Homeschooling with Picasso

“Create something that will make the world AWESOME” is the bold printed message on the inside of a Surprise Ride box. The key word here is “create,” meaning to make something beyond watching a video or pushing buttons. Something uniquely created by an individual is sure to bring a spark of awesome into a child’s world.

One of the joys of homeschooling is being able to build on your child’s particular skills and aspirations. Adding Surprise Ride to your curriculum helps achieve this goal. You may say that your homeschool schedule is so packed with required academics that you don’t have room for fluff or extras. However, the beauty of Surprise Ride boxes is that any of the kits can be easily incorporated into your regular curriculum.

Today, let’s talk how you can incorporate the Picasso Painting Kit into your homeschool day.

First, what comes in the kit?

  • A parent instruction card explaining things like difficulty level, needed materials, and safety guidelines
  • A three page pamphlet of fun and interesting Picasso facts
  • A plastic paint palette with ten holes for mixing paint
  • A package containing a canvas, an apron, three jars of paint in primary colors, a paintbrush, and a water dish
  • A paperback copy of Who Was Pablo Picasso? by True Kelley, one of the books from the New York Times Best-Selling WhoHQ series
  • A “Cubism” cube puzzle
  • A collectible quote card

Okay, so this kit is for an art lesson, right?

Yes, but it can also be used for so much more. Following are some ideas of how you can use the Picasso kit to teach a variety of things to students of different age and grade levels.

The science of color: This kit is a great way to show kids how to mix red, blue, and yellow paint to make a myriad of other colors. Younger students will enjoy experimenting with hues, while older kids may want to explore the science of color in more depth. This kit can also be a stepping-stone to exploring the color wheel and the difference between contrasting and complementary colors.

Artistic forms and technique:  Children will learn to sketch and paint during this activity. They may think this is a fun pastime, or it could lead to a more focused interest in art. The Picasso biography also introduces kids to other art forms including collage, pottery, sculpture, and block prints. Your students may want to try some of these techniques after completing a painting from the materials in the kit.

Geometry: Picasso and other artists pioneered Cubism, a style of art. This art movement got its name when a critic ridiculed a painting in this style as being made of nothing but cubes. While examining the works of Picasso, kids can also discover other geometrical shapes, such as cylinders, and learn the difference between two and three-dimensional art.

Logic and reasoning: A cube puzzle is included in this kit. Kids twist the cube to mix up the colors, and then try to put the colors back into order. Many different varieties of this puzzle exist, so playing with this simple form might encourage your kids to explore more complex cube puzzles or other brainteasers. Get those gears working!

History and geography: Art is often produced in response to events going on in the artist’s life. Picasso’s life spanned three wars: World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II.  More advanced students might be interested into digging deeper into the time period in which Picasso and his contemporaries lived. Since Picasso was born and grew up in Spain, but enjoyed living in Paris, France, kids might be interested in finding out more about those regions.

Language Arts: Although the content and subject matter of the book, Who Was Pablo Picasso, might be better suited for older students, the plethora of black and white drawings help make the material more accessible for younger students. Use the book as a jumping off point for teaching vocabulary and reading comprehension. Also use the book as an example of a biography, and maybe encourage your children to write brief biographies of other artists or public figures from another field.

This Surprise Ride kit about one of the pioneers of modern art may awaken new interests and passions in your child. Yes, it’s art, but working with shape and color and learning about a historic period can open up so many different new doors. Homeschool parents have more freedom and flexibility when it comes to selecting materials and planning lessons. There’s no need to strictly stick to the workbook. Children learn by doing. Let kids learn organically through completing unique hands on projects.

Whatever your child is studying right now, there’ s a way to work this Picasso kit into the lesson plans, whether it’s part of the curriculum of a fun extracurricular activity. This kit is about so much more than art. It’s about creativity, discovery, and stretching one’s wings to grow.

*Unfortunately, our Picasso Kit has sold out, but you can still enjoy many of our art-based activities, such as the Treasure Chest or Birdhouse Activity Kits. 

Lillian Pluta is a former middle school language arts teacher, a published children’s book author, a seasoned homeschool mom with co-op teaching experience, and a freelance blogger. She currently lives along the South Texas coast with her family and a small menagerie of rescued animals. When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys learning to play classical guitar and watching sumo wrestling.