One of the best ways to connect with artworks for young people is to use movement. Exploring art with their bodies helps students connect with the art and artists and helps them understand the emotions, actions, and conventions better. It also makes them think about the art in new ways, and it is fun! Here are some kinesthetic art activities you can do in front of works of art.
Kinesthetic Art Activities
- Put yourself into the pose of the characters in the painting and discuss how it feels.
- Make a tableaux vivant (a living picture).
- Play charades.
- Have a conversation about the artwork through only pantomime (only gestures with no words!).
- Create a dance inspired by the artwork (this one is especially fun with abstract art!).
- Trace the lines in an artwork with your finger in the air.
- Get up and look at the artwork from far away, up close, down below, and from the side and notice how the artwork changes depending on where you look at it from.
- Make the shapes in the artwork using your bodies, and work with others to make the shapes you can’t.
- Play mirror. Have one student have their back to the artwork and one student facing the art and the other student. Have the student who can see the artwork do movements from the art, and have the one with their back to the work mirror the moving student.
- If you have a group of students, form a line and have all the students work together to mimic the lines and shapes in the artwork.
If you want more creative games to play with kids, traditional theater games are always fun to adapt to studying art. Check out this book about theater games which includes 130 theater games, music and videos, and learning standards. What an amazing resource for the classroom–not just for theater teachers!
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Try these kinesthetic art activities out and let me know how it goes in the comments.
Come back Wednesday to get some artwork suggestions for artworks that go well with these movement activities! You can sign up to receive posts by e-mail so you don’t miss a thing.
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