Sunday, 19 October 2014

3 simple art cards activities

Have you got a collection of art cards yet? Whether they are postcards you have been collecting from various museums, the Usborne Famous Paintings card set like we have, the Usborne Impressionist Paintings set or even the Phaidon Art Box... there is so much you can do with them!

I already mentioned how Finley likes to use the cards as story prompts. We use the cards to play many varied games, including matching the paintings (I photocopied and printed a copy of each painting - you could also purchase two sets), bingo, guessing which card is missing from a small selection after observing them... and many more.
Below are three extra activities you can do with art cards.
1. The detective game. From a few clues, Finn has to guess which painting I'm thinking of from a small selection. There are many, many ways of choosing your clues depending on the child's age and what they know. When Finn was younger and new to this game, I may have said: "the painting I'm thinking of shows some fruit." Now that he has played with the cards many times and in many ways, I can say "the painting I'm thinking of was painted by Cézanne." Don't be afraid to mention artists names, paintings titles, styles, orientation, materials used... at almost any age! A little bit of extra information each time will fascinate your child and keep their interest fresh.

2. Sorting games. Either you choose the categories, or your child does! Colours? Orientation? Subject? Encourage your child to look for similaries in the paintings and sort them accordingly. A variation is for you to sort the cards into two "mystery" categories while your child watches and ask them if they can figure out what your criteria are.

3. Recognising painting styles. For this activity we used the Mini Masters series of board books about art. Each book is about a different artist and shows several reproductions of their work. They are ideal to give a young child an understanding of artistic style. Finn and I looked at the books together, taking time to notice some details, or commonalities between the artwork of the artists. Then I gave him one of the art cards of the corresponding artists and asked him if he could find out who the artist was by comparing it with the paintings in the books. You can do a similar activity by using art cards instead of books.

Is your child into art? What games do they like to play with art cards? 


  1. I just got my set of art cards and was googling activities to do with them. I LOVE your ideas. great job!

    1. Thank you for your comment, I hope your child enjoys the activities!


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