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HOW TO LOOK AT ART WITH KIDS

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Taking little ones to an exhibition? Dulwich Picture Gallery's Rachel Prosser has some tips...

:: The Dulwich Picture Gallery and TantrumXYZ are hosting a special baby and toddler viewing of the Sargent: The Watercolours exhibition on 30 June, 8.30 - 10am. Buggies, roaming toddlers and excited squeals encouraged. There will also be a free art and play session for your little one in the Gallery, and a special kids-eat-free breakfast offer. Please see their website for more information and to book.

 

1. Don’t feel any pressure to see it all or have extensive debates in front of every work with your child. Go at your pace and be guided by what interests you – everyone suffers from gallery fatigue!

2. While there are certain rules to observe in gallery spaces (probably not a good idea to touch priceless art!), do not feel that you should shush your child. There are no rules about talking, and it’s a great way for children to learn.

3. Asking questions can be a good way to help your child explore art. No need to ask what the meaning of life is, but open questions like, ‘What do you think is happening?’ or ‘What does this make you think of?’ can be a helpful starting point.

4. Check what resources are available to you. Lots of museums and galleries provide special materials for families, such as trails, backpacks, and audioguides. These can be a wonderful way to enrich your experience.

5. Then again, feel free to ignore the information available. You don’t have to read every text panel or label. Sometimes the most rewarding experience can be just to look and make your own interpretations.

6. To borrow an increasingly popular phrase, ‘You do you’. There is no perfect way to look at art with children. Everyone has their own interests, needs and ways of thinking. It’s your experience, and you should embrace what suits you best.

:: The Dulwich Picture Gallery and TantrumXYZ are hosting a special baby and toddler viewing of the Sargent: The Watercolours exhibition on 30 June, 8.30 - 10am. Buggies, roaming toddlers and excited squeals encouraged. There will also be a free art and play session for your little one in the Gallery, and a special kids-eat-free breakfast offer. Please see their website for more information and to book.

:: Rachel Prosser is Adult and Family Learning Coordinator at Dulwich Picture Gallery

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