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Taking Kids to the Art Museum

I wasn't sure I'd ever get to say this: the kids and I spent a wonderful day at the art museum. Previously, we had made a few less-successful forays, in which the kids liked some of the paintings or photographs (or at least tried to, to humor me), but didn't want to stay long. This time we stayed all day and the kids thought it was the best museum trip in a long time.
What was different this time? Hard to say for sure, but I have some theories:

1. Sketchbooks: Thanks to a tip from my sister, I bought each of us a sketch book just before we went. I let them choose their own off the shelf, and made a big deal about getting their museum notebooks. At the museum, we sat on the comfy couches they provided and drew our favorite paintings and sculptures. It helped the kids look in detail and gave them something to do. At the end of the day they had created a great souvenir to show their friends.

2. Timing: My older son had been reading about the lives of famous painters, so he was excited about going to see their work. He was able to ask the curators where to find particular artists, and they were able to tell him more about artists he had questions about.

3. A great museum: We're lucky enough to live a short hop from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. It's a beautiful space, not crowded, and has paintings by all the great masters. The kids were so impressed.




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