Family Guides

Family guides are available to enrich your museum experience with your child.  Family guides provide interactive writing, and drawing prompts to encourage young visitors to look closely and stay engaged with museum exhibitions.  The guides are structured as art cards to relate to specific galleries, and provide discussion points for adults and children to share together as they self tour the museum.

Looking at Art Together-Young Children

A museum visit can be great fun for the whole family!  Simple techniques may be used to help even very young visitors enjoy museum exhibitions.  Here are a few suggestions of fun ways to keep a child interested, and focused as they walk through the galleries.

Pick a theme!-  Is your child focused on a certain theme from school or a favorite book?  As you explore the galleries see if you can go on a hunt for related shapes, colors, or main subjects of their interest.

  1. Shape theme- Make a list of as many shapes as you can think of, and go on a scavenger hunt to find each shape    within the artwork and artifacts on display.
  2. Rainbow theme- Is your child a fan of rainbows?  See how many colors of the rainbow you can find.  Start with one gallery and search for red in the first work on display.  Does the artwork with red in it also have orange?  Move through Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple.  Can you find a work on display with all of these colors?  Take your hunt to other exhbitions.  Which gallery has the most rainbow colors?
  3. Animal theme- Search for animals within the museum exhbitions.  Once they have found an animal use it as a draw to encourage your child to look more closely.  Ask them questions to encourage them to observe details.  Examples: What type of material do they think the object is made out of?  Is it painted, or sculpted out of clay?  What is around the animal?  Is the animal represented realistically or symbolically?  


Strike a Pose!- Try moving your body to match the movements and shapes in the works on view.  If you find a person in a painting or other artwork try matching the facial expressions and poses of the figures.  If there is a circle on view stretch your arms out to make a circle with your body.  If it looks like the wind is blowing, pretend a breeze is blowing right on you.

Use your 5 Senses!- Imagine what it would be like to hop right into a painting.  What would you smell around you?  Would you feel warm or cold in there?  Together imagine what you might see, taste, feel, hear, and smell if you were able to walk right into the work.

Take a Play Break- Take a break and enjoy our Children's Gallery for some creative play time!  Young children may not be able to focus on the exhibits as long as adults may wish to.  If possible bring additional adults with you on your visit so you can take turns visiting with the children as they enjoy our Children's Gallery, and taking in more of the exhibits.  Another alternative is to take out a membership.  With a membership, you may return to the museum for frequent short visits, and take in a little more of the exhibitions each time.