Introduction to Montessori Art and Handwork is from my Montessori training manual and an adapted excerpt from COSMIC EDUCATION by Ursula Thrush.
The use of pencils and paints give the child the opportunity to choose color on his own and to experience discovering his own color sense and preference. The skills for drawing, understanding, and portraying perspective and form are helped by using the Rough and Smooth Boards and the Metal Insets. Handwork such as tracing the Montessori geography puzzle maps, the leaf shapes from the Leaf Cabinet and geometric shapes from the Geometric Cabinet, and filling them in with different mediums, helps train the eye and hand. Using the perspective apparatus helps to train observation and memory, as do the various exercises in Botany which bring into focus many of the minute parts of growing things. The whole Montessori way of experiencing things sensorially helps the child to have real contact with many different parts of his environment in a much more complete way than usual. Thus, when the child comes to draw a part of his environment, he has a much richer store of knowledge and experience from which to draw the information he needs to make his drawing.
The child is able to experience creating with many different types if media which have different textures. Water color, tempera, oil, thin and smooth or thick and rough. Plaster and sand mixed with paint gives a three-dimensional effect. The child can also work with clay, plasticine, mud, etc.
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You may also be interested in my Montessori and homeschool programs at Montessori for the Earth.