Kids Craft – The Mona Lisa


Welcome back to Kids Get Crafty. Today we are making Handprint Lions, learning about Renaissance paintings at toddler level and drawing the Mona Lisa! Dont forget Kids Get Crafty is also a link up party/ blog hop for all craftiness with and for children! Do take part. Do be inspired! Link up at bottom of post! Hooray!

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I like to dedicate this post to a very lovely man called Dave Fowler. Dave is also known by some as Mr Good Guy. By others as Dad. And I am sure by many as friend. I know him via Twitter and you know – he is, well, a Good Guy! A while back he started a charity come art activity called the Mona Lisa Million. He set it up, as he likes, well, helping others. Hop over and find out more!

So. I decided to find a book on the Mona Lisa targetting young readers – I think it is a wonderful idea to start sharing art with them at a young age. It doesn’t have to be dry and boring. I found this:

Katie and the Mona LisaKatie and the Mona Lisa, by James Mayhew.

Grandma often takes Katie to the gallery. Katie wonders why the Mona Lisa smiles and whilst her Grandma has a little rest, Katie embarks on an adventure, stepping into and out of paintings. Meeting the Mona Lisa, dragons, lions and angels. We are introduced to 5 of the most famous Renaissance paintings by Da Vinci, Raphael and Botticelli amongst others. It was a lovely way to “view paintings”, providing a little background about the paintings and introducing key artist to both parent and child. I love how it encourages you to “step inside the painting” and imagine what could have been happening. In the end Katie finds out what did make the Mona Lisa smile. Fabulous. I am sure that “the art” element went way above Red Ted’s (2.5yrs) head, however, he really enjoyed looking at  paintings and discovering details, whilst enjoying the excitement of the adventure (lots of tumbling and flying and running away). A success.

The Craft

Red Ted was rather taken by Carpaccio’s Lion of St Mark – well, how can you not be taken by a flying lion with rainbow wings?! So we decided to make a lion… . I would have loved to have made the WHOLE lion, but a 2.5yrs old simply hasn’t got the attention span. So we made the head – I got the idea for the head from this wonderful sunflower that Cathy at Nurturestore made a few weeks back.

I drew a lion head. Red Ted coloured it yellow and place a very timid eye on it. So I helped him out and made the eyes and nose a little bigger. We then printed his (yellow) hands on brown paper and cut them out. Red Ted sat snipping away next to me, developing his cutting skills whilst Idid all the cutting. Together, we then glued them onto the back of the head (the photo shows the unstuck lion, Red Ted ran off with the finsihed product).

If you have more time, wouldn’t it be wonderful to make the rainbow wings out of hands too? This could be amazing class room project, where each child gets to do a colour and then all the hands together make up the lion’s mane and the rainbow wings? Fabulous.

As is this is an ode to The Mona Lisa Million and Dave Fowler helping others, I thought we really MUST draw a Mona Lisa too. So we sat down with some crayons and the book. I picked out the colours for Red Ted and pointed to different parts of the picture. Nope. “Mummy do it”. After about 3 of these sessions, he did finally concede and draw me a hasty Mona Lisa (ahem, I had bribed him) – it is in fact the “first person he has every drawn by himself (aged 2.5yrs)”. Nevermind that she has hair on her chin, I think she is WONDERFUL!

Anyway, we had fun!

For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list.

UPDATE: Dave loved our Mona Lisa so much, that he has launched Mona Lisa by children on his blog… why no help Dave, helping others, and find out more, send in YOUR Mona Lisas. He would be SOOOO chuffed!

If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up:


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