Welcome to your crash course in visiting the DMA as a family! Visiting the Museum can be an afternoon event or a small chunk of time, depending on how often you have visited the Museum, how old children in the family are, and how much time you have for the day. If you are planning a first-time visit to the Museum, sticking to one gallery or floor of the Museum might work best for your family.
Start by visiting the Museum’s website as a family to decide which part of the collection or exhibition you want to see. http://dallasmuseumofart.org/index.htm Use the Museum’s current exhibitions or collections database to preview some of the works of art on view. By sharing images from the Museum’s website with your children, you can give them a preview of what may be in the Museum when you visit. Go the extra mile and encourage your children to think of questions or make predictions about the works of art that they will see. This also helps them to have personal reasons to engage with the art when you visit the Museum in person.
At the Museum, look for ways to help your children connect with works of art. If your child has a favorite color, search a gallery for works containing that color. Once your children show interest in a work of art, ask them to tell you what they see.
As your family walks through the Museum, challenge each member to find something that they like, something that they dislike, and something that surprises them. Younger children may relate well to works that tell stories. Have older children look at representational works and make up a story to tell related to the work.
Just before your child (or you!) runs out of steam, stop and plan to come back to the Museum another day. Talk about the experience after leaving the Museum, but before going home. Ask your family what everyone liked the best. What did they dislike the most? What surprised them? Giving your family time to talk about what they experienced will make the Museum visit more memorable. You may be surprised what you will learn from your child’s point of view!
Posted by Amanda