Visiting Art Museums with Children

by Jessica on March 14, 2011

Sketching at the Kimball Art Museum

We didn’t do a lot of physical traveling when I was a child, but that doesn’t mean we stayed in one place. As travel is a state of mind, we regularly whisked away on trips steeped in cultural and artistic knowledge. Though we never ventured far from home, mom sprinkled the arts through our everyday ramblings. We listened to classical music in the car or on a record player at home. We attended outdoor concerts and an endless variety of symphony performances. Often, we curled up together to watch classic musicals and old movies. And, there were the regular trips to the art museum. We never went with any purpose or any cerebral intent. Most days, we would pop in for a short visit after school and wander a bit and absorb the artistic flavor.

With that as my background, it’s not surprising that I chose to earn a degree in the arts and spend my time today writing art curriculum and teaching art classes. Thanks to my steady diet of art as a youngster, I am an art lover, heart and soul.

I started taking my kids to the art museums at a very early age. I had no lofty goals in mind when I would strap my little guys into their strollers or baby carriers for an afternoon at the art museum. Mostly, I just wanted to spend a few minutes out of the house engaging the parts of my brain that weren’t consumed with mommying. Plus, it seemed natural to extend my passion for art to my offspring and engage them in something I found fascinating.

Thanks in part to the early exposure, I am so lucky to have children who love to go to the art museum. They especially love to sketch and I am tickled to hear their discerning and downright humorous critiques. To make it even more interesting, they each have their own style and period that they appreciate, so we are constantly learning to appreciate new things through each other’s eyes.

In this series, I hope to share some of things that we have learned together and the ways that we have made art museums fun and exciting at each age and stage. Come back to learn more about how you can make the most of your art museum visits with your little travelers.

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