Tag Archives: holiday

Holiday Shopping List 2012

With Thanksgiving a delicious, but increasingly distant memory, the holidays are now upon us! One of my {many} favorite holiday childhood memories is of watching the holiday TV specials—Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and of course Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Do you remember Hermey, the elf who runs away from the North Pole because he wants to be a dentist? I like to think that perhaps he isn’t the only one and that there are elves working for Santa who dream of being firefighters, teachers, accountants, and even artists. So with Cyber Monday upon us, I’m stepping into my role as an art-loving elf and sharing some of my gift ideas for 2012.

For the littles (ages 2-4):

It’s nearly impossible to choose just one thing from the Mama May I shop, because everything is so beautiful, simple and well-made. The toys are open-ended, colorful, and inviting. Pair these counting acorns with the color sorting bowls for dramatic play, color recognition, sorting, and counting.

This Charley Harper take on the classic children’s puzzle not only introduces young children to the work of an American modern artist but also spans the breadth of the living world—mammals, insects, fish, amphibian and even a mollusk!

For the big kids (ages 5-8):

Painting has never smelled so good! GLOB’s natural paint set uses fruits, vegetables and spices to add color and scent to your child’s masterpieces.

When a Kiwi Crate arrives in the mail, you’ll be guaranteed hours of fun and exploration. Themed crates are filled with art materials, creativity sparks, science experiments and more. And with a monthly subscription, this is the gift that will keep on giving!

For the biggest kids (ages 9-12):

This isn’t your grandfather’s duct tape! With bright, modern prints and your child’s imagination, the possibilities are endless for what you can make with this Kid Made Modern Duct Tape Kit. I gave this to my nephew for his birthday, and he immediately tore into it with all kinds of ideas for things that suddenly needed tape. (And in a pinch, you can probably borrow a bit to tape up those boxes for the post office).

“Don’t worry about mistakes. Making things out of mistakes, that’s creativity.” Peter Max’s words set the tone for what Make Art Mistakes is all about—doodling, playing, imagining, creating. Quotations from artists mix with sketching and writing prompts, art concepts and mini-art lessons in this creativity sketchbook for budding artists. Pair this with a set of colored pencils and you have a great gift for the kid on the go.

Happy gift-giving!

Posted by: Leah

**All recommendations are purely my own!**


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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Babies & Toddlers, PreK

Artsy Pumpkins

Halloween is just three days away—is your pumpkin ready? Carving pumpkins was always one of my favorite family traditions. It usually took us an entire evening to choose the pumpkin, scoop out the inside slimy bits (yuck!), roast up the pumpkin seeds (yum!), and then decide what kind of face our jack-o-lantern would have. I had a tendency to stick to the traditional triangle-eyed, jaggedy-tooth smiley face.

If you have yet to decorate your own pumpkin, why not take an artistic approach this year? Think of your favorite artist and imagine how his/her style would look if the artist had worked on a pumpkin rather than a canvas.

Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

Action painting pumpkin

Channel your inner Jackson Pollock by dripping and flinging paint onto your pumpkin to create a Jack{son}-o-Lantern. For a darker, spookier effect, draw your color inspiration from the Cathedral painting currently on view at the museum. Or try a rainbow of color by following Kathy Barbro’s tutorial on her blog Art Projects for Kids.

“Cathedral,” Jackson Pollock, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis

Pollock Pumpkin from Art Projects for Kids

Color Field pumpkin

In a preschool class I taught last week, the children decided that the orange featured prominently in Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red and Red was “pumpkin orange,” so it seems fitting that Rothko becomes the inspiration for another artsy pumpkin. Create floating fields of color on your pumpkin-canvas with spray or craft paint. Sibylle at the Funkytime blog used bright neon colors, but you could also create a pumpkin using different shades of just one color.

“Orange, Red, and Red,” by Mark Rothko, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Ombre pumpkin from the Funkytime blog

Lines and shapes pumpkin

For an even simpler pumpkin project, just use washi tape or scrapbooking tape to create criss-crossing lines of pattern across the pumpkin in the style of Piet Mondrian. Get the how-to at Real Simple here. Or use painter’s tape to section off areas for blocks of color like Bronwyn did on the Queen B Creative Me blog.

“Place de la Concorde,” Piet Mondrian, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation

Tape pumpkins from Real Simple

Mondrian-inspired pumpkin at Queen B Creative Me

If carving is more your style, check out this amazing slide show of art-inspired pumpkins at The Huffington Post.

Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Leah

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Art Projects, Just for Fun

Friday Photo

Happy Noon Year’s Eve!! Today at the Dallas Museum of Art we had a HUGE family celebration! Radio Disney was here playing music and leading games, hundreds of prizes were given away, and we had a big count-down to the Noon Year. Check out the slide show below to see some of the fun. We hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

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posted by: Jackie

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Filed under Arturo, Just for Fun

The DMA Twelve Days of Christmas

Magic is in the air, and it’s time for the annual We Art Family tribute to the holidays! I’m afraid I was a lot more clever last year (click here to read The DMA Night Before Christmas). This year we are going a-caroling…feel free to hum along!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree.

Arturo hanging out in The Nest

{Ok, ok, so it’s a parrot in an apple tree. I took some liberties, I’ll admit, but I couldn’t leave Arturo out of the fun.}

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 2 turtle doves.

Tray, Namikawa Sosuke

{Turtle doves? Well, not really, but let’s imagine.}

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 3 French hens.

Hen, Elwyn Lamar Waston

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 4 calling birds.

Bird and Butterfly, Joseph Domjan

{Have you ever noticed how many birds there are in this song?}

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 5 golden rings.

Pair of ear spirals with ram’s heads, second half of 5th century BC, Greek

{Finally—some jewelry!}

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 6 geese a-laying.

