Fun at the Museum

7 May

I have a lot of ideas, and sometimes they even work out. We went with a couple of friends to the Brooklyn Museum, with two toddlers in tow (see, now wouldn’t that be a good title for a blog?). I had purchased for each of them an artist sketchpad and some colored pencils. Instead of ‘kid’ paper, I went with a couple of good sketch pads, and some good Crayola color sticks. The pads beat out just paper, because they lay flat, they’re heavy enough to require attention to carrying them, and the texture is good. The color sticks are just colored pencils without the wood. I thought they’d be messy, and I was a bit put-off by the non-washable warning, but they seem to be not at all messy. And they have good texture on the pads. I also got some stickers, and some sculpting clay, but we ended up just with the pads, pencils, and a bit of hot sticker action.

And so we headed off to see this gorgeous exhibit.

As we suspected, the kids wanted to touch all the art, which made it a little bit of a pain to try to keep tabs on them. Also, the helpful ipads that the museum leaves around for people to learn about the art? Yeah, toddlers like these things, and they will produce insta-fights over who gets to use it and for how long. That said, the pads were still a wild success:

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We just sidled up to the art, and plunked down the pad with the pencils. I tried to do a little bit of “What colors do you see? Red? Wow! Do you want to draw something in red, too?” to some (but only limited) effect. The kids just loved the drawing, and while I’m not convinced that they’re taking inspiration from the art or anything like that, I do think that the idea that someone made this, and that someone could be you! is an awesome attitude. Plus, if you are seeking some external validation of your parenting, via other people telling you how cute your children are, this will pretty much do it.

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4 Responses to “Fun at the Museum”

  1. Beth May 7, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Our little guy loves El Anatsui’s work – ran over and sat down for a long while (at least 3 minutes, which I think is not bad for a two year old) in front of a wall hanging on our last visit to the de Young. He liked him even better than Wayne Thibaud (we love his counting book), and it is hard to beat pictures of cupcakes and candy.

    However, the most I can get at home in terms of art is a scribble or two before he runs off, and his attempts at sculpting (play-doh) are of the “let’s make a tennis racket and ball” variety, leaving small bits of round hardened doh in unexpected locations around the house. What’s a non-creative mom to do???

  2. Peter May 7, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    For what it’s worth, we found that the Crayola Slick Stix are by far the best for little ones. They are messy, but they require very little pressing to get really good colors. Play-do is just mostly squished and that’s it, I’m not super-impressed with it. But maybe the textures are good to experience for little hands. We also have had a bit of success with the Scribble Book, which has the advantage of looking like a real book (which it is), but also allowing for some good scribbling. We particularly enjoy making (even more) scribbles on the monsters page.

    And hey, 3 minutes is a long time! I’m not sure ours has spent 3 minutes sitting looking at anything, except maybe the little pinwheel we got him..

  3. Ethan McCarty May 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    these photos are awesome, peter. you are such a good dad. for our craft-making experience i was planning to give zev a box of broken glass, a hot glue gun and a print out of the search results for “diy mosaic.”
    you have really opened my eyes to other possibilities.

  4. Peter May 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Ethan- obviously any decent photos round these parts are being taken by the talented half of our duo. But for your dangerous crafting pleasure? Here you go. Be sure to get to the mosaic glass experiments. It’s what razor wire aspires to be!

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