Today’s Exploring Geography post is an introduction to the Chicago skyline via a very cool little art project for kids! Jeanette Nyberg is a creative mom living with her 2 kids, 2 step kids, and 1 husband in a suburb of Chicago. She tries to incorporate art-making into every day of her kids’ lives, and strives to provide the same for others through her blog, Craftwhack.
Even though we live just west of Chicago, we don’t get into the city allll that often. Life with young kids will do that to a family, and since my husband is in the city all week, he’s not excited to go back in on the weekends.
When I do take the kids in, I make sure to give them an eyeful of downtown, so they can marvel at the skyscrapers, but we also like to check out the architecture in different neighborhoods in the Chicago. I make sure to point out little details about buildings we see, and have the kids show me what catches their eyes.
I think a great way to learn about a new place is by discussing its architecture with kids, and it gives them a good foundation for learning about differences in architecture in different parts of the world. In any event, it gets them LOOKING. That’s always a good thing.
Recently, we took a trip to the Chicago aquarium, and I drove around to give the kids great views of the Chicago skyline. Fen had her camera and was wildly taking photos, so I decided to reinforce what she was seeing with a painting project.
With her photo as a starting point, I had her draw out whatever part of the skyline she wanted with pencil. She went over that with Sharpie, and then we had a little watercolor lesson. I showed her some watercolor techniques, and she experimented with some of them in a very colorful way.
We looked up the different buildings she had painted so she could put names to what she had drawn, and then we looked at some skyline photos on the computer. Then she got bored and skipped away, but I think we got in a pretty good amount of Chicago-learning.
Thank you, Jeanette for this post! I know what we’ll be doing the next time we go into Boston – and, hopefully, Chicago some day!
Exploring Geography is a weekly series introducing families to places all around the world! You can see all the posts written for this series thus far at my World Culture for Kids page. Interested in contributing to the series? Email mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com!