MUSEUM VISITSMuseums have a powerful impact. One visit can trigger a child’s imagination and provide a foundation of images, ideas, and vocabulary that he or she will build upon for life.
SOME TIPS TO MAKE A MUSEUM VISIT FUN FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD:
- Take turns picking works of art to discuss. You choose a favorite piece and then have your child choose one.
- Remember, there is no right or wrong way to talk about art. Encourage your child to look carefully and then say whatever pops into his or her head.
- Bring a notepad and pencil with you. Let your child draw or write about what he or she sees.
- Treasure hunt games at the museum teach children to carefully observe while they are having fun. Pick an animal, color, or object to look for while you are in the museum.
- Let your child be the “expert” and explain things to you.
- Make your visit short. You can always go back for another visit!
SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CHILD WHEN LOOKING AT ART:
- What is happening in this painting?
- Where is this painting taking place?
- How do you feel when you look at this painting?
- What would you hear if you were in this painting?
- What would you smell if you were in this painting?
- Would you want to be in this painting?
- What do you think the title is?
- What do you think the artist was thinking?
SOME ACTIVITIES TO DO WHILE LOOKING AT ART:
- Imagine that a painting or sculpture could come alive. What sounds would it make? How would it move? What would it do or say?
- Take turns describing a detail from a painting aloud while your child stands in the center of the gallery with eyes closed. When she opens her eyes, can she find the painting with the detail you described?
- Pretend that you’re a team of detectives. Find a work of art or an object from long ago and examine the visual clues to determine WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW. Like any good sleuths, you’ll need to make guesses based on evidence and hunches.
- Take a trip around the world without leaving New York. Look at one object from each continent, or learn about one culture or country. “Visit” a landscape painting to take a swim in a lake, hike up a mountain, or enjoy a tropical holiday.
- Act it out! Find a painting that depicts more than one person. Take roles. What are the characters saying to one another? How are they related?
- Tell a tale. Can you find a work of art that tells a story? Maybe it tells about everyday life or the person who made it or used it. It could illustrate a legend or myth. Some artworks are mysterious, whimsical, or fantastical—try making up a tall tale!
- Go on a Scavenger Hunt and find simple shapes, favorite colors (name everything blue you see in one gallery, red in the next), or an array of animals. Try counting numbers, making up a rhyme, or striking a pose!