By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Children will learn about fruit, vegetables and art history with this week’s craft from the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.
Ages: preschool (with assistance) and up.
Materials: 6” X 9″ pieces of black and brown construction paper, 3” X 3” pieces of red, blue, yellow, purple, orange, and green squares of construction paper, crayons, glue sticks and scissors.
Show your children pictures of Paul Cezanne’s still-life paintings and discuss his work using the information that follows.
Draw and cut out a bowl or basket from the black or brown paper.
Holding up each of the primary and secondary colored papers, discuss which fruits and vegetables are those colors.
Using the colored papers, draw and cut out fruits and vegetables and glue them onto the bowl or basket, creating a “still-life.”
This is a relatively simple art project to do with your children. However, it provides a wealth of opportunities to present information on variety of subjects including art history, color mixing and nutrition.
Paul Cezanne, a French artist, lived from 1839 until 1906. He is known for his “still-lifes,” paintings of objects that do not move. He mixed the primary colors – red, blue, and yellow to create the secondary colors – orange , purple, and green. These colors were used to create the fruits and vegetables in his paintings.
In addition to a mini art history lesson, this is an excellent opportunity to discuss the nutritional value of eating fruits and vegetables by providing the following information. Green fruits and veggies contain lutein which helps maintain good eyesight and reduces the risk of certain diseases. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are from a family of anthocyanins which improve short-term memory and aid in balance and coordination. Red fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which can reduce the risk of heart disease. And finally, yellow and orange fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene which may slow the aging process.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX
The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.