I’m always seeing Kandinsky’s Concentric Circles being done with young
elementary aged students, and today we finally gave them a try. 
They turned out great and I was pleased that it was appropriate for both my 4 year old preschooler and my first grader.  I thought I’d share their results.
To begin, I printed out  and displayed a small picture of Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky as well as his famous “Squares with Concentric Circles” painting. I showed these to my daughter and told her a bit about Kandinsky–his abstract style, how he felt that art and music were deeply connected as one, and how he felt color affected emotion.
Then we got started to create our own art.
 I used water color paper and our large tempera paint discs for this project.
I measured and drew in light pencil lines to mark the individual squares.  I also taped their papers to a thick piece of cardboard, which I like using these days when I do art with the kids.  It keeps the paper up off the table where it is likely to get wet or unintentionally stained.  We also use these cardboard pieces to do art outdoors on the grass or wherever.  The kids can do art right on their lap, which is handy.
You will want to really encourage kids to try to make each and every square with circles different, and to use vibrant color combinations.
 [By the way, I purchased the jumbo tempera cakes pictured above about a year ago because many blogging artists recommended them.  They were inexpensive online, and we have used them OVER and OVER and probably will for years to come. The discs are so easy for my young kids to work with and I love that they are quite large and very easy to share when we are all working around the table together.  They can be used to make a watery wash of paint, or as a thicker pastier paint–depending on how much water you add.  Plus, cleanup is a breeze. They’re really pretty great.]
 
Anyway, we all enjoyed listening to classical music and painting our circles.  I couldn’t resist making my own piece, of course! For older kiddos, you could easily divide their paper into 12 squares, just like Kandinsky’s original.  But for younger ones, six is more than enough, and will still take them quite a while.

Be sure to encourage your kids to blend colors, lighten and darken colors, and to choose vibrant complimenting colors together.  We referred often to Kandinsky’s work for this, but a color wheel would have also been helpful.
 
My four year old did such a great job with this which made him proud and me happy!  I drew some of the circles for him using a light oil pastel, and he filled them in with the tempera.  I later noticed that he only used the paints which were directly in front of him (which happened to be mostly all dark colors).  Next time, I’ll be more careful to give him a better variety within arm’s reach.  Still he did great–his picture is on the left below, and my 6 year old’s is on the right.  I liked how they looked side-by-side.

Looking for a simple and beautiful art lesson to do with your younger children? 
Give Kandinsky’s Circles a try! 
 
Happy Art-Making!
See you next time.