We all have visions of taking our kids to the Art Museum. There we are standing looking at a Renaissance masterpiece and our children are discussing the finer points of the play of light on the Madonna’s face. And yet, for those of us who are brave (read: foolish) enough to venture into those hallowed halls of beauty with our children, the fantasy of perfect culture with little ones is often shattered by one piercing, bored shriek after another.
So, what is a parent to do?
Do we give up on introducing the beauty of art to our children? Do we just wait until they are old enough to appreciate the masterpieces (and hope that somehow, without any previous exposure, the appreciate what they see)?
No, no I say, we do not wait, we do not keep our kids from those muted corridors simply because we are afraid to be embarrassed. In reality, the fault with the dream above lies with you, not your children.
Children are children, and it is our job as parents to help them learn how to behave in our grown-up world. Luckily, children have always been children and most adults will understand your trials. In fact, some of them have worked to make it easier for you, like the dedicated staff and volunteers at the NC Museum of Art.
A simple 6 step process may be all you need for the beginning of artful bliss in your family.
Step 1: Let go of that beautiful bubble described above. It’s never going to happen, and that’s ok, instead just be prepared to be happy if you don’t end up paying to replace one of those masterpieces.
Step 2: Go to child-friendly events. The NC Museum of Art has a ton of child-friendly events. There are movies on the lawn, art days when a trained professional will help your kids begin their art education, and my personal favorite, special exhibit openings.
For instance, when the Temples and Tombs from Ancient Egypt exhibit opened up, there was one night where the kids and I could go, color mummy paper dolls, write on papyrus, and have our names made in Hieroglyphics. On top of that, we got to tour the exhibit for free. Do I feel like this coloring extravaganza dumbed down the art for my kids….heck no!! The paper dolls had layers of clothes that were historically accurate, the hieroglyphics are what people pay a lot of money to view in Egypt, and the architectural features we toured were a good teether for sculptural art.
Step 3: Go to the Museum A LOT. Do not expect to see everything you want to see in a day or two days. The museum is conveniently broken up into countries, genres, time periods, geographical locations, etc. It’s a road map to breaking it down into small, easy to digest bites for kids. Not only do you get to learn about impressionism, surrealism, and African art separately, but you have more time to slow down, and point out those interesting hooks that will make your child a lifelong Art lover.
Step 4: Remember, what you love about Art may not be what your kids love, and that’s ok. Maybe you can’t wait to see the Rodin sculpture garden, and they are chomping at the bit to look at Renaissance German paintings, go see the paintings. Find out why they like it, and try to find that in every exhibit you go to. Don’t fight your kids’ interests, use them to help them expand what they appreciate.
I’m a blogger and marketing enthusiast! Faithfully Free is my final resting place. Within the confines of my personal space, I share what my life. I have blogged about my divorce, remarriage (to the same man), my children, our favorite apps, and of course all of our favorite recipes, crafts, and travel destinations. Life can be full of challenges, but you don’t have to go through them alone.