Let’s face it, trips to art museums don’t get our kids excited unlike amusement parks and theme parks. Have you noticed that whenever we mention art museums our kids don’t
seem interested at all and they’re not even ashamed about it? Their blatant distaste for art museums is totally understandable because kids have not yet developed an appreciation for the arts by default especially considering their age. But do you know that you can actually coax and train them to love the arts? It may not be easy but as long as you have the right perspective and patience to teach and train them how they will eventually see arts the way you do.
If you think you’ve tried everything in your power to persuade your kids to love art museums but without any sign of success then allow us to share a thing or two about the tricks we’ve gleaned from parents all over the globe who have successfully cajoled their kids into loving art museum visits and not just find interest in those trips but to actually grow up to be lovers of the arts.
Most if not all kids see art museums as nothing more than boring exhibits. Our first move is to take out that boredom and replace it with a refreshing excitement by combining fun and learning at art museums. Of course it’s a given that kids wouldn’t want anything to do with sculptures and paintings they barely understand but if you incorporate games into it they’ll learn to see it in a
different platform. Make sure however that the games have purpose and it must be in line with your goals. Take for example a postcard treasure hunt; you can start with your visit by going to a museum gift shop and then have your kid pick out postcards of arts they’d like to see.
If kids are reluctant you can choose a postcard for them. You should then explain the purpose why you asked them to pick out a card. If your game plan is for a treasure hunt explain the mechanics to them clearly. Kids always get a thrill when you ask them to hunt for something. This game allows kids to look more closely at painting and sculptures without them even realizing it.
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Another game you can try is called I Spy an Eye wherein you ask your kids to look for paintings with the best eyes. Ask your kids to hunt for paintings with all kinds of eyes and find the best one out of all the eyes they found.
Eventually your kids will learn to love and understand the beauty of art work and soon enough when they are older they can either take up formal courses on the arts or become full-fledged artists themselves and then have you to thank for. And if they’re really good they can even avail of art scholarships that are generously given to those who truly advocate the arts.
What can I possibly learn from visiting an art museum? I learned about art museums back when I was six when my parents would talk about it non-stop over dinner. My parents were frequent visitors of art museums perhaps because their work required it. I don’t really know but I think for the most part they find art museums therapeutic. Even though I’ve never actually been to one I pretty much imagined it to be a vast room with glittery walls filled with colorful artworks hanged in all corners and every guest who entered was greeted by trays of candies and bottles of orange juice
by enthusiastic waitresses.
I was wrong, of course.
My first official visit to an art museum was in college when our class was required to make a lengthy paperwork of our favorite display. As soon as I pushed open the double doors I was all set and ready to see my childhood imaginations materialize but I was disappointed. No one greeted me, no one handed me candies and there was no orange juice in sight. It was very formal, very strict and very clinical.
The walls were all white and the lights were dimmed. Only those on display had spotlights to illuminate the painted canvas. It was also eerily quiet and the only sound I could make out were hushed whispers from artists and other “old” visitors who made comments about those abstract paintings that to me looked more like some bored artists’ doodle rather than some epic masterpiece of creativity. They were all dressed in formal suits and ties and long gowns and it made me look ridiculous with my tattered jeans and white shirt. But I was right about the waitresses, there were lots of them but instead of orange juice they offered white and red wine and instead of candies they gave slices of strawberries and cheese. I’d say it wasn’t all that bad.
After my tour I then understood why my parents kept coming back. It wasn’t because of the food or the free wine; it was the substantial knowledge you get while you’re hopping from one painting to another. What’s interesting is that exhibits change from time to time and with every exhibit you gain new insights about the life of the past, colors, virtues, patterns, materials, culture, symbolism and so much more. By looking at different portraits from different perspectives you get to appreciate people and events. It also exercises your brain as it compels you to analyze and critic what’s in front of you.
It was not love at first sight for me. My first visit left me confused and disappointed because one, reality didn’t meet my art museum expectations and two; it took me a long while to understand the meaning behind those displays. But after forcing myself to do another visit the beauty of art museums slowly revealed itself to me. And it didn’t really matter whether they served expensive wine or cheap orange juice what mattered most were the invigorating knowledge and the novel appreciation you get after seeing those beautiful exhibits.
Because I was so enthralled by the wonderful pieces of art I decided to look for scholarships online. My eagerness and assertiveness to further my education and learn about the arts paid back when I bagged a scholarship that aided my finances all throughout the year.