For the Love of Art! This week on For the Love of Blank we have a guest post from Sage Scott of Everyday Wanderer. Be sure to check out her blog! My favorite post of hers is 10 Up and Coming US Travel Destinations. She has shared amazing tips about how to get your children to love art as much as you do in this post Art Museums for Kids! First we asked her a few questions to introduce herself….
What is Your Blog’s name and what is it about?
Everyday Wanderer is a blog for people with wa nderlust and a “real” life. While everyone can benefit from travel, not everyone is in a position to sell everything they own and perpetually travel the world, including me . I have four kids , three cats, and a mortgage. You don’t have to go some place exotic or have a loaded bank account to benefit from travel. You can experience a lot just by getting out of your own neighborhood and spending time across town.
What was your inspiration to start blogging?
I feel like I’ve been blogging since the beginning of blogging time! Because my entire family lives far away, I started a password-protected blog back in the early 2000s when my now college-aged twins were small so I could easily share photos and stories with my siblings, parents, and others.
Back in 2012, I challenged myself to a 365 photography project to improve my photography skills. I took, edited, and posted one photo a day during 2012, and just kept going. At some point, I realized that a travel blog was better aligned with my interests, and so I launched Everyday Wanderer in September of this year.
What is your best piece of advice to anyone trying to start their own blog?
Do it for reasons you love first and foremost. Do not start a blog only if you think it is some quick and easy way to make millions from affiliate programs or online ads. If this is your only motivation,you will be sorely disappointed. Like most things in life, there is no shortcut to success. Building a successful blog takes time, energy, creativity, and a lot of hard work.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
It’s hard for me to pick just one spot! It’s a family joke that I fall in love with every place I visit minus Las Vegas, Orlando, Dubai, and Topeka. My apologies to those who love those four destinations!
What’s your dream vacation?
If you’re going to dream, dream big! I am pretty sure my life would be complete if I could spend one full year traveling the globe! If that dream is too unreasonable, then I’d say a year in an RV exploring southern Canada and all 48 contiguous US states.
What’s your favorite mode of travel? (car, plane, train)
I’m a big fan of planes, trains, and automobiles! But it depends upon where I am and what makes the most sense. If I need to get from Kansas City to Paris, then it’s a plane. If I need to get from Paris to Amsterdam, then it’s a train. And, if I need to get from Kansas City to my son’s university in Manhattan, Kansas (the LITTLE apple), it’s a car.
Would you rather live in your dream home in a city that you hate or a small rundown shack in your favorite city in the world?
Definitely the shack in my favorite place in the world. Location, location, location!
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Art Museums for Kids!
When you pair my Mom’s art degree with the opportunity to live in Europe, you get a childhood full of visits to art museums. While I appreciate the experiences in hindsight, I was most ungrateful as a child.
Fast-forward to now. I’m not just the daughter of an artist, but also the mother of an artist. While my contribution to the art world has been limited to serving as the vessel that passed incredible talent from one generation to the next, here are six things I accidentally and unintentionally did to help my kids enjoy art museums.
1 – Let your kids set the pace
I’m not recommending that you skip a gallery that is important to you if Petunia’s not into it, nor am I suggesting that Junior be allowed to run through the museum and yell, “Done!” But you can engage your kids in the exhibits that don’t immediately grab their attention and alter your pace through each museum exhibit based upon your collective interests.
Some ways to help your children slow down and engage with the art on display are:
Look for places or activities in the art that your children recognize. Is the painting set in the city or in the country? Are the subjects eating, walking, reading, or engaged in another activity that interests your child?
Talk about the colors or shapes in the work of art. Ask your child to talk about the colors they like most in a piece or to identify the shapes that the artist used to create the masterpiece.
2 – Read About the Artists
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved biographies. When it comes to literature, I often find the writer’s life story so much more fascinating than his or her literary works. (Yes, Ernest Hemingway, I’m talking about you!) Before visiting an art museum, find ways to expose your children to one of the artists as a person.
For elementary school children and younger, I recommend either Anholt’s A rtists Books for Children series or James Mayhew’s Katie series.
For middle school children to adults, I recommend the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s What Makes a _____ a ______? series. We’re reading the What makes a Picasso a Picasso? book now to prepare for a trip to the Picasso exhibit here at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City when my mom visits over Christmas.
3 – Leverage art museum guides for kids
Many art museums have scavenger hunts, workbooks, and other programs to help engage their younger visitors.
If you’re visiting an art museum that doesn’t have these educational tools for children, visit the museum’s website before your visit and find a few pieces that appeal to your child. Print them out in advance and let your child search for them during your visit to the museum.
4 – Help connect the dots
Help your children connect the dots between what they see at the museum and the world around them. Find ways to connect the art they’re seeing to something else they’ve seen or studied.
For example, Andy Warhol is famous for creating masterpieces featuring everyday items like Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. You can easily connect grocery store items to what your children see in his paintings.
5 – Get outside
Most art museums have an outdoor sculpture gardens that allow kids to take a break from their indoor voices and walking feet while being exposed to art. Viewing the sculptures also reinforces that art comes in many shapes and forms beyond the paintings and other pieces they see inside the museum.
6 – Let their interests influence yours
While I’m not a big fan of mummies, coffins, and burial masks, my youngest daughter is fascinated by these objects. It’s easy to spend time in a gallery that excites your kids, even if it’s not your cup of tea. After all, my excitement that she is interested in ancient civilizations and going to an art museum with me overrides the creepiness I feel exploring these galleries.