This post presented in partnership with Willow Park Village
Are you on top of your child’s art education? I have to admit, I’m not exactly excelling on that front. I’m glad I bought the Usborne books on Famous Artists and Famous Paintings when my daughter was in Kindergarten, but after a few months she was interested in something else. She’s not big into crafts, so I’ve been searching for other ways to get her and other kids interested and appreciative of art.
Why should you make an effort to expose your child to art?
Because good art reflects life. Many of us want to expose our children to different cultures and ways of life, but that can be particularly challenging when you’re living in the suburbs. Art makes the space it resides in immediately interesting and often beautiful. There’s no drawback to fostering that kind of an appreciation at an early age.
Easy way to to introduce art to kids
Street art or public art is the easiest (and cheapest) way to expose a child to art. First, it’s outdoors, not in a stuffy environment. Second, kids can often interact with street art by examining it close up, touching it and seeing how it fits into its surroundings.
Willow Park Village’s new campaign, Possibilities are Blooming, is all about bringing Calgary’s art culture to the forefront. It’s making art accessible for everyone – not just those in close proximity to a gallery or museum. Located in the south of Calgary, their new art installations are awesome for Calgarians living further away from the city’s centre.
The installation I’m talking about features a colourful canopy of floating umbrellas adding a unique experience that compliments visits to Willow Park throughout the summer. The umbrellas not only act as a bright, colourful attraction, but beautify everyday life through artistry.
We know how much kids and millennials love posting on social media, and that’s what makes this installation so current. Not only can you use the artwork as a backdrop for photos, but after enjoying the display, you can then browse around the boutique and restaurants and soak up the full Willow Park Village experience. (If you haven’t already checked out the Urban Butcher, you really should!)
Brilliant tip for navigating art museums with kids
After you’ve made a point to suss out public art, make a date for a museum visit. But here’s the catch: instead of wandering aimlessly through gallery after gallery, start in the gift shop. Yes, you read that right. Saddle up to the postcard section – every museum and gallery shop has them.
Get your kids to pick out the postcard they like best. Buy the postcard and then hunt your way through the gallery to find that piece. You don’t need to stop to look at the other (potentially boring) works of art if you don’t want to. Kids get excited when they see their postcard on the wall. For whatever reason, that piece spoke to them. From there, you can read a few factoids about the process, where the artist is from, or if they cut off their ear a la Van Gogh. Keep it short and sweet and focused on the art that interests them.
Exposing children to art shouldn’t be a difficult undertaking and doesn’t need to be expensive. Thanks, Willow Park Village, for making art accessible to all Calgarians with your Possibilities are Blooming campaign. And a big thank you to my readers (that would be you!) for supporting the brands that make Travels with Baggage an ad-free site.
What are your tips for exposing kids to art?
I never thought to stop at the gift shop first when visiting a museum. I will give it a try with my kids!