3 Fun Ways to Explore the DAM with Your Child

3 Fun Ways to Explore the DAM with Your Child

Tips to Spark Your & Your Child's Imagination

This summer, parents and children came together for a Denver Art Museum class called Side-by-Side: Kids and Their Grown-ups Co-Creating. It got us thinking about new ideas for parents and children to explore the museum and engage with art together. Here are three activities that grown-ups and children enjoyed in the class that you and your kids can do together at the museum:

  1. Try out a Creative Challenge Game: If exploring the galleries is your style, print these Creative Challenge Cards and head to your favorite floor. This activity allows for free exploration of any gallery that interests you or your child, with some prompting questions: What animals or shapes can we find? What sounds could we imagine hearing in a painting? What smells would be there? These prompts are great ways to encourage close looking at works of art, and can support more questions and deeper exploration of art.
  2. Spark your creativity in the Flower Studio: In case you haven’t heard, our theme for the summers is flowers, which includes In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism. After taking a walk through the exhibition, make sure to stop by our Flower Studio to engage in flower-inspired artmaking activities. You and your little one can use upcycled materials to make flowers or paint with watercolors while discussing the flowers you just saw, the ones in your garden, or the ones you’re creating.
  3. Share your opinion with a Token Response Game: Another activity to try with your kiddo is a favorite here at the museum, called Token Response. During our Side-by-Side class, grown-ups and children were given drawings or “tokens” that each have their own meaning, to pair with a work of art (for example, the spaceship prompts the viewer to pick someone in a work of art that they would like to blast off to space with). Like the Creative Challenge Cards, this activity allows children and their grown-ups to explore the galleries in a semi-structured way, prompting all to look closely at the works of art. Print these symbols* (or make your own) and head to the galleries.

*Token response topics. Feel free to create your own, or reinterpret ours!

Pillow: Which artwork would you like to sleep in?

Suitcase: Which artwork would you like to travel to?

Dog: Which artwork looks like a place you’d like to walk your dog?

Book: Which artwork seems like a good place to read a book?

Hopefully, these activities give you some new ideas about ways to explore the museum with your child. Remember, general admission to the museum is free for kids so it’s time to start exploring!

Liz Bola is a teacher & school outreach programs intern in the learning and engagement department at the Denver Art Museum. Liz has been at the DAM since June 2015 and her favorite collection on view here is the western American art collection.

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