How Your Child Can Create a Montessori Masterpiece

Rising Stars Foundation
23.01.23 06:27 AM Comment(s)

Author: Antoinette LaGrossa

A Montessori masterpiece is simply a child's interpretation of a preexisting artwork. This child-led activity exposes young people to formative works of art, enhances fine motor skills, stimulates free expression, and lays the foundation of a new skill. 

Recognizing and learning about an artist and their art-making process is an integral component of becoming informed citizens of the world. It is a way of learning about and interpreting history. Through engaging with art, we connect with history, culture, and our bodies/senses. 

"If we try to think back to the dim and distant past... what is it that helps us reconstruct those times, and to picture the lives of those who lived in them? It is their art... It is thanks to the hand, the companion of the mind, that civilization has arisen."      - Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

Dr. Montessori's philsophy encourages parents to expose children to fine art from birth. Consider hanging some printouts of famous artists’ works at the eye of your child. 

Painting Time
Prepare for mess! An old adult-size button down shirts makes a perfect child's art smock that will protect the majority of clothing. Use a drop cloth if painting will occur over top of carpet or another difficulult to clean surface. An easel is a nice addition to a painting area, but not a must-have. For toddlers and preschoolers, water colors, tempura, and finger paint are good options.  

Next, simply choose an admired masterpiece, for example, "Vase with Three Sunflowers" by Vincent Van Gogh. Display it and engage your child in conversation about the painting.  
Ask your child what they see in the painting and discuss the artist's techniques used in the inspiration piece. What colors are used? What kind of lines? Is the painting smooth or are there layers of paint built up? Is the imagery realistic, fantasy, or blurred?
Encourage your child to engage in open-ended expression of the inspiration piece. This can take many forms, from replication to recreating the work in a unique style. If your child's work looks NOTHING like the inspiration, that's okay.
In the early years, children do not paint realistic images. However, they love the creative process! Learning basic brushstrokes, lines, shapes, and different textures, as well as experimenting with color, is encouraged.  

Provide your child with art making tools, let them know you'll be nearby if they need help, and walk away. Resist any temptation to micromanage the project or provide helpful hints on how to make their interpretation more like the original artwork.

Display Your Child's Work
Having a designated space for pieces to be displayed can contribute to a child self-satisfaction in their work. Limiting the display to a specific number of pieces, maybe their three latest or favorite creations, can help limit clutter. 

Consider submitting it to our Montessori Masterpiece Children's Art Showcase!We are looking for creations full of passion, not perfection. Artwork from a variety of ages from 3 to 17 will be showcased in each issue of Froggy's Montessori Family Resource Guide and Rising Stars Foundation social media. 

The entry deadline for the spring issue is February 15th, 2023. Easily submit your child's work at

Have fun with it! We can't wait to see your child's work - even if it's something you might think only a mother could love.

Was this

If you find our articles helpful,
subscribe to the blog and
have it delivered to your inbox.

Rising Stars Foundation