Introduce your child to art early and often, if you want to encourage an interest in the arts. Taking your child to your local art museum or gallery can be the perfect way to do this. Make the experience fun and interesting for your child, and he will be more likely to return on his own as he grows older.
Museum Visits With Kids: Be Prepared
Before you head out to the museum, do some research and gather information about what will be at the museum during your visit. Who will be the artists showing? What kind of art will be there?
Art museums can be huge and overwhelming. Knowing what is being offered will allow you to hone in on certain areas you think your child might be interested in instead of wandering all over the museum, which results in tired legs and a higher potential for tantrums in littler kids.
You may want to plan your trip around a special kid’s day or hands-on day at the museum. Some museums even have “free” days where the exhibits are open to the public free of charge. You can find out when to take advantage of these days by calling your local chamber of commerce or the Museum itself.
Once you have your visit planned, read up about the artists that will be displaying. Try to learn some interesting facts about the artists and the artwork that they do. This will prepare you for your child’s questions as he looks at the art, and give you a chance to get him interested if he’s not into the art.
Kids At the Art Gallery
Once you are at the art gallery or museum, lead your child to the art, but don’t say anything right away. Let your child absorb the site and process it on his own and then wait for comments or questions. If he doesn’t have any questions, try to give him a few facts that you learned, but don’t overload him.
Art education should be a way to spark the creative mind. This often doesn’t work well when you present too many facts and figures – unless your child tends to have an analytical mind. Make sure to ask your child what he thinks the painting is. Don’t correct him if you think the painting is about something else. Remember, art is subjective. Let your child’s imagination run wild. This is a great way to build his own creativity.
While you’re at the exhibit:
- Give your child a little room to wander and look around.
- Ask questions like, “Which painting is your favorite?” and, “Do you like the colors in this painting?”
- Don’t overload your child with chatter. Give him a little quiet time at each painting or sculpture to let him think.
- Remind your child that he shouldn’t touch the artwork. Oil and dirt from hands can ruin artwork.
Museums and Kids: Fun For All Ages
Museums are fun, especially art museums, which usually have child-friendly displays. Use these museum trips to get closer to your children, and take memorable photos as well. With a little preparation and some creative questioning, you and your child can have a fun and educational outing at the art gallery or museum.
Smithsonian Museums. Visiting With Kids. (2013). Accessed October 27, 2013.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. Planning Your Visit. (2013). Accessed October 27, 2013.© Copyright 2013 Alina Bradford, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Parenting