It’s vacation time. The kids are either running circles around the house or assuring you that they’ve never been so bored. You want to be the “good mom” that spends the summer filling their minds with new and important information. But you also want to be the mom that survives. Don’t worry! Here are three mini art lessons that you can “teach” in two minutes or less. They are fun, mostly self-guided, and use stuff you most likely have around the house!

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera was a Mexican artist that is famous for painting murals. He favored this style because he thought everyone should be able to see art, not just wealthy people who could afford to buy it.

Find examples of his art by searching: “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central Park” or the mural in the Palacio Nacional which depicts the history of Mexico

Make art like him by: Creating a mural for everyone in the neighborhood with sidewalk chalk on the walk outside. If you don’t have chalk, use water and a sponge to draw with water. It will disappear quickly so you can create something new.

Michealangelo

Another guy that liked to paint big room-sized art pieces about 500 years ago was Michelangelo, who famously painted the Sistine Chapel. He painted whole stories from the Bible to fill the ceiling of the chapel, each part of the story in a box like a comic strip. His art was called frescoes instead of murals, though.

Find examples of his work by searching: The Sistine Chapel or, for more specific parts, “The Creation of Man” (This is the very famous painting you will definitely have seen around but be warned, Adam isn’t wearing clothes. So … it’s all out there!) or “The Stories of Moses.”

Make art like him by: Drawing boxes on a piece of paper that will become parts of a story you want to tell. If you want to make it really authentic and add a much higher level of difficulty, tape the paper to the bottom of a table and draw upside-down like Michelangelo had to!

Georgia O’Keefe

In a very different style than the large products of murals and frescoes, Georgia O’Keefe liked to take things from nature to draw or paint from a different perspective. Fair warning, her perspective generally goes toward what resembles something very intimate. But we don’t need to point that out the kids!

Find examples of her work by searching: “Lake George Reflection” or “Pineapple Bud”

Make art like her by: Cut a fairly large square, or any other shape if you’re feeling adventurous, out of a piece of paper or cardboard. That will be your perspective frame. Find an object in mature, anything from a leaf or a rock, to a mountain range. Use the frame to find a new way to show that item you chose. You could get really close so only a piece of it shows, or you can tilt the frame to the side or up and down so it looks different than it did. Draw what you see on another paper.

While I can’t guarantee your children will be geniuses, it definitely can’t hurt for them to know a few famous artists, as well as, explore their own creativity and have fun. In the meantime, you can feel a sense of accomplishment as they occupy themselves!