03 May, 2011

Monet manipulatives

Our class is continuing our study of Impressionism and Claude Monet so I have made some new materials, and put out some old favorites.  
First, what's new:

This set (pictured above) serves a few purposes.  Firstly, it is a game I call Monet Memory Matching.  It actually isn't quite finished yet, but I am pretty excited about so of course, I thought I'd share.  : )

The game is a simple version of Memory.  There will be 12 lily pads with little creatures who live in ponds, needle felted onto the back.  (So far I have finished dragonflies, fish, and ducks.  I have frogs, frog eggs, and turtles still to go.)  Two children can take turns turning over 2 lily pads at a time, trying to find the match.  The child with the most matches at the end, wins.  (I have a plan to make a digital version, probably over the summer, so watch for that on this blog!)  Children can also move around the little Claude Monet.  ( I made him based on an adorable creation of Mamakopp's on Etsy, Crinkleroot.  He looked so jolly and just as I imagine Monet would have looked when he was enjoying time in his gorgeous garden.)  The jolly old Claude can cross his Japanese bridge and admire his beautiful pond, paint water lilies, or look for pond life.  

The last piece of this set is matching cards of some of Monet's paintings.  You can see that currently in our set, Monsieur Monet is hard at work on The Waterlily Pond. He might want to work on something else though, so the whole set of cards is a basket next to the pond.  If you would like to download your own set of these cards, feel free.  (They are pictures of paintings with the title below each one.  I cut the titles out and pasted them on the back, but you could also print 2 sets, and easily make them into Montessori style 3 part cards.)  Here's the file link.  If you like the cards and find them useful, please let me know.  I love feedback.  Thank you!

And some old favorites:

Here is Linnea, fresh from her trip to Monet's garden.  She has some clothing into which she can change, and a little basket for her lunch.

Linnea can also have a spot of tea, perhaps with a couple of frog friends she may have met in Monet's water lily pond.  I found this tiny set at a thrift store last year, and the children love it!

And a few more frog friends.  They could join the tea party, but they usually end up in the block area, completing complex frog obstacle courses.

 And here are some of my favorite children's books about Claude Monet.  I have linked them to Amazon.com, so you can look at a few of the pages.  I own a couple of the titles, but the others I check out every year, from our library.

The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by  Laurence Anholt
Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson
Katie Meets the Impressionists by James Mayhew
Once Upon a Lily Pad, Froggy Love in Monet's Garden by Joan Sweeney
Philippe in Monet's Garden by Lisa Jobe Carmack

I al also waiting with great anticipation, for the paperback release of Katie and the Waterlily Pond by James Mayhew.  It comes out this summer!  I adore the Katie and the . . .  series, and can't wait for this title too!

I'm sure you got the impression (pun intended!  lol) that I am a huge fan of Claude Monet.  If you did, you're right! Although I must confess it was not always so.  I used to think his work was way too overexposed for me (not art savvy) to really appreciate.  It just seemed to be everywhere.  I even saw a Water Lilies shower curtain, for Pete's sake!

But then I went to see Monet's work displayed at the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris, with my then 10 year old daughter.  We waited in line outside the museum for our scheduled time to view the works, so when we walked into the round room it was not too crowded.  It was quiet, tranquil, and just the way you would think it should be.  Honestly and without trying to sound too cheesy, I was converted to a believer.  I hope if you fall into the category I did a few years ago (and you too have seen too many soap dispensers, umbrellas, and shower curtains) you will give Monet another look.  Look at a high resolution image online of one of his works (this is one of my favorites), visit your local museum, or head out the door to Paris!  Bon voyage!


  1. Karen, thank you so much for this post! It is so inspirational and full of wonderful ideas - I also downloaded cards and I really do love them!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!


    P.S. we have exactly the same frog friend - was my favorite and it is K's now :)

  2. Thanks so much for the matching cards. We are beginning to study Monet and will be taking a trip to see an Impressionism exhibit soon. Great ideas!

  3. Oh, you have some absolutely lovely ideas here. :D

  4. Thank you, ladies! I so appreciate positive feedback! : )

    I am working on a set of cards that just show Monet's pond, in all different lights. I have a few activities for the children to use them for - along with the little manipulatives. I'll post about those too, in case they are also useful - and fun! : )


Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )