How to Bring Kids to a Museum Without Losing Your Mind

12Oct09

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Lots of parents want to expose their children to art as early as possible.  But taking kids to a museum or gallery can be challenging, to say the least.  Kids want to touch everything, run around, and shout, all which are frowned upon in most art spaces.

The key to a successful museum visit with children is to plan ahead with activities that will keep their interest and make sure the visit doesn’t exceed more than an hour and a half, at most.  Visit the museum store before walking through the galleries and have each child pick out three post cards from the collections.  Then make a game out of trying to find each artwork.  The kids will stay entertained because it is like an art treasure hunt.

Another trick is to ask children to point out colors, patterns, shapes, textures, materials and recognizable images in paintings to encourage discussion and critical thinking.  Try to engage your kids in conversation about what you will be seeing before you go to the museum and continue discussing it afterwards.  It is never to early to get your kids excited about art, the most important ingredient is your own enthusiasm.

-Emily Waldorf

More Resources:

Contemporary Art Start @ MOCA

GettyGames:  Play Free Online Games with Getty Art

Family Programs at the MET

National Gallery of Art:  NGA Kids

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5 Responses to “How to Bring Kids to a Museum Without Losing Your Mind”

  1. Most art museums have become a treasure trove of discoveries for children. Most have learned to actively engage children in the wonderful world of Art. Get them while they are young, and they may become lifetime Art Museum visitors.

  2. 2 Sarah

    When I visited the major museums with my daughters (10 and 7) in London, most had audio tours specifically created for children. These tours were so fabulous that I took to listening the them myself… the girls became very intrigued by art and its creators because of these tours.

    • 3 artsetoile

      Thank you Sarah – This is such helpful information! I have noticed that the audio tours for both adults and children in London art museums (particularly the Tate Modern & Tate Britain) are fabulous. Thanks again for your input!

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