3 Kid-Friendly Projects from Museums To Do During School Closures

  • April 04, 2020 11:13

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Part of the Addison Gallery's "Visualizing Poetry" curriculum is Winslow Homer (1836 - 1910) The West Wind, 1891. Dimensions: 30 in. x 44 in.
Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, gift of anonymous donor, 1928.24

Sudden homeschooling takes a lot of juggling and tech support from parents who are trying to work from home, or are scrambling to keep their families afloat, during coronavirus lockdown orders.

Museums have some answers for this scenario in the form of free activities online that will take kids (or adults) hours to do and involve art-making and creativity time.

1. The Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, in Andover, Mass., has a wealth of projects for self-guided kids or kids with adult helpers. Check the archive of teacher guides related to past exhibitions, such as the PDF teaching guide for the 2012 exhibition "Pekupatikut Innuat Akunikana/Pictures Woke the People Up: An Innu Project with Wendy Ewald and Eric Gottesman," for projects involving documentation and visualizing community.

From "Pekupatikut Innuat Akunikana/Pictures Woke the People Up: An Innu Project with Wendy Ewald and Eric Gottesman," a 2012 exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.
Addison Gallery of American Art

See also, the Museum Learning Center Permanent Collection Portfolios to delve into themes such as Visualizing Poetry, The American Civil War or Representing the Land, supported by images from the museum's collection of 17,000 artworks. Each study theme has an image list, and artwork can be searched in the collection database to view larger.

2. Detroit Institute of Arts offers A Knight at the Museum, an educator resource aimed at grades 3-5. Download the PDF as an outline. The art part is creating a shield for a knight with your child's own chosen symbolism. For the suggested books, check for audio books from your local library online or Amazon Audible, many titles for children are currently free. To view related artworks, search the DIA collections online.

Also from DIA, see more at-home educational resources for making a neighborhood collage in the style of Romare Bearden or a geometric "stabile" like Alexander Calder.

3. From the Cantor Arts Center and Anderson Collection at Stanford University, online resources include coloring pages of artworks to print out, including Richard Diebenkorn’s Girl on the Beach. (See the original here.)

Low on time? Check the website of your favorite museum for educational resources or a collections database for your child to choose an artwork and copy it with colored pencils, crayons or other media. 

DIA offers a collage project centered on Romare Bearden's Stamping Ground, 1971, paper collage with graphite on board.
Detroit Institute of Arts

Now is a critical time to make a tax-free donation to cultural non-profits. Since museums are closed and crippled by revenue losses during the COVID-19 crisis, please consider a donation to the institution that you visit online to help support staff and services.


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