My mother is a professional artist, a fact I am proud to tell people. Her work not only has a wide, well-paying audience, it also demonstrates her profound talent. Given that, one would expect I grew up with a passion for art, perhaps tried to pursue it myself? At the very least, I must have enjoyed trips to the museum.
Nope. I did not develop my love for art until adulthood and I have no shame in admitting I manipulated my child into loving the museum. I have compiled the four methods I used, just in case you want to try with your own children.
Making Museums Fun For Kids (and Parents)
1. I went to the museum a week in advance, without my child, and took note of the artwork. I found 10 pieces that he would think were especially cool for some reason, then I turned it into a scavenger hunt for him, with ice cream and a no-chore day as the reward.
2. Each time we were wandering a museum, I asked my son about his opinions about the art. Questions like “why would the artist want her to look so sad?” As he realized I genuinely wanted to know what he, a 7 year old, thought , his one word answers turned into articulate responses. You might be amazed at the sophisticated observations a child can make.
3. I love art, but what taught me my love of art was not my mother, it was my love for history. I started telling my son about the history of some art when we saw it. My passion for the subject apparently made me a good story teller and soon he would ask for the story before we even stopped walking, which I would tell him if I knew. If not, we would try to find out together in the museum gift shop.
4. We go to the museum, and then the next day we go to a craft store. We get what we think we need (we are almost never correct) and attempt to make our version of what we liked best. It is not only pathetically funny to watch me prove that talent can skip a generation, it also gives me more quality time with my child. He, in turn, is learning how to make art himself, already so well that I can see where the talent went.
My love for art adds beauty to my life, and teaches me about people and the world around me. Artwork makes my life better and filled with beauty. I wanted that beauty for my son, and the four ways I made sure he had it could work for you too.
Maybe you are not a regular museum patron either, or have no past exposure to any style of artwork. That just means you and your child get to learn together! Your child will love the trips even more if you engage with the enthusiasm for learning you hope to see in them. Check online for an exhibit you will all find interesting, and take that first step into the beautiful world of art.