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Introducing kids to art

Kids with Anselm Kiefer's Women of Antiquity

Let the children direct you, follow their interests and encourage them to talk about what they see. Look, explore, respond, enjoy!

There are many ways to enjoy art. You don’t need to know anything about an artwork or the artist. You can explore art with your senses, play looking games, make up stories and have fun!

Here are some suggestions to get you started.

You might select a few that appeal to you or that seem particularly suitable for a specific artwork. Or you might like to spend some time really getting to know just one or two artworks by considering a range of questions.

At the Gallery, you could look for artworks with a theme (such as those featuring people or animals) or focus on a few rooms.

Games to play

  • I spy: select a detail you can see, tell others the letter it starts with and see if they can guess what it is.
  • Counting: find details to count and group together.
  • Storytelling: invent a story for the artwork. Imagine what happened before or after the scene that is pictured. Imagine the artworks come alive at night and invent a story about their adventures.
  • Role-play: imagine what the people are saying to each other and role-play their conversation. Imagine the characters from other artworks could talk to each other too – what would they say? Role-play how the artist created the artwork. Did they work slowly or quickly? What kind of mood do you think they were in?
  • Posing: pose like the people in the artwork. How long can you hold the pose?
  • Memory: look closely at the artwork then turn away and try to describe in detail what you saw.
  • Invent a new title for the artwork
  • Who or what would you like to be in the artwork? Why?

Explore with your senses

  • If you could touch the artwork, what would it feel like? Would different parts of it feel different? What would you most like to touch?
  • What would you smell if you were in the artwork? Would it smell nice?
  • What would the temperature be like if you were in the artwork? Would it be hot or cold?
  • What would you hear if you were in the artwork? Would it be noisy or quiet?
  • Is there anything to eat in the artwork? Does it look delicious?
  • Imagine you could eat the artwork. What might it taste like?
  • Imagine the artwork is a piece of music or a series of sounds. What might it sound like?
  • Imagine the artwork is a person. What kind of person might it be? Male or female? Young or old? How might this person talk, walk, eat?

More serious fun