Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Latino Arts & Crafts for Children

"Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."
~ Pablo Picasso

I’ve been cruising through the web for a while trying to find Latino-inspired art projects for children to brighten up a rainy day. Let me tell you…it’s hard! The hardest part was trying to find projects that represent the variety of Latino cultures found throughout the world. Most of the activities seem to be centered around Mexican traditions (which is great and I’ve included them below) but I also wanted to find projects that reflect the diversity of our cultures.
So here for your creative pleasure, I’ve listed the art projects that I have found so far. I would REALLY welcome comments or links directing me to more so that we can somehow combine them all in one easy-to-find location. And to all you mamis out there…happy crafting!

SPAIN, MEXICO: TeachKidsArt.blogspot.com has some wonderful, fantastic art projects for children and their families. The whole blog is a mother’s delight if she is trying to nurture her child’s creative spirit. She also has some great posts dedicated to the artist, Pablo Picasso.

I was amazed to find out that as a teenager, he had mastered the ability to paint realistically like Renaissance painter Raphael. Can you believe he painted the top picture on the right? It is his mother, Maria Picasso Lopez. Hard to imagine, I know, considering what he is best known for is this abstract style picture on the bottom, Dora Maar Au Chat - which, incidentally, sold recently for over $95 million! ¡Que locura! I mean - Why?!?

In addition to interesting tidbits about his life, you’ll also find a few art projects to teach your children about this complex master artist.

You’ll also find a project based on Mexican Painter, Frida Kahlo.

And you should also check out this Mexican Bark Painting project that is perfect for children of any age.

PANAMA: From the islands of Panama comes the inspiration for this project: Mola Art.
KidsArt.com hasn’t posted many projects recently, but if you dig through their entries you’ll find some other fun stuff, too.
You can find another project and some great lesson plans for more Mola art here.

GUATEMALA, MEXICO: How cute is this Quetzal bird crafted from a toilet paper tube? This a great opportunity to talk about how the Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala and though it is found in many countries throughout North (if you include Mexico), Central and South America, it’s numbers are dwindling. You can find out more information about this fascinating bird here. animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/quetzal.html

PUERTO RICO: Here are a bunch of crafts related to Puerto Rico, including a section on el coquí with froggy crafts for the kids to make. Lots of different frog projects that don’t seem very Latino-oriented per se, but the key is tying in the legend of el coquí.

URUGUAY, MEXICO, BRAZIL: I was totally delighted to stumble upon Ms. Evard’s Art Portal. She’s a teacher in Albany and let me tell you…I would have LOVED to have had her for an art teacher when I was a kid! She REALLY loves art – it is obvious by the way she introduces her students to art from all over the world. Such fantastic ideas! I really encourage you to look through her site. You’ll be inspired! Specifically, check out her second grade projects which include Joaquín Torres García Self-Portraits, Round Weaving, Mexican Talavera Suns, and Rodrigo Godá Good Bugs.

MEXICO: Without a doubt my favorite site is ArtistsHelpingChildren.org which lists a ton of projects for making not only piñatas and papel picado, but a whole section on Cinco de Mayo crafts that includes alebrijes, bark paintings, cascarones, banderas, guitarras, tissue paper flowers, castanets, lucha masks, maracas, mosaics, ponchos, rebozos, milagros and much, much more. And this is just the Latino section! The site is huge and goes on and on with activities and projects for kids. I give it 5 estrellitas.

KinderArt has this really neat project for making Aztec Tiles. This project is for older kids who will learn about Pre-Columbian art as they discover the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. They also include links for suggested reading.

Unfortunately, there are very few books dedicated to Latino inspired art and crafts. However, the Latin Baby Book Club has a small section of books about Latino arts and crafts and they are always adding more...


Tatiana said...

How incredible is this! Thank you so much for all these resources! I can't wait to use them with my daughter...we should do an art unit! Yay!

Sarita said...

I run a cultural enrichment program for Latino kids in Baltimore--a search for "Latino arts and crafts" led to your blog. Your links are so helpful. ¡Gracias mil!

Panamenos said...

Thank you for all these great resources!!! I am a second grade teacher and will use several of these resources. Thank you!

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