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Playing with Art

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Sometime parents ask us if it’s appropriate to bring their preschooler to the Museum.  The answer is a resounding YES! IMG_2746 You’re never too young to start looking at and engaging with art, and kids of all ages enjoy experiencing the works in Crystal Bridges’ galleries.  As Hilary Hutter already mentioned in her earlier post, we find that small children seem to take to contemporary works more easily than some of their adult counterparts. Little ones also enjoy looking for familiar things in paintings (“find the cows,” for example), or identifying colors.

When my son was two or three, he loved to visit art museums, but he experienced the galleries in a very different way.  Whereas adults want to move slowly from artwork to artwork, taking time to peruse each one, he wanted to race through the gallery, looking at everything quickly, but to do it several times. I often wondered what the guards thought when they saw us, zipping past them again and again.  At first I feared my son wasn’t really looking at the artwork, but on the way home, he was able to describe some and tell me which ones he liked best, so… there you go.  Different strokes for different folks… and I guess I’ve forgotten what it is like to be a preschooler.

Crystal Bridges offers regular monthly events geared especially for preschoolers.  Our Preschool Playdates, sponsored by The Hershey Company, offer live performances, hands-on activities, and a little-kid approved gallery hunt.  If you want to be reminded of how full of wonder and joy the world is… just watch these preschoolers explore the Museum.  It’s sure to make you smile.  And maybe next time you walk through the galleries, some of that wonder will come back to you.

Thanks to our own Jessica Whalen, who created this fun, short video capturing the spirit of Preschool Playdate.

Linda DeBerry
Senior Copy Editor / Publications Manager

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