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Ideas for Exploring a Museum with Kids

Taking a child to a fine art museum may not be something that’s at the top of your list of what sounds fun, but it’s a great way to introduce them to different kinds of art. Kids love Jackson Pollock, trust me. Especially when they’ve seen photos of how he created his work. Here are my top tips for exploring a museum with a young one:

  • Reframe the day from the start. If you normally stop at each painting and read the information about it, and expect this will be just a normal trip for you, you will be disappointed. This is a great opportunity to experience art in a new way yourself, so be open to the possibilities!

  • Make it a game. Have a scavenger hunt for specific items. See if you can find art with the color red in it, or a lady with blond hair, or a dog. This will get them, and you, really looking at each piece of art!

  • Encourage young artists. If you have a little one that loves to make their own art, ask them to find a piece that they are inspired by to create their own art. You could encourage them to sketch portraits or recreate a watercolor with crayons or simply be inspired to make something new from what they see. 

  • Become best friends with one picture. Sometimes when I got to museum, there’s a piece I can’t stop coming back to. If your child is particularly entranced with something, do a deep dive! Learn the name of the artist and piece, and what it’s made of. Talk about the year it was made and look up what else was going on in the world. Look closely and discuss the details that aren’t immediately obvious when you first glance at it.

  • Take a tour. Often a museum will have docent guided tours, sometimes even ones specifically for kids! But the insight of children is lovely, and when we see Monet’s waterlilies we have a lot of context, but they have none. They might ask a question or have an observation that gives you new perspective.

  • Get curious. Be guided by their whims. Ask them why they like certain pieces of art and why they don’t like others. It’s nice to be asked your opinions, and art is subjective, so they can’t be wrong!

Do you enjoy taking your children to art museums? What other ways do you like to expose your children to art? Share your ideas with us!

Originally posted on on May 16th, 2022

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