Cabinet, Louis Majorelle

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 7 swans a-swimming.


Bridge at Pont-Aven, Emile Bernard

{This brings our bird count up to a grand total of 23!}

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 8 maids a-milking.

Landscape with Distant Buildings and a Herdswoman, Francois Boucher

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 9 ladies dancing.


Ballet Dancers on the Stage, Edgar Degas

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 10 lords a-leaping.

Shiva Nataraja, 11th century, India

{Shiva Nataraja is Hindu Lord of the Dance!}

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 11 pipers piping.

The Bugler (Le Clarion), Edouard Manet

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 12 drummers drumming.


Drum, Cote D'Ivoire, Senufo peoples

Wishing you the merriest of holidays!

Posted by: Leah

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It’s holiday time in the Dallas Arts District!

The holidays are just around the corner and we are eager to celebrate! Join us on Tuesday, December 7 for fun-filled family experiences. The Museum has free admission on December 7 for our First Tuesday programming. Enjoy a Dr. Seuss-inspired day with hat-making in the Studio, take a wintery family photo, watch a puppet show, go on a family tour, hear story time with the Dallas Public Library, watch a storytelling performance, and listen to the Grinch tell the story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Grinch will make an appearance at the Museum before he returns to the AT&T Performing Arts Center for the evening performance of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.

Mister Mark performing with puppets.


A family creating in the Art Studio.


Stay after First Tuesday activities to get into the holiday spirit with a self-guided tour of the Museum’s collections – “Seeing Red” and “All that Glitters” are especially festive! From 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. enjoy cookie decorating with the Museum’s Executive Chef, Brian Felicella. Chef Brian will lead families in a step-by-step process on cookie-making, from rolling out the dough to cutting it into fun shapes. Families will have the chance to use sprinkles, decorations, and different icings to trim their own cookie. Yum!

Continue the festivities in the Arts District; the DMA, the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center will all stay open until 6:00 p.m. As you stroll through the Arts District, enjoy listening to a bell choir performance, holiday shopping in museum gift stores, and at 6:00 p.m. make your way to the AT&T Performing Arts Center for their tree lighting.

Posted by: Amanda

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Make a Spooktacular Halloween Mask!

So it’s the week before Halloween and you’ve decided to make the cutest little costume for your ghost or goblin. For the perfect finishing touch, try creating one of these adorable masks! They are inexpensive, super simple to make, and infinitely customizable. Because they sit on your child’s head like a hat, he or she can see everything that’s going on around them, making them safer to wear at night than some store-bought costume alternatives.

This project will be our Studio Creations activity for the month of November. For those of you who haven’t been to Studio Creations at the DMA before, it’s a drop-in  art making activity for families offered on weekends from 1:00-3:30 p.m. in the Art Studio in the Center for Creative Connections. A different project is offered each month andvolunteers are on hand to assist you. All materials are provided.

Free with paid admission, the project is always connected to a work in the Museum’s collection or special exhibition. We encourage you to see these works of art with your family and offer Gallery Guides with questions and interactive activities to help enrich your experience. November will focus on the exhibition African Masks: The Art of Disguise. You can see the show and get a sneak peek of the new Studio Creations activity this Sunday at our Masks and Mascaras Family Celebration from 11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.!



  • 1 12×18″ sheet of colored foam (available at craft stores like Michaels) or poster board
  • 1 large circular serving plate (any circular template will do)
  • scissors
  • collage materials (decorative paper, construction paper, feathers, wiggle eyes, extra foam sheets, fabric, sticky foam shapes, stuff from around the house)
  • glue
  • optional: stapler, hole puncher, hot glue gun


  1. Trace and cut out a circle from the foam sheet using your plate as a guide.
  2. Cut a “smile” into your circle about 2 inches from the bottom edge. Make your cut wide enough to fit around your child’s head. This slit will be your animal’s mouth.
  3. Cut the top part of the mask into the shape of the creature’s head.
  4. Decorate your animal’s face with collage materials. Depending on what you use, a stapler or hot glue gun may be needed, especially if you are using wiggle eyes and foam sheets.
  5. To wear, grasp the bottom edge of the mask and fold it backwards, making an opening where the animal’s mouth is. Slide the mask onto the top of your child’s head through the opening. The bottom edge of the mask shoud wrap around the back of his or her head while the animal’s face sits on his or her forehead like the brim of a hat.

Tips and tricks:

  • Soft foam sheets work really well for this project and come in a multitude of colors. You can use markers on them, too!
  • Once you’ve gotten the hang of making the basic mask, you can make them as complex as you want. Here are some examples: 

Posted by: JC

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Filed under Art Projects, Children’s art, Just for Fun

Ring in the New Year at Noon!

The holidays are almost over! With all of the festivities winding down, the undecorating, playing with new toys, and eating leftovers the end of the year can be a bit chaotic. Take a break from the craziness and celebrate the new year with the DMA!

We will have our friends from Radio Disney at the Museum on Thursday, December 31 from 10:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. to help families welcome 2010 during our Noon Year’s Eve Family Celebration. We are shifting merry-making to noon so that families with young children can experience the magic of New Year’s Eve at an earlier hour, without sleepiness getting in the way.

The fun is included in general admission to the Museum; enjoy half-off adult general admission between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Enjoy music and dancing in the Atrium Café and learn new dances from Radio Disney personalities. Meet our family mascot, Arturo, and enjoy a special lunch menu just for kids in the Atrium Café. Visit the All the World’s a Stage exhibition and find people dancing in works of art while participating in various gallery activities. Then, at noon, use noisemakers to ring in the new year and have the chance to win great prizes from Radio Disney!

Hope to see you there! Happy New Year!

Posted by: Amanda

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Babies & Toddlers, DMA Programs