State of the Art: A Storytime about Painting

It was a beautiful day in the park today, and we had a great time sharing stories and songs about painting. Here’s what we did:


Monet’s Cat by Lily Murray and Becky Cameron

This book was a lot longer than the ones I usually share, since my group tends to skew more towards toddlers, but it was such a cute story I couldn’t resist. When the famous artist, Claude Monet, brings his porcelain cat, Chika, to life by tapping her with his paintbrush, she causes lots of trouble by wandering through his paintings. I kept the kids engaged by having them act out things that the cat was doing (yawning, stretching, nibbling bread, and waggling her tail). The author includes pictures of several of Monet’s paintings at the end, along with a photo of his actual porcelain cat.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont; illustrated by David Catrow

This is one of my all-time favorite storytime books, and it worked perfectly with the theme. Sung to the tune of It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More (here’s a link to a Cocomelon video for the tune), this colorful book tells the story of a boy who gets in trouble for painting all over the house. But even though his mother has ordered him to stop, he can’t resist painting himself all over. Before we read the book, I handed out play scarves for the song Paint with Me. While I read, I had the kids pretend to paint their own heads, arms, legs, etc. with their scarves.

Bear’s Picture by Daniel Pinkwater; illustrated by D. B. Johnson

Cute story about a bear who paints a picture, only to face criticism by two very proper gentlemen. But Bear doesn’t care–he just keeps painting until his picture is complete, and then looking at it because it makes him happy. This was a great lead-in to our pom-pom painting activity.

Songs & Rhymes:

I Have a Cat

We did this rhyme after reading Monet’s Cat, and the kids loved it:

I have a cat (pet imaginary cat).

My cat lies flat (put one arm on top of the other).

I have a cat (pet imaginary cat),

He wears a hat (pat your head).

I have a cat (pet imaginary cat),

He caught a rat (clap your hands together).

I have a cat (pet imaginary cat),

Purr, purr, MEOW!

Paint with Me

Sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. We handed out play scarves ahead of time, and asked the kids to wave the scarves like paint brushes while we sang the song together.

Grab your brush and paint with me.

Paint a flower, paint a tree.

Paint it fast, and paint it slow.

Paint up high, then paint down low.

Paint in zig-zags, circles too.

How I love to paint with you!

Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes

We sang this as a follow-up to Ain’t Gonna Paint No More. I like to sing it three times through, getting faster and faster each time. This is an old stand-by, but here’s a video from ABC Mouse, in case you need the tune.

Head and shoulders, knees and toes,

Knees and toes.

Head and shoulders, knees and toes,

Knees and toes.

And eyes, and ears, and mouth, and nose.

Head and shoulders, knees and toes,

Knees and toes.

Rainbow Round Me by Ruth Pelham

We did this song as our instrument play-along, after we handed out egg shakers and maracas. I asked the kids to suggest things they might see outside the window for each verse. We had a blue ocean, a purple tree, a yellow bird, and a green dinosaur.

When I [C] look outside my [G7] window,
There’s a world of color I [C] see.
Fiddle-dee-dee, [F] outside my [C] window 
There’s a [G7] world of color I [C] see.

[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 
[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 

And the [C] ocean outside my [G7] window,
Is as blue as blue can [C] be.
Fiddle-dee-dee, [F] outside my [C] window 
It’s as [G7] blue as blue can [C] be.

[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 
[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 

And the [C] tree outside my [G7] window,
Is as purple as purple can [C] be.
Fiddle-dee-dee, [F] outside my [C] window 
It’s as [G7] purple as purple can [C] be,

And the ocean is as [G7] blue as blue can [C] be.

[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 
[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 

Stay & Play: Pom-Pom Painting

Pom-Pom Painting (the rock is to hold the paper down, because it was windy)

This process art activity was so easy, and the kids had a great time. I put out bowls of tempera paint (with three different colors in each bowl), along with some pom-poms of different sizes, and paper.

It was fun to watch the different ways the kids approached the project. Some were very deliberate about how they placed each pom-pom print, while others used the pom-poms more like a paint brush.

What are your favorite picture books about painting and art? Please share them in the comments below.


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