Great Artists and Masterpieces are fun to present to young children. The key is to help children learn about the artists and artworks in a way that isn’t all “lecture and listen.” Art is meant to be hands-on; for children, the presentation of artists and art should be too!
Wayne Thiebaud (pronounced “Tee-bo”)
Wayne Thiebaud was born in Mesa, Arizona on November 23, 1920 (show the children on a map where Arizona is located in relation to where they live.) While still in school, Wayne took at job at Walt Disney Studios where he drew cartoon characters (ask the children if they know what a cartoonist does – allow time to let the children share their favorite cartoon characters.) Later, Wayne drew pictures of candies and other treats.
Have the children use markers, crayons, or paints to make their own gumball machine - Color a Gumball Machine The children can also roll “gumballs” out of different materials: clay, play dough, moon sand, etc. Have the children compare the textures of the different gumballs. Do some gumballs look more appealing than others? Why?
As Wayne’s drawing and painting techniques improved (remind the children that even great artists practiced a lot), he found that he loved to paint pies and cakes - “Cakes they are glorious, they are like toys.” – Wayne Thiebaud
Wayne’s paintings of pies and cakes look so delicious because he used thick paints and shadows to make them appear to be real!
NEAPOLITAN MERINGUE by Wayne Thiebaud
Have the children look at a picture of the Neapolitan Meringue by Wayne Thiebaud. Ask the children if they have had Neapolitan ice cream before? What is unique about Neapolitan ice cream? What colors did Mr. Thiebaud use in the painting?
Ask the children if they know what a meringue is. Have the children look at the meringue in the picture. What makes the meringue look real?
Have the children point out the shadowing in the painting. Does it look like a real shadow to them? Place objects in the classroom near a light source or a window. Help the children make shadows with different classroom objects.
The children can also explore the concept of meringue with shaving cream. Let the children use disposable pie plates and make “meringues” with shaving cream.
Make Neapolitan Ice Cream Pies with the children.
Ingredients needed: Neapolitan Ice Cream (slightly softened), an ice cream scoop, vanilla wafers, whipped topping, and cupcake liners.
Have the children place one vanilla wafer inside of a cupcake liner. Help the children put one scoop of Neapolitan ice cream on top of the vanilla wafer. Top the ice cream with whipped topping (to resemble the “meringue”). Freeze the pies until ready to serve.
The children will love learning about Wayne Thiebaud and his paintings. For MORE resources visit any of the links below.