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Introduce Your Children to Art

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Published February 8th 2013
Art galleries will inspire your kids to be creative
If you introduce your children to art from a young age they will look on it as a natural process. Many art galleries encourage young children to get involved, with or without their families. If you're stuck for ways to entertain your offspring here are a few suggestions to get you started.

The National Gallery has a programme of Family Sundays for various ages. Everything is free, including materials and budding artists should meet at the Piggott Education Centre, using the Gallery's Orange Street entrance. Older children, aged between 5 and 11 can turn up at 11am or 2pm for Studio Sundays; two-hour workshops that begin in the Gallery and continue as a studio session, whilst Drawing Sundays are located in the Gallery and are used to inspire the children's artistic endeavours.

The Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa by Sadie aged 7 (Image Courtesy of the National Gallery website)


Additional events, that need to be checked as they don't take place every week, include Pack it Up, Moving Pictures (where children are taught how to make moving pictures), Postcards from Arcadia (with inspiration supplied by the French artist, Claude) and Wild Hybrids (led by a botanical illustrator). There are also Family Walks and Talks and Magic Carpet Storytelling for tots aged between 2 and 5. To start off half term week there will be Imaginary Worlds on 17 and 18 February: a two-day festival of imagination and stories. This will include family concerts, art-making and installation, puppet shows, storytelling, a family trail and a series of films.

Further events in April will include Drama Box, Talk and Play and Drawing Stories.

Families and young people are equally welcome at the National Portrait Gallery, just round the corner. There are free Family Art Workshops with an audio visual guide for learning about famous people, as well as storytelling and art workshop sessions. There is a full programme of events for those aged between 14 and 21, offering free sessions to encourage exploration from the collections and exhibitions. These include holiday workshops and Sunday Sessions on the first Sunday of each month. The Youth Forum also meets on the first Thursday of every month to offer younger people a voice at the NPG.

NPG Workshops
NPG Workshops (Image Courtesy of the NPG website)


Tate Modern also has a lot to offer younger people. The Under 5s Zone is open daily and permits children to explore and be creative based on themes inspired by Cubist art. The Open Studio is open at weekends and certain dates during the school holidays between 11am and 3pm. Children are encouraged to be creative with the materials supplied, either after or before exploring the collections. What's going on here is a creative space for children and families and shares the same hours as the Open Studio. Sonic Trails takes children into nature and space using music and sound.

Under 5s Zone
Under 5s Zone (Image Courtesy of the Tate Gallery Website)


Inspire your kids to be interested in art, and I'm sure they will inspire you too.
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Why? To introduce your children to art from a young age
When: All information is on the websites
Where: The National Gallery, Tate Modern and the National Portrait Gallery
Cost: Most events are free, but check with the galleries concerned
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