Archive for the 'Family Fun' Category



Friday Photos: Viva Frida!

Throughout the run of the México 1900-1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde, we’ve seen lots of visitors take inspiration from one of the most famous female artists of the 20th century. We’re hosting two exciting upcoming events where you can continue to celebrate the fabulous Frida Kahlo!

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Do you want to learn more about Frida? Hayden Herrera, her biographer, will be speaking at the DMA Wednesday, June 28.

Do you want to be Frida? Celebrate her 110th birthday with us!

We hope to see you soon–unibrows and flowers optional!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Friday Photos: Arturo’s Fixer Upper

Did you know that Arturo’s Nest (the Museum’s play space just for children 0-4 years old) is nine years old?! The first kids to step foot in this beloved space have long since outgrown it!

When the space opened in 2008, it was a new experiment for the Dallas Museum of Art, and a visible symbol that we love little kids here at the Museum. Since that time, this small room has had a BIG impact. It is one of the most visited spots in the Museum for children and families, and you can almost always hear squeals of laughter trickling out from the room.

A few weeks ago, we closed Arturo’s Nest to give it a much-deserved redesign. Chip & Joanna Gaines didn’t visit, but our crack team of designers, educators, and carpenters worked their own “fixer upper” magic and gave the Nest a whole new look.

Ready to see what we’ve done? How about we first take a look at where we’ve been.

Arturo’s Nest in 2008

Arturo’s Nest in 2010

And…drum roll please…Arturo’s Nest in 2017!

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What do you think? One of my favorite parts of the design is that we see both a daytime and a nighttime view of Arturo’s home. And that fun polka dot carpet will make it so much more comfy for kids to sit down and play.

We’ll be adding even more features in the months to come, so be sure to come visit throughout the summer.

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Arturo can’t wait to see you!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs

Papel Picado

Papel picado has taken over the DMA art studio!

In celebration of México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde, the DMA offered many exciting activities during our DMA Family Days/DMA días familiares. Not only was admission to the exhibition free, but visitors could also enjoy music performances in the atrium, visit a new Pop-Up Art Spot in the Ancient American Galleries on Level 4, and make papel picado in the studio.

Papel picado is a type of Mexican folk art often used as decoration for all kinds of festivities, like Dia de los Muertos, Easter, and Christmas. Papel picado literally means pecked paper and is made by cutting designs from tissue or crepe paper. These designs are often very geometric and might feature floral elements, birds, skeletons, and more, depending on the celebration.

In the video below, you can watch artisans at work in San Salvador Huixcolotla, a municipality in the Mexican state of Puebla that is well-known for papel picado. Look at how deftly they use chisels (rather than knives or scissors) to punch out designs – using this method, an artisan can cut up to 50 sheets of tissue paper at a time!

At home, papel picado is often made using the fold-and-cut method, which is probably familiar to you if you’ve ever made a paper snowflake. This was our method of choice in the studio. To help visitors get started, Jessica put together some instructions and a simple template to go along with them. Click on the link to download the instructions, find some 8 1/2″ x 11″ tissue paper, and have a go at making your own papel picado!

¡Buena suerte!

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Jennifer Sheppard
Teaching Specialist

Say What?

Being a part of the family programs team here at the DMA means that we spend a lot of quality time with children of all ages. Whether it’s singing songs to babies, or challenging a group of 8 and 9 year olds to try and beat their parents at a game of art trivia, we engage in tons of fun AND funny conversations. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the funny things we’ve overheard lately in the galleries and studios.

Messy Homechool project

During a homeschool class, my colleague Jennifer gave the kids an overview of what they would be doing. Upon hearing that the studio project for class was going to be messy and fun, an 11 year old boy said, “Miss Jennifer, I’m so glad my mom brought me today because you said it would be messy and fun. THOSE ARE MY THINGS!”

lions

As an introduction to a lesson focused on different lions in the collection, I asked the children what they knew about lions. In response to the question, “what do lions eat?” a flurry of responses bubbled up: “grass?” “worms?” “WAFFLES!” (which resulted in lots of giggles).

elevator pic

Overheard while waiting with a group of children to get on the elevator: “I want to live here!”

dogs in gallery

In a discussion about how some dogs have what we might think of as jobs, I showed the children images of rescue dogs, guide dogs, and police dogs. When I showed a picture of a therapy dog at a hospital comforting a child and asked the students what job this dog has, a little girl called out, “It’s a love dog!” (which prompted a bunch of “awws” from the grown-ups in the group).

mom hero

During a lesson about heroes, I talked with a group of 3 and 4 year olds about what makes a person a hero and who our heroes are today. Three year old Lily piped up, “My mom is my art hero because she watches while I paint.”

