Fun With Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo for Kids

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When I taught middle school in Brooklyn, I did a unit all about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo with my kids. We read books and watched some videos about her life, learned about the love of her life, Diego Rivera, and created Frida-inspired self-portraits with pastels that we hung in the hallway.

She led a fascinating life, full of both pain and joy. She was disabled by polio as a child, and was seriously injured in a bus accident at 18, shattering her dreams of medical school. Instead, she turned to art to help relieve her immense suffering.

My son’s preschool has been sending virtual lessons every week, and his teacher has introduced him to two artists so far, Andy Warhol and Grant Wood. I’ve seen how much he has enjoyed learning about artists and creating art projects based on their work, so I know that children from preschool up to older kids will all enjoy learning about Frida and making their own Frida-inspired self-portraits.

Here I will list some children’s books about Frida Kahlo to read together, some videos about Frida to watch together, and a fun Frida Kahlo art project to do together.

I hope that you and your kids will enjoy learning about Frida Kahlo together!

Books for Kids about Frida Kahlo

If you or your children are unfamiliar with the life of Frida Kahlo, the best place to start is with a book or two.

Here are some biographies of Frida Kahlo for children, ordered from youngest to oldest. I hope that you and your kids enjoy reading and learning about Frida together.

Frida Kahlo doll and book set

Frida Kahlo Doll and Book Set

This super cute box set includes a Frida Kahlo doll and a Little People, Big Dreams board book about her life.

This set would be great for babies/toddlers (and even elementary kids!), as the book is very simple and the doll is absolutely adorable. I love how the doll really brings Frida Kahlo to life.

If you’re interested in just the book and not the doll, it’s available here.

Counting With Frida book

Counting With – Contando Con Frida

This wonderful Spanish-English bilingual counting book introduces kids to both Frida Kahlo and numbers in English and Spanish.

This book is part of the Li’l Libros series, created by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein. It includes books celebrating important Latin American figures while introducing basic concepts such as counting, colors, and shapes.

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos book

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos is a multi-award-winning book by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra.  It’s also available in Spanish.

Best for grades 1-4, it is based on the life of Frida Kahlo and her love for her many pets – two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn.

Its many awards include 2018 ALA Notable Children’s Book, New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2017, Barnes & Noble Best Children’s Book of 2017, and Smithsonian Top Ten Best Children’s Book of 2017.

Frida Kahlo the Artist Who Painted Herself book

Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself

This beautiful book, part of the Smart About Art series, is illustrated by the famous Tomie dePaola, a longtime fan of Frida Kahlo.

I read this one with my sixth graders, although it would also be appropriate for younger children.

We absolutely loved the gorgeous reproductions of Frida’s works, as well as the photos included in this book. The fun arrows and commentary on the side of the pictures was an especially fun added bonus.

Videos About Frida Kahlo For Kids

After learning about Frida Kahlo through books, videos are a great way to follow up and get even closer and more personal with the famous artist. The videos below are short, interesting, educational, and great for kids.

Frida by Jonah Winter and Ana Juan

This video is a read-aloud of the children’s book Frida by Jonah Winter and Ana Juan. If you like the book, you can find it here and the Spanish version here.

Frida Kahlo Autobiografía

This is a really cute Spanish language video for kids all about Frida Kahlo. It mixes animation of Frida with photos and artwork. The Spanish in this video is very slow and clear.

Frida Kahlo: The Woman Behind the Legend from TED-Ed

This four-minute TED-Ed lesson by Iseult Gillespie dives into the life and work of Frida Kahlo. It is beautifully animated and narrated very clearly in English.

Frida Kahlo Art Project: Self-Portraits

Now that you’ve read and watched all about Frida Kahlo, it’s time for you and your kids to make your very own Frida-inspired self-portraits!

You’ll need:

When I did this project with my sixth graders, we used watercolor pencils and fairly large sketch paper.

They looked in their handheld mirrors to see the details of their face.

They started by sketching their head from the shoulders up lightly with pencil. They added some important objects or things that they like around their heads and shoulders, such as pets, sports, foods, or whatever they wanted.

When they were happy with their sketch, they colored it in with watercolor pencils without leaving any white space on the paper.

Our creations coming soon!

Show Us Your Creations!

That’s all! I hope you and your kids enjoyed learning all about Frida Kahlo and making your self-portrait art project.

Did you try out the art project? Or read some books or watch some videos about Frida Kahlo? What did you think? Please let us know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

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