Thursday, October 3, 2013

Old Digital Frame = Easy Art Appreciation

I have been meaning to put our digital picture frame back into service.  It has been in a moving box since we moved almost three years ago.  My husband jokes that the fastest way to get anything done around here is to slap a "Montessori" label on it with the label gun.  He might be right, because when it occurred to me the other day that I could use the frame for some easy art appreciation I couldn't open that moving box fast enough.  

I've always felt that a well-educated person should be able to recognize (by name and composer) the top 100 or so musical masterpieces when they hear one.  When Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture pops up somewhere, I want the boys to know it's Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.  I feel the same way about art.  I want the boys to recognize the Mona Lisa when they see it!

Anyone who has looked into it knows, it is not easy or cheap to get 100 masterpieces of art on postcards for your classroom.  We have Child Size Masterpieces   but you'll find that the specific works of art are more obscure, not top 100.  

What I did this week was visit my favorite art appreciation for kids website, Garden of Praise:  Famous Paintings Art Appreciation for Kids.  I dragged all of the images over to a flash drive and plugged it into the digital frame.  Voila!  My kids are occasionally captivated by the many automatically rotating masterpieces on the frame. Check it out...they rotate:

If they want more details on anything, I can quickly pull up Garden of Praise and tell them all about it.  

I started at the Garden of Praise because everything was pre-selected to be compelling for young children and the information is all organized and available.  However, there are other great places to go.  Just a few:

The digital frame makes it easy to add and remove pieces from the collection.  I can even organize things into folders, play a folder at a time, randomly rotate through several or all folders, change the length of time the picture stays up, or display just one picture for the day.  I hope this gives someone an idea they needed!

If you are looking for economical ways to have actual pictures in hand I have a couple of suggestions.  Everyone always suggests collecting old calendars.  Good luck with that.  I recently discovered Go Fish for Art Cards and bought some to create a physical collection and play some games with.

Montessori Monday


  1. MBT,
    This is so brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

    We finished Child Size Masterpieces and I was just thinking this morning that I should pull out our Masterpiece a Month (or something like that) to extend Art.

    I love this idea. I think I might have to print a list of painting/artist to keep near it.

  2. This is a genius idea. We have a digital frame in storage that would be perfect for this!

  3. MBT,

    Thank you for sharing this great resource! I am definitely bookmarking it, and plan to use it!


  4. Thanks guys! The boys are LOVING it. It's working really well!

  5. What a perfect way to use the digital picture frame! Now I'll be looking around yard sales and thrift stores to find one for my boys (they are nowhere near ready, but I like to stockpile good materials when I find them!)