Artistic Expression in the Montessori Student

Young children who are exposed to art early in life are inspired to create their own artwork. When making art, children develop fine motor skills and learn how to communicate their feelings.

In a Montessori school, students learn that art is everywhere. They learn to draw and paint with art supplies as well as found objects. These students also learn to work with each other to make group art projects.

Here are some of the projects, materials, and objects that encourage artistic expression and group activity in the Montessori student.

Designs and Arrangements

Montessori students choose pieces of colored paper and felt that is cut in the shape of circles, squares, triangles, ovals, and other abstract forms from a collage tray. Students place these shapes on paper to create a design or arrangement. They use a glue stick to adhere their shapes to the paper.

Children are encouraged to explore outline and color with the Metal Insets.

These hands-on exercises gives students the confidence to experiment freely to make their own artistic creations. It teaches them to see that abstract shapes can be combined together to make both representational and non-representational designs.

Found Objects

On nature field trips, Montessori students gather shells, stones, flowers, leaves, twigs, and other objects. The Montessori teacher and all of the students collectively discuss and identify these objects.

When the students return to their classroom, they place their found objects on paper. The students use pencils to trace the shapes of the objects.

Once the found objects are removed, the students color and make designs inside and outside of the shapes. They are encouraged to draw and paint their designs creatively and not merely replicate the original found objects.

This exercise teaches students that art is everywhere. It encourages the children to be self-motivated and discover the possibilities of art and design in nature and everyday objects.

Building 3-Dimensional Objects

Sculpting modeling dough provides children with a multi-sensorial experience. They can touch it, smell it, see its shapes and colors, and feel its weight and texture.

Shaping the dough refines the child’s senses, and builds dexterity and strength, the fine motor skills necessary for writing. Children learn about measurement and spatial awareness, and gain understanding of shape and size as they design, build and refine their sculpture.

Art Books

Art appreciation is an important part of the Montessori curriculum. You may see representations of famous paintings at the child’s eye level in the beautiful Montessori environment. Many Montessori classrooms have a library of books, including art books. Art books introduce students to famous artworks and artists, and to other cultures. These books show children how adults make drawings, paintings, use color, put shapes together, and make art.

A Montessori teacher often asks students to describe the artworks they read about in books and discuss them together.

When students go on a field trip to an art gallery, museum, or art park, they discuss the images they saw in books and compare them to the paintings and sculptures in real life.

This exercise gives students an appreciation for fine arts and teaches them how to look at printed images and compare them to objects in real life.

Montessori students learn that art and self-expression are everywhere. They learn from their teacher, their fellow students, and their group experiences, to see the world as an opportunity to be creative. When it comes to art, it is the process not the product that is important to the child. The child’s creative development is supported when he can work for as long as he chooses, incorporate skills from previous lessons, collaborate with others, and explore. Enroll your children in the Miniapple International Montessori Schools to teach them to see the world in a creative way.


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