Painting up perfect squares (Piet Mondrian style)

How books can inspire artist studies in your classroom

In my previous post, I shared with you the book, “Perfect Square” by Michael Hall which we read aloud in our circletime. As another followup to our book, we explored the painting process by painting squares in the style (or influence) of Piet Mondrian

The children were invited to explore the painting process by painting inside the squares with any color of paint they liked…

The Process

For today, we added the tape to the squares of cardboard for the kids so they could just focus on the painting process. When we explore this process later in the school year, we will invite the children to create their own taped lines and not worry so much whether they make squares or not.  Even we had a hard time making perfect squares but the children didn’t seem to mind…

Painting with Colors of Choice

Each child chose the color or colors they wanted to use in their squares. Some children chose to paint every square the same color…

Other children chose to paint every square a different color…

Other children were very systematic in how they chose to paint in their squares while others just painted the squares without a plan in mind…

Reflections on the Experience

Mrs. Courtney and I planned to remove the tape from the squares after they paintings dried but they were so lovely with the tape left on that we decided perhaps to leave the tape on.  This is why we chose to use cardboard, thinking the tape would remove more easily without tearing the paper. But  we are still undecided and the paintings are still sitting in our drying rack waiting to go home…

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Inspired by Mondrian: Art for Kids from The Imagination Tree

Painting with Scissors Like Henri Matisse from Little Running Teacher

By |2019-01-15T20:31:55+00:00September 10th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Samantha September 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    That would be a hard choice between taking the tape off and leaving it on!

  2. Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam September 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful project! I agree I like the black tape left on too!

    I am totally hitting your blog when I have all four kids at home for more easy project ideas.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      I started to pull it off Rebekah and it didn’t look so good so we did leave it on!

  3. Danny September 11, 2012 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Beautiful idea, if we remove the tape and let the children show it to their parent at home. The parents will be wondering till tomorrow they want to meet u 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Danny – so nice to hear from you! By the way, I do have a mobile App – just scroll to the bottom of the post and click “view by mobile” then it will give you the option of downloading the mobile app to your smart phone:) I hope your school is going well this year!

  4. Laura September 11, 2012 at 8:06 am - Reply

    It looks lovely with the tape! Not sure what type of tape you’ve used here, but painter’s tape usually peels off easily without ripping, even on paper! For future projects. 🙂 Thanks for sharing a great activity!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm - Reply

      I will give painter’s tape a try on our next activity where we want to pull the tape off. This tape pulled the paper too so we left it on.

  5. Amanda September 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love reading your posts! I am starting a preschool and I have been so inspired by your projects and the approach you take to helping preschoolers to discover on their own. Thank you for your hard work and inspiration. It has been great for someone like me who is aiming to give children a learning atmosphere like you have created.

  6. JDaniel4's Mom September 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    This is such a wonderful way to explore a square. I love this artist.

  7. Verónica Ochoa September 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Me encanta con la cinta, para mi grupo de alumnos con 32 niños, es mucho trabajo poner cinta para todos pero puedo optar por fotocopiar la hoja con cuadrados para explorar combinación de colores o para observar el criterio que cada uno toma al elegirlos, como siempre tus ideas son excelentes y podemos adaptarlas a nuestras condiciones de trabajo. Saludos!!!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      I love how you adapt to your make it work for your classroom Verónica! Thank you for sharing today and I am so glad you read my blog:)

      My very best to you…


  8. Surekha Roberts November 23, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Thanks it was a great activity!!! I will try out with my kids

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