New York City, MOMA, visit with children

Being a parent is hard work and as we all know, rewarding–sometimes when we least expect it.

For my birthday present my oldest son asked me into New York City for the day to go to two art museums. My invitation came on a post card of the Miro exhibit at the MOMA. We both share a love of art and especially enjoy the Museum of Modern Art.

As we slowly made our way through the exhibits, pointing out interesting facts and sharing drawings we particularly liked, I was reminded of the many family vacations when the boys were young and I would add an art museum on to the itinerary of tours of submarines and aircraft carriers. In those days, I would try to hold the boys back, encouraging them to take a longer look or actually read the information next to the pictures, giving relevant background on the art. Naturally they sped through the exhibits and headed for the “museum store” to buy some trinket. I never knew if my efforts were worth it:)

I found an inexpensive way to satisfy their desire to get a souvenir was to let them pick out postcards of the art that they liked the best. It was always fascinating to see what they picked out. Sometimes it was something I remembered and sometimes not. No matter what, they liked it and could talk about the art and what was interesting to them. These postcards served to be a memory card of our trips, and gave them a launching pad for discussion–feeling very important with their choices.

As you know, I love art, and feel it can be used to elicit language and make some very creative and abstract connections verbally. I used to work with a speech pathologist who used large posters of paintings to describe with children on the autism spectrum. I thought that was very innovative.

So, I guess I went full circle as a mom yesterday. I got my little postcard to invite me to an art museum to go at an adult pace with my young adult son. Maybe dragging three little boys through art museums was worth it after all.

For more ideas on how to combine learning and fun when taking your children to an art museum, go to Parents’ Choice website.