Parenting Blog

3 Simple Ways to Make Any Art Museum Awesome for Kids

We’ve all been there.

It’s raining, has been for what seems like ages. The kids have been cooped up indoors and you’re going mad.

You’ve got to get yourself and them O-U-T of the house N-O-W.

While scanning the piles of unfolded laundry, mountains of toys and, is that a smashed grape in the carpet?? – really, guys!? — you think of what you all can do:

  • the playground will be soaked
  • the park, a muddy mess
  • and there are no good family-friendly movies out right now plus movies are so expensive these days.

Then you say, “Museums are big! That should occupy many hours and when I post photos of us there on Facebook everyone will applaud me for giving my kids culture”.

But oh no, my kids are going to be sooooo bored at an art museum.

Not so fast, mom.

Museums are an excellent place for parents and children to enjoy together. For real. They are enjoyable for us grown-ups to look upon the art as if we have a clue what it all means and symbolizes, and art museums can be educational for young people – look kids, pointillism!!

Museums are also capable of being really, REALLY fun and super funny if you do it right, which you will because here are 3 Simple Ways to Make Any Art Museum Awesome for Kids!

How To Enjoy a museum with kids

We spent 4 hours in the Louvre with a 3 year old and she had a blast…and so did we!

Convince your kids to wear their most comfy walking shoes, pack a delicious lunch for everyone and grab a package of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes On the Go because you know full well they will be touching every handrail, doorknob and possibly even a good chunk of the floor, and you know all that little kid handsy-business is going to skeeve you out something fierce.

Now you are set! So off you go to the museum with kids!

First stop, the Gift Shop
You’re right, usually you exit through the gift shop but for our purposes today, to make any museum awesome for kids, you need to start here in the museum gift shop. Head directly to the postcard spindle and let your kids pick out a few different postcards featuring a few different pieces of art.

These postcards will be your kids’ personal scavenger hunt materials. Have them hold their pieces of art postcards and search for the pieces in the museum.

You and your kids will end up crisscrossing every wing of the museum without them complaining that their feet hurt, because this is a fun challenge — like Mario Kart without the Kart!

When they have found all their art or when they say their tummies are rumbling, stop for lunch!

How To Enjoy The Louvre with kids

My oldest daughter at age 3, pretending to feed a statue at the Louvre.

Naked Headless Statues Are Hilarious
When you get to the statue section of the museum, you know, the area with the naked butts, missing arms and headless people, let your imagination go crazy by making up fake conversations between statues, and between the statues and their sculptures.

It’s been 5 years since my kids and I spent a day at the Louvre in Paris but they STILL talk about how much fun we had together in the antiquities rooms there, all because I tapped into my inner 10-year-old and made up some pretty funny dialogue between and about Mr. I Can’t Find My Clothes and Mrs. Has Anyone Seen The Rest of My Body?

Museum cafeteria
Yes, you smartly did pack lunch but you should check out the cafeteria too because often times museums will have really rad eating areas. While there oogling the light fixtures and modern Scandinavian tables and chairs (so artsy!), allow your kids to pick out a cool smack or a chilly treat. Because, c’mon, they’ve been awesome all day, running around laughing at naked statues and finding paintings from their postcards.

How To Enjoy a museum with kids

BONUS TIME!

Sleepy Kids In The Car Means A Peaceful Ride Back Home
With any luck your kids will be out cold in the backseat in 3…2…1. Now, you’ve got the drive home to catch up on your favorite podcasts, listen to music or just enjoy the blissful silence of sleeping children.

*OWTK is a Clorox CLXChampion receiving financial compensation for this and other stories. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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4 Comments

  1. Brian Kurtz says:

    This is great!
    I recently took my two daughters (3 and 7) to our local art museum and they had a free program designed for families that was led by a docent and took about two hours. It was brilliant. Here’s what they did: everyone got a set several laminated colored shapes that the docent called “emoji.” There was a red heart, a light bulb, a yellow diamond, a hand shape, and I think one or two more (sorry that I can’t recall them). Then we went to a room with several different pieces (the room we went to had works of more modern art). Then the docent asked everyone – kids and parents – to take a look at all the pieces of art around the room and to place each of their emoji in front of one piece of art that they chose. Use the red heart in front of a piece you love, the light bulb where you think the artist had an interesting idea, the hand where you thought the artist deserved recognition for something they did well, and the yellow diamond for a piece you didn’t like. Then we walked around to each of the pieces and the docent asked for people who placed an emoji there to say why they did. Sometimes one person put a heart while another put a yellow diamond. Then after we explained our emoji, the docent told us a little about the piece. Seriously, that way to get families able to really engage with art was brilliant.

  2. I love the idea of the scavenger hunt in the museum. Where pictures are allowed,I also like to look for portraits and have my son make the same face as the guy in the photo, and take that picture. (or not)

  3. Thanks awesome, Adam! We’re totally going to do this portrait/portait game too next time!

  4. My goodness, that IS brilliant Brian! A good, passionate docent is a gift to the world!

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