Easy Cave Art Lesson for Kids Featuring Lascaux, France

I am really loving marrying our travel adventures with Art Camp.  Since this year we took the kids on a Southwest adventure featuring Native American petroglyphs.  BUT, since Jason and I are headed to France this summer, I was dying to teach Lascaux Caves, even though the adventure hasn’t happened yet.

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The Lascaux Caves are incredible, and prime for catching the imaginations of children.  What kid wouldn’t be enchanted with the story of a prehistoric cave discovered by 4 boys, and a dog named Robot!

This lesson is perfect for kids of all ages.  my Art Camp is ages 6-11, and everyone was engaged and learning.  I love to start all of our art lessons with a story, or two.  I use the Amazon Cloud Reader to project the books on a big screen.  The art history part of the lesson lasts about 45 minutes.

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After fully immersing ourselves into the magic of Lascaux, we used our sketchbooks to plan our own cave painting.  We took about 45 minutes to practice line drawing, and brainstorm about our designs.  What did the prehistoric painters choose to paint? Why?

 

 

With these considerations of the original artwork, kids can think about what is important to them.  What do you want to paint and preserve on your cave walls?

 

The design and painting portion of the lesson lasted another 40 minutes or so.

Step 1: for this art project, I cut a roll of craft paper into roughly 11×14 pieces so they would fit nicely into the kid’s art portfolios.  I like the texture and feel of the craft paper for this project.

Step 2: the kids crumple the paper to make the contours and textures of their cave walls.

Step 3: the kids used Sharpies to draw their sketched designs onto their cave walls.

Step 4: paint!  I gave each child black, brown, white and (a tiny bit) of red tempura paint to create their cave paintings. We talked about the colors and materials available to prehistoric man and how that limited color choices.  The kids were encouraged to mix to their hearts’ content.  cave painting art history project for kids britainearl

I was so happy with the results of this project.  The kids were so excited and enthusiastic about the history and the process.  I loved how each child was so unique in choosing what to paint on their walls.  I had a few who really wanted to try their hand at copying the look of the prehistoric animals.

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As well as several students who painted a few of their favorite things.

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What a fun art project for kids.

Part of the reason I teach a 3 hour Art Camp is to feel like we’ve really taken our time with the projects.  This art project for kids can be trimmed down for an hour lesson.  cave painting art history project for kids

Please share your thoughts and ideas. I’d love to hear how you teach prehistoric art to kids at home or at school!

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