Build excitement about going to the art museum. Tell your children you are going somewhere special (which you are). Ask your children what they think they might see. Ask your children what they like about art. Ask your children if they have a favorite color we should all look for. Make the art museum a visual adventure.
Before you go in, set a few rules.
In the art museum…
Walk. No running.
Use quiet voices.
Keep your hands to yourself.
At the art museum talk to your children about the art!
What do you see?
What colors do you notice?
Which painting is your favorite in this room?
What shapes do you notice?
What do you like about this piece?
What does it look like?
As always, modeling goes a long way. Tell your children what pieces you like and why.
Let your toddler be your tour guide. S/he decides which way to walk and how long to stay. If a half hour is all s/he’ll do, that’s fine. (Many museums including major art museums in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Washington D.C. are free.) Several museums have beautiful grounds and/or sculptures outside, so when you finish with the art inside you can still have a stimulating and fun afternoon exploring the grounds.
Keep the conversation going after your visit. When you get home encourage your children to make art. You can even set up your own museum by displaying paintings, drawings and sculptures on table tops and windows.
There is no need to wait to help your little one cultivate a lifetime love of art.