Wiggling Your Way at an Art Museum

Families at a Parent Workshop mimic the pose of a figure in a painting

Do you have a squirmy, wiggly, always-on-the-run kind of kid? To the grown-ups in their lives, most children seem to move around a lot more than adults, zipping from one activity to the next. But for some children, this movement is more than just being a kid—it’s how they learn. Kinesthetic learners are those who learn best by doing. Role playing, games, experiments, hands-on materials and varying the type of learning activities are strategies that help these learners to be more successful in the classroom. It’s not enough to listen or read…these kids need to do!

So what do you do with a kinesthetic learner at an art museum where No Touching reigns supreme? Look for opportunities for your child to not only look at art, but also make art. Many art museums offer open studio time for families when you may drop in and experiment with different materials and techniques and make your own work of art. At the Dallas Museum of Art, we offer Studio Creations every Saturday and Sunday from 1-3:30 p.m.

In the galleries, try to come up with activities that will allow your child to interact with a work of art through movement. Something as simple as bringing pencils and a sketch book allows your child to spend time looking closely at a work of art, while also moving her hands as she draws what she sees. A few more gallery game ideas are below:

  • Museum Freeze: Have your child choose a form or shape in a work of art to imitate. Encourage your child to think about how to move his/her body and what expressions to have on his/her face. Freeze!
  • Sculptor: This is a good game for the entire family. One person acts as the sculptor and the rest of the group is the work of art. The sculptor positions each person to imitate a form in the work of art. Trade places and play again. So that everyone in the group can see what the overall sculpture looks like, take turns using a digital camera to snap a photo.
  • It’s Alive: Have your child imagine that a work of art could come to life. For representational works, think about what the figures would do or say. For abstract art, imagine the movement of colors, shapes, or lines. Act it out!

Taking the pose of a statue

Whatever you do, don’t despair that your child is wiggly and can’t sit and gaze at a painting for hours on end. Channel that energy and make the wiggles work! (Even at an art museum).

Posted by: Leah

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1 Comment

Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, DMA Programs, Games, In the galleries, Parents, PreK

One response to “Wiggling Your Way at an Art Museum

  1. Pingback: Just a little bit “sketch-y” | We Art Family! The DMA Family Blog

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