art

Unlock kids’ love of art on these colorful trips – National Geographic Traveler Magazine

Summary

My daughter was a little over a year old when she first noticed a piece of art. On a family trip to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, my husband and I relished the woodland paths with elegant works by Paul Matisse and Andy Goldsworthy. Juniper the toddler, though, took a shine to a dripping, oozing fluorescent yellow blob by Aaron Curry called—rather aptly, I think—“Ugly Mess.” 

Juniper was transfixed, wandering around the steel sculpture for wh…….

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My daughter was a little over a year old when she first noticed a piece of art. On a family trip to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, my husband and I relished the woodland paths with elegant works by Paul Matisse and Andy Goldsworthy. Juniper the toddler, though, took a shine to a dripping, oozing fluorescent yellow blob by Aaron Curry called—rather aptly, I think—“Ugly Mess.” 

Juniper was transfixed, wandering around the steel sculpture for what seemed like hours. At first I felt impatient, but then I realized I was a witness to baby’s first appreciation of art. My daughter had an aha moment, which helped me see the piece with fresh eyes.

Children can engage with art and work off excess energy at the same time via outdoor venues including the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Massachusetts (pictured). Large, tactile works such as Saul Melman’s ”Best Of All Possible Worlds,” shown here, can provoke wonder even in very young kids.

Photograph by Clements Photography and Design, courtesy of the artist

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Sparking kids’ creativity and love for travel with art isn’t new. “From a very young age, children start looking extremely closely at the things around them with curiosity and attention,” says Olga Hubbard, a professor of arts education of the Teachers College at Columbia University. This makes museums and other cultural institutions focus on engaging the next generation of sculpture and painting fans with research-backed activities and challenging exhibits designed to appeal to developing brains.

These trips and tips can get your kids into art on your next vacation. They might ignite a renewed sense of wonder in the grown-ups as well. “Spaces like museums can invite adults to have the kind of attention that young children naturally have for the outside world,” says Hubbard.

Because kids naturally like to look—it’s just a matter of finding fresh things to see.

Step into a storybook 

The easiest way to introduce a child to an art museum might be through a familiar face, be it the googly eyed Very Hungry Caterpillar or a fairy tale villain. “Picture books are often a child’s first introduction to art,” says Courtney Waring, director of education at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts.

At the Carle, original works by the author/illustrator of Caterpillar are displayed along with revolving exhibits devoted to other kid-lit stars. Picture book pages are framed and hung on the walls, presented as priceless artifacts. Little ones can’t touch the originals, but they can paw through thousands of books in the nearby museum library.

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Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/these-trips-will-help-your-kids-appreciate-art