(or how to prepare your children to see great works of art!)
When I found out that we were going to visit Ireland during our fall break from school, I knew that I wanted to see the Book of Kells, the most famous of the illuminated manuscripts hand-drawn by Irish monks during the Middle Ages. (I left it to my husband, the best trip-planner ever, to figure out the logistics of getting us there!) In fact, I'd been waiting over twenty years to see this masterpiece and could hardly contain myself at the thought of seeing it in person.
|The Chi-Rho page from the Book of Kells. It actually marks the beginning of the |
Christmas story in Matthew's Gospel.
Source: Art & Culture
Well, as soon as these strange-looking Greek letters turned into a picture search game, the kids got excited. My son was the first to find the butterflies and the cats. We searched forever to find the otter, but finally had to give up. When we got to see the real thing at Trinity College in Dublin, we finally found the otter with the fish in his mouth and there was much rejoicing! The preparation made the Book of Kells Exhibit, which is definitely not geared toward children, meaningful for both kids.
|Photography is not allowed inside the exhibit,|
so this is the only proof I have that we were there!
So here are my tips for preparing your kids to enjoy great works of art:
1. Show them a picture of what you are going to see and talk about it. Tell them why you like it and what you think is interesting about it. Ask your child what he or she sees in the work of art.
2. Read a children's book about the artist or work of art. There are so many fantastic children's books about art these days, that it shouldn't be hard to find the right one. Just make a trip to the public library. Even if you can't find a children's book, a normal art book like Sister Wendy's can be helpful.
3. Make a game of it. Play "I Spy" with the things within the picture. Or xerox a copy and cut it into a puzzle that the kids can put together. If you are going to a larger museum with multiple works of art, make a small Memory game by gluing pairs of works to index cards.
If you have other ways to help children make the most of museum visits, please let us know about it in the comments!
Linked to Waldorf Wednesday at Seasons of Joy