Art museums are one of our favorite places to visit. Your day can be an inspiring creative journey admiring artwork or an overwhelming ball of stress.
Set yourself up for success by following these simple steps.
1. Plan ahead.
Check the museum’s website before your visit to see if they have any special activities or events for children. Include these as part of your trip if possible. Make sure to plan your museum trip when you have plenty of time to relax and not be on too tight of a schedule. You also do not want to rush, take your time to enjoy the art.
Make sure your kids are well rested and fed before you go on your museum adventure!
2. Let your child be the guide.
I found it best to let my daughter guide us through the museum to see what is of interest to her first. When children are allowed to direct choices, it makes all the difference in their engagement and attitude toward the activity. We browse the collection together online first to see what art is available to see or what exhibitions might be visiting. I let my daughter choose the artwork she wants to see the most. Those are first on our list to see when we arrive.
3. Get a membership.
Joining your favorite local art museum will make it easier to plan short trips that are enjoyable and entertaining. When you know you can come back without added admission fees you won’t feel as though you have to see everything in one visit. A couple of hours spent enjoying art is better than an overwhelming full day that ends with tired kiddos and grouchy parents because you tried to pack too much into your day.
Some of the fantastic art we have visited in person.
4. Pick one topic or area of interest to learn about and observe on your visit.
For example, pick a topic like the colors the artist used, paint application, subject of the art, how the art makes feel, etc. This will help lead an educational conversation with your child when you observe each piece of art. Keep it simple.
When you approach a new piece of art, start the conversation with your child. Ask them, “what do you notice about the colors this artist used?” or whatever topic you’ve decided to focus on that day. Keeping your observations focused will prevent both your child from feeling overwhelmed with so much to observe around you. Picking one area of interest also helps us remember more about what we observed on our visit.
5. Pick up a souvenir.
Most museum bookstores have children’s books, postcards, magnets, pencils, and other small inexpensive items that are great little reminders of the art that you visited that day. I have a Monet magnet on my fridge, a brush/pencil in my pen cup, etc. These little reminders are fun to have around and it reminds both me and my daughter of our creative trips to the museum. We keep a limited budget, $5, that’s it!
6. Have fun.
Keep it light and enjoyable. The most important part of the trip is to enjoy spending time and sharing art together. Keep the agenda to a minimum and let the day be your guide.
Have a creative day!