Tag Archives: classes with my kids

Children Approach Museums with Excitement and Know-how!

Claire’s Creative Museum Adventures Brings Children’s Art Education to NYC’s Museums and Galleries!

Are you a NYC family wanting to expose your children to the fascinating world of art around you that they can enjoy?  Do you have friends or family members traveling through NYC seeking a truly memorable cultural experience together?

We all know that New York City is known for its culture and the arts.  It’s world-class museums and galleries provide an extraordinary opportunity to learn!  So how can your child take advantage?

Creating unique professional artist or theme-based visits that are educational AND entertaining is not an easy feat!  First, children tire easily.  Even getting to the artwork can be intimidating in large museums, especially those like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  And how do you know where to begin?

There are ways to demystify not only the museum, but also the art processes, while making them easy to understand and fun to learn!  Following a few simple rules can help.

For many museums, just getting to certain galleries can be a hike.  First, know where you are going before setting out.  You don’t want your child to see it as a chore if you have to cover too much ground.  Pick a small section each visit to explore more fully.

Next, select just a few pieces that are in close proximity with each other, which provide ample learning opportunities based on one theme. Locating the artists with something in common helps to bring home specific ideas, without wearing out your child.

Many artists may seem too sophisticated to share with kids.  Not so!  Breaking down the art processes of artists and making them easy to understand and fun to learn can be exciting!  Of course ages and special interests are important to consider for each visit; Explaining color theory to a 4 year old by using the Impressionists may be too much, however, Ellsworth Kelly or Roy Lichtenstein is a great start.  Balance and line exploration using Calder’s mobiles, or even metal-working with pieces from David Smith and John Chamberlain, is a pragmatic way to teach.

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Kids don’t want a lecture!  Since there is no teacher like doing, actually making artwork in front of a piece of art is instrumental for kids!  Knowing what materials work best, and which ones are appropriate in a public space, is also not easy.  That’s often where experts come in.  You may not feel comfortable bringing in recycled materials to discover El Anatsui’s magic, however, you can never go wrong with pencils, colored pencils or wire for your first endeavors as a parent.

Be sure to switch it up:  construct, collage or create colors with separate visits.  Since a child’s attention span is short, each project needs to be divided into simplified steps, and include more than one simple hands-on project.

Some great first galleries I would suggest are the modern painters at the Met.  There are beginning discovery lessons in line, shape and color here like no other!  Then those lessons can be applied to more artists, once digested.

Keep it simple and fun.  You want your child to be eager to not only go to see art, but excited by the process…  and if you become a learner with your child along the way, you’ll see them making connections and coming to their own conclusions you would never have thought of!

Don’t miss out on the amazing educational opportunity to discover art with your child by using your city’s resources.  You may also wish to take advantage of an experienced and engaging tour leader to illuminate your experience.

By Claire Munday, Founder of Claire’s Creative Adventures, LLC for kids ages 2-12.  Museum and Art Adventures uses NYC’s modern, contemporary and multicultural art resources to go beyond school curricula to “demystify” artists and their processes. Children (and their accompanying adults) are introduced to modern and contemporary artists as well as diverse cultures, based on current exhibits from the myriad of NYC museums and galleries, providing all of the supplies, education and entertainment while actively engaging the children in the fantastic world of art from museum arrival to departure… Click here to book your next tour or class!

 

 

Classes with Our Kids in NYC

CLASSES WITH OUR KIDS

My 4 1/2 year old son is the epitome of a first born. He is a “take charge” kind of kid and is full of confidence. And, he is ALL boy. He is active, energetic and non-stop. I became a coffee addict just to keep my eyes open until his naptime. Needless to say, when I found out I was pregnant again, the week of my son’s first birthday, I panicked. How was I going to have the stamina for two energizer bunnies? When that fateful day arrived, “delivery day”, I was stunned when I delivered a bouncing baby girl. We had chosen not to learn the sex of either of our kids, but I was sure I was carrying a boy so it was a huge surprise when my daughter was delivered and my husband and I looked at each other with fear…how were we going to take care of a girl?

Three years later, it is our little girl who has taught us how to take care of her – she pretty much potty trained herself, was eating solids and feeding herself very early and learned to dress herself before her brother ever expressed an interest in dressing himself. She is also the one who told me that she wanted to take ballet because she saw her friends dressed up in their ballerina outfits one day. Every class I had taken with my son was exhausting. I was usually chasing him around some field or gymnasium, telling him to listen to his coach, reminding him to not hit the kid next to him and explaining to him that yelling was not acceptable. So, when my daughter informed me of her desire to take ballet, I wasn’t sure how much fun Mommy was going to have.

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But, of course, I enrolled her and to put it simply, it was fantastic. As she dressed herself for class in her leotard and white chiffon skirt and proudly put on her tights and ballet shoes, she was transformed into a charming ballerina. She enjoyed the class and loved being with all of her new friends. And, I was able to sit back and watch her learn and could recall being a toddler ballerina myself and it made me smile. In my busy life as a full-time working Mom, taking my daughter to ballet was a weekly opportunity to simply observe. It was a moment in time that I wasn’t focused on my career and chores at home. Instead, it allowed me the chance to watch my baby turn into a little girl. She was so proud to learn how to do the passé, the arabesque and always made sure that I was watching. Her interaction with the other ballerinas was so adorable that I found myself taking plenty of pictures to share with my family. It was a class full of Mom’s and Dad’s enjoying their children and we all seemed to be aware of how special that early age was and how important it was for our children to demonstrate their newly learned skills.

In an effort to be honest, I will confess that ballet class was not our first endeavor. No, that would have been the soccer class for kids under the age of two. That was a class where Mommy learned the soccer skills needed to be a soccer star. It was a class that Mommy learned how to kick a ball, sing songs and perfect the art of walking around the gymnasium floor with a little monkey girl who learned how to wrap herself around my leg, the minute the class started and never let go, for six weeks worth of classes. I took her to every class and was sure she was going to outgrow her clingy behavior and I could sit back and drink my coffee. But, that day never came. My hope is that all parents experience a class (or two) with their kids. You never know what you will witness and learn!

By: Denise Courter, Manhattan mother of two children under the age of 5 and Founder of FiDi Families.