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Do-It-Yourself Preschool

Fine Arts

Art Appreciation

Visit the nearest art museum on its free-admission day. Depending on the exhibit, set out on a simple search: Find three paintings with children or animals in them; identify three photos of buildings; or spot a painting with lots of purple or brown or [insert favorite color here]. Buy the postcard versions of your preschooler's favorite works of art so he can start his very own art collection.

Homework: Get out crayons, markers, or paint and challenge your child to make his own art inspired by what he saw at the museum. Upload it to, where it can be part of an online gallery of children's art.

Art in Literature

Get a stack of children's art books from the library. We love all of the titles in the Touch the Art series by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo, the entire Mini Masters collection by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober, and all of the How Artists See Jr. books by Colleen Carroll.

Homework: After reading each book, ask your child how the pictures (of paintings or other art) inside made her feel. Did Matisse's bright colors make her feel happy? Did Degas's ballerinas make her feel like dancing?

Music Appreciation

Call around to local musical-theater groups or chamber-music societies that are staging performances soon and ask if you can attend a dress rehearsal. Stay for as long as his attention lasts.

Homework: Make your own instruments. Fill empty lidded containers with dried beans for maracas (for older kids), use pot covers as cymbals. You get it!