Chrysler with Kids: A fun-filled visit
–Kari Berge Brimhall, Museum Docent
Our family loves going to art museums! Looking at swirls of paint, larger-than-life sculptures, and different artists’ styles at the Chrysler Museum of Art makes for a fun outing. Here are some ideas to inspire the love of art in a little one (and become one yourself!).
Before the Museum
A little planning before you go makes the trip a lot more fun. Start by exploring artwork on the Chrysler’s website. You’ll find everything in the Museum’s collection and can even check to see which works are on view. Print pictures of some of your favorites to hang around the house. You can also make playing cards or books of things to find during your visit. The Museum blog, Torch, is also a wonderful place to find stories about art and artists. Talk about different artists and prepare several questions for children to answer during your tour. Also, let children know that they will see naked people in paintings and statues. These people did not forget to get dressed. Bare skin was meant to celebrate the human form.
Children should be aware of museum manners. Remind them to use their walking feet, stay with the group, and refrain from touching the artwork. Finally, invite someone who loves art to join you, and pack your camera. The Chrysler Museum is full of great photo opportunities. Share your visit with us on social media using #ChryslerMuseum!
During Your Visit
When you arrive, stop by the Welcome Desk for a visitor guide with a map of the Museum and pick up some of the activity sheets designed for children. As you explore the galleries, move at the children’s pace. Remember, young children have short attention spans and may become tired of walking. Don’t force yourself to see the whole museum in one day. Admission to the Chrysler Museum is FREE, so you can visit as often as you like.
Use the labels next to the works of art to learn the stories behind what you see in the galleries, and assign older children to share stories about certain works of art with the younger children in your group. You can also use the booklets or playing cards that you made for a scavenger hunt in the galleries, act out statues or paintings, and play “I Spy.” Look at lots of different art, and appreciate your child’s favorites.
Before you leave, visit the Museum Shop. You’ll find fun items inspired by the artwork in the galleries. It’s a great place to buy good art books, cards, toys, décor, jewelry, and more. You can even pick up small, inexpensive souvenirs like pencils and pens to remember your visit.
It’s fun to make up fun activities during your visit. One of my favorites is Jump into a Painting! All you need is a piece of paper, something to write with, and a wild imagination. Draw a grid with five spaces across and four spaces down. Draw an eye in the first row, an ear in the second row, a nose in the third row, and a hand in the fourth row. Choose a painting with lots of details, and have children use their imagination to jump into the painting. Then ask them to write or draw what they would see, hear, smell, and touch in the painting. When children share their answers, you will discover new things about the artwork!
Art Museum Questions
If you want to get the little ones thinking, print these questions before your visit and cut the paper into strips. Ask the children to select different questions as they look at an artwork. Here are some examples.
- Does this artwork remind you of anyone you know? Why?
- How would you describe this painting to a person who can’t see it?
- What time of year is it in the painting? How can you tell?
- How are the paintings in this room similar? Different? Is there a general feeling here?
After Your Visit
Allow your experiences with art to continue after your visit to the Museum. Watch a television program or movie about a museum. Night at the Museum, National Treasure, and Getting to Know Artists by Mike Venezia on YouTube are great options. Check out books on artists or paintings at the library, go to a local art show, or talk with an artist.
Children can also explore their own creativity. Pull out paint or clay and try some artwork, or create an art museum out of a cardboard box! Our daughter was 10 years old when she created her own art museum out of a cardboard box, complete with different rooms. She researched one artist a month. She learned about their life, studied their artwork, and then painted in their style. We printed out mini works of art created by the artists she studied and she “hung” them on the walls. She loved giving the whole family a “tour” when it was finished.
The Chrysler Museum is excited to welcome children to visit the galleries. Reserve free timed-tickets to explore the Museum in-person. Experience the Chrysler from home with virtual tours, programs, and activities for the entire family.
Kari Berge Brimhall is a Docent at the Chrysler Museum of Art. She studied education at Brigham Young University and has been a storyteller and writing and art teacher. The mom of five loves art and shares that love with her children. She and her husband even have an art studio in their home. In addition to her volunteer work at the Chrysler Museum, Kari has served in a number of church, community, and leadership roles. When Kari isn’t guiding visitors through the galleries of the Chrysler, she can be found at home cooking, writing, creating art, and laughing around the dinner table.