Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cinco De Mayo-Inspired: Diego Rivera & Mural Painting

In looking for Cinco De Mayo children's books, I stumbled upon this amazing book about Diego Rivera - Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh, winner of the American Library Association's 2012 Pura Belpre illustrator honor. With my book posts, I love to share 4 ideas the book inspired us to do: 


1. Physical Activity: Dance! Two pages in the book talk about Diego Rivera painting dancers and tell of traditional Mexican dances. Check out this video for inspiration. I love any excuse to dance with my toddler! 

2. Art Activity #1: Paint a Mural I put an old torn bed sheet and another piece of fabric I had on a section of the fence and set out some homemade paints and other interesting objects to paint with (no paintbrushes because all we had were small paintbrushes that wouldn't be ideal for a mural). 

Our alternative paintbrushes.
He also went and found a rock to use for painting.

3. Art Activity #2 - Cubist Play-dough Art Shapes interest my toddler a lot. He always talks about them and looks for them, so when I read him the page about Diego Rivera doing cubist art and explained that it's art made from shapes, he was very interested. So, we created cubist art from playdough. (You could, of course, do cubist drawing or stamp painting or create art using shapes in any other way you like). 

4. Learning Activity - Mexican History 

The end of the book has a great page that explains many of the terms and events in the book in more detail and the book itself references the Ancient Mexican Mayan and Aztec civilizations. I can imagine this being a jumping off point for many children to delve in and learn more about these incredible ancient civilizations, perhaps building their own ruins out of legos, sand, blocks or whatever their imagine desires. 

What I loved most about this book was the way it really created an interest in painting for my toddler, who is often (at best) a reluctant artist as he naturally prefers physical play and loves cars, trains and anything that goes. I think one of the reasons is that the first page of the books talks about how Diego loved playing with trains, but even more than that he liked to draw and that his love of drawing grew into a love of painting. After just the first time we read the book, my little guy asked to paint (which he never does!). 

Glad to share Around the World in 12 Dishes - Mexico because I typically try to have an eat activity related to the book when I do a book post like this. Now, you can go that link up and find several great Mexican food ideas!

Check out Around the World in 12 Dishes: Mexico and here's some other posts you might like:

Learning, Playing with Abuelita
Mexican Cookie Rings
Read Around the World

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