Museums are beautiful and inspiring, even for little ones if you approach them with children in mind. Our children love creating art, so Art Museums are a natural field trip for us. The Mississippi Art Museum is a lovely space near us in downtown Jackson, MS.
The MS Art Museum has many events throughout the year. They vary in topic and family friendliness, but one of our favorites is the monthly Look and Learn with Hoot event. It is free to the public and combines books and art for little ones. There is a storytime and then an art activity in their studio. In the summer families enjoy combining this time with a picnic and some splashing in the sprinklers afterwards. A perfect summer activity for families of preschoolers. Check the website for more details and additional events throughout the year.
The Museum is not overly large, but offers a variety of art to view and visiting exhibits that rotate through. One of our favorites was the quilt exhibit last summer. It is a good idea to peek at the website before you go, especially with children to get an idea of what you will see. You may want to pick out a piece of art or two to look at beforehand and search for when you visit.
Here are some other tips for making a museum trip with children a success:
*Talk to your child beforehand about what to expect and expectations for behavior.
*Read books about art and the museum
*Get excited by painting or creating together.
*Visit early in the day or on a week day when it isn't as crowded.
*Pick one exhibit or a few paintings to focus on to avoid overwhelming your little one.
*Have your child pick a favorite piece. Have them tell you about it. What is happening? What do to they like about it? How do they think it was made?
*Take a picture of it to investigate further at home and/or draw a sketch of it right there in the museum.
*Create of course.
*Talk to your child about what they saw, what they enjoyed the most, what they didn't like.
*Create your own art gallery at home or even your own art show.
*Look at the favorite piece of artwork from the museum again. Use it as creative inspiration. Imitate the style or subject or materials used.
*Check the Bambini Art Project page for a growing list of art ideas for young children.
Other Art Museums that are great for families:
Birmingham Art Museum
Walker Art Museum
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Caponi Art Park
Milwaukee Art Museum
Is there one I missed? What art museums have you found to be good for families?
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