5 Top Tips for Taking Kids to an Art Museum


This post was created in partnership with Disney-Hyperion for the #ReadMo Ambassador program, all opinions are my own. 

Sometimes society would have you believe the predominate and iconic childhood pastime is football, baseball and/or any sort of sport. While my oldest and youngest boys do have a fondness for certain athletics my middle son is not interested in these games. He is intrigued by science and by the possibility of understanding how machines and animals work. He also considers himself an accomplished drawer.

The newest release from Elephant & Piggie, We Are in an ART-ivity Book! by Mo Willemstakes the wonderful creativeness of these characters to a whole new level. This isn’t the sort of book that is meant just for reading. This is the type of book that is meant for creating! Draw portraits, design sculptures, create collages, build a Mo-bile, color, puzzle, and go bananas being an artist! This book leads participants through a series of activities to create their very own art exhibit at the Museum of Wonderfully Interesting Life Like Excellent Museum Stuff! 

I knew this superfun book {available in stores now} would be best appreciated by my own amateur Picasso. 

In this book Elephant & Piggie are joined by a new face: Art Vaark. Art the aardvark introduces Elephant, Piggie (and kids) to an incredible span of artistic styles: a “banana” still life; a color-by-number Piggie “Scream” painting; a scrap-paper collage (for which you earn an official “Collage Diploma”); and so much more.

Created by the same team behind Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book!, this fun-filled, hands-on book features an interactive narrative that invites kids into an exciting, original Elephant & Piggie adventure!

In the spirit of this art focused activity book from Mo Willems I’ve pulled together my top tips for taking kids to an art museum. Locally our Minneapolis Institute of Art is an amazing free destination for fantastic art. With a plethora of intricate historical artifacts and impressive works by Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne, we have been visiting the MIA for years. 

Set Them on a Hunt: When my boys were really little they set out to find objects that interested them within the art. This unique perspective on art is a fun interactive way to keep them entertained and is always a great way to look careful at art in a way that lends itself to things that you might have previously missed. In the photo below my fellas discovered one of their search items- a shark! 

Seize Those Impromptu Moments: Sometimes certain sculptures or pieces of art will just naturally pull-in little interested minds. Try to maximize on those moments because it’s just logical that those items that they are most interested will have the biggest impact.  It’s important to remember the art that catches their attention might not be what grabs yours, but their inherit excitement should hopefully propel your own level of enthusiasm. 

Just Embrace the Silliness: At the end of the day remember that kids are kids and sometimes all the serious formal pretentiousness that comes with art {sometimes} needs to officially be thrown out the window. Every single time my guys visit the MIA they notice all the naked people in art. It’s silly and slightly embarrassing for them. Boys will be boys. And as long as they are not being disrespectful or obnoxious, I find their giggles to be contagious. 

Keep Expectations Realistic: Don’t visit an art museum with children thinking that you’ll have a chance to casually stroll through everything being able to read all the details at will. Visiting an art museum with kids means you’ll skip large sections and jump from one area to another. If a systematic and careful/slow approach is your thing, visit the museum without kids.  

my favorite piece from the MIA- Veiled Lady

Share What YOU Love: An important part of any museum visit is sharing what YOU love with your children as well. While I think it’s important to let them explore and focus on those things that naturally interest them, it’s key that they understand which pieces of art resonate with you. Share a bit of yourself, but in the tone of the point above, keep your favorite pieces to a minimum as to drive the biggest impact with limited attention spans in mind. 

Everyone can be inspired in different ways. A helpful guided book such as Elephant & Piggie, We Are in an ART-ivity Book! or a trip to an art museum can have a lasting impact on little ones. Do you have an emerging artist in your family? How do you foster the love the arts to your children? Please leave comments to the post below with your tips! 



  1. Diane Sallans says

    I went with little kiddies to the American Museum of Natural History last year – the trick is to not stay beyond their time of interest & to bring snacks.

  2. Museums are so much fun! My family has so much fun at them.

  3. Nidhi Chauhan says

    I am planning to take my kid to museum. These are some amazing tips. thanks for sharing!

  4. We love going to museums. I also try to do a few arts and crafts with my kiddo.

  5. Our art museums are not very cool but that book looks awesome, my kids would love it!

  6. The ‘hunt’ is a great idea. I like asking the kids to explain what they think the person in the artwork is doing/why – coming up with some crazy stories is a lot of fun.

  7. Tabitha Miller says

    Sounds like fun

  8. Eileen Boyce says

    We like to go to museums.

  9. I love museums. It will remind us of the past history!!!

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