessori art? Here are a few words used to describe Montessori art.

  • Exploration
  • Creativity
  • Unique
  • Thoughtful
  • Mindful
  • Patient
  • Child-Led
  • Process Not Product
  • Appreciation
  • Time
  • Flexibility
  • Sensory

Ways Art is Beneficial to Children

I am likely preaching to the choir here but here are a few of the myriad of reasons art is beneficial to children. The research comes out, again and again, affirming this belief. Art studies help children’s developing brains in more ways than we can see tangibly. This article on describes the importance of art in a young child’s life.

  • Fine motor development
  • Sensory development
  • Whole-brain development
  • Emotional regulation
  • Encourages expression
  • Brings joy and happiness
  • Develops vocabulary
  • Introduces math and science concepts
  • Develops attention to detail and awareness of the environment
  • Concentration & focus
  • Encourages an appreciation of the creative expression of others

Check out: Montessori Art for Continent Studies

How to Support Creativity in a Child

  • Be open-minded about messes, mediums, and the direction of the child
  • Learn about art processes and materials
  • Understand what it means to be creative and the myriad of definitions that exist
  • Read about the impact of creativity on brain development
  • Embrace the idea of “failure” as an opportunity
  • Prepare the environment for the creative art process
  • Prepare yourself with appropriate responses to a child’s work
  • Read this post from The Artful Parent How to Talk to Kids about their Art

How to Prepare the Environment

  • Create ground rules with the children for the art space and maybe even assign jobs to help keep the space clean
  • Aprons
  • A variety of mediums with which to do art such as tissue paper, card stock, watercolor paper, paper towels, coffee filters, and so on
  • A designated spot for artwork to dry
  • Splat mats and plastic table coverings
  • Vinyl table mats
  • Storage for art supplies and finished artwork
  • Liquid Water Color
  • Containers and baskets for various beads, gems, crafts sticks, pom poms, and other supplies
  • Variety of brushes and painting tools
  • Various types of glue

Art Supplies for the Montessori Classroom

Steps to Creating Your Own Art Lesson

  1. Observe Your Child & Determine a Need
  2. Determine the Prerequisites
  3. Determine the Aim
  4. Gather Materials
  5. Structure the Exercise
  6. Create the Exercise
  7. Practice the Exercise
  8. Present the Exercise
Marnie Craycroft

Marnie hails from Maine where she spent summers buried in sand and winters buried in snow. She is the daughter of a nearly four decade veteran of the public school systems. Teaching has always been a part of her life. She founded Carrots Are Orange in 2010.

Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori learning and living website for parents and teachers.

Marnie graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999 with a BA in Economics. She spent nearly a decade working in investment management. In 2006, she earned her MA in business from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999 and currently lives in Boulder with her husband and three sons. She is Montessori trained. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, Huffington Post, and Besides writing, passions include running (usually after her three sons), photography, and outdoor adventures.

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