We’ve also managed to capture some funny faces:

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs

History, Pirates, and Spies, Oh My!

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It’s April 1861, and Virginia has just seceded from the Union. Mary Bowser, a former slave, is recruited for a life-changing and dangerous mission—to act as a spy in the Confederate White House. Joining the staff as a maid, Mary finds herself in a position to smuggle out the secrets she finds on President Jefferson Davis’ desk. Hiding information in dress linings, passing secrets through the baker, sending coded messages using laundry hanging in the window—Mary’s life as a spy has all the elements of a suspenseful action movie!

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Join us next Tuesday, February 28, when the acclaimed acting troupe The Story Pirates present Spy on History LIVE! and bring Mary’s story to life. The Story Pirates’ shows are interactive, engaging, and sneakily educational—and this one is like enrolling in Spycraft 101. The audience will learn spy techniques during the show (similar to the ones Mary used) to crack the mystery-within-a-mystery.

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If Mary were alive today, I’d love to take her on a special tour of the Museum’s collection, showing her objects that might have a deeply personal meaning for her.

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After the show, you can pick up a copy of the new children’s book Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring to learn even more about Mary’s life and practice your new spy skills.

Reserve your FREE tickets to Spy on History LIVE! here.

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs

Let’s Get BooksmART!

 

Our literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live just announced the 2017 lineup of award-winning authors and performers, and we are just overflowing with excitement! Arts & Letters is the only literary series that is part of an art museum (that we know of!), and we love celebrating the connections between reading, writing, and art! Every year we host some wonderful children’s authors, and this year is no different. Get cozy with these books while the weather is still chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections with the whole family!


the-inquisitors-tale-coverAdam Gidwitz
Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m.

Adam Gidwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, in which the adventures of three children take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution. They save sacred texts from being burned, get taken captive by knights, face a farting dragon, and face a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. Learn more.

Before the talk, your family can embark on a scavenger hunt exploring works of art in Art and Nature in the Middle Ages.


thumb-erin_philipsteadErin and Philip C. Stead
Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.

Erin and Philip Stead live and work side by side creating heartwarming stories such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Erin’s forthcoming book Tony returns to themes of friendship and loyalty with the late poet Ed Galing’s tale of a boy and his horse. Philip’s latest, Samson in the Snow, highlights the power of simple acts of kindness to bring hope and light to even the coldest world. Learn more.

Following their talk at 3:30 p.m., join us for an illustration workshop (ages 6 and older) led by Erin and Philip Stead. Advance reservations strongly recommended as space is limited.


playbookKwame Alexander
Saturday, June 10, 2:00 p.m.

New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander kicks off summer reading with his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. A strategy guide written with middle grade readers in mind but motivational for all ages, The Playbook “rules” contain wisdom from inspiring role models such as Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and more. The author of 21 books, Alexander received the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor for his book The Crossover. Learn more.


See the entire lineup for the January-June season to see if your favorite author will be coming to town this year. Hope to see you there!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

DIY Sensory Bottles

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What do you get when you pair an ordinary plastic bottle with water, glitter, paint, sand, beans, or even toothpicks? An easy DIY toy, a great way to recycle, a crafty project, something to entertain the kids–How about all of the above! Sensory bottles are a great quiet toy for little ones to explore during those in-between moments—in the car on the way to the grocery store, at home when you need something to occupy their hands, or in the stroller when you’re on the go. At its most basic level, a sensory bottle is a container with cool stuff inside. Sounds easy, right?

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Here at the DMA, we have quite a collection of sensory bottles that we use for the Art Babies and Toddler Art classes and the monthly First Tuesday event for preschoolers. Some bottles are great noise-makers; others are simply mesmerizing to stare at. For today’s DIY, we’ll get the low-down on how to make a sensory bottle and then take on the challenge of making bottles inspired by art in the museum.

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It might seem like it shouldn’t really require a complicated set of instructions to make a sensory bottle.

  1. Find a bottle.
  2. Put cool things inside.
  3. Close it up.

Easy, right? However, there are a few things to take into consideration that might not seem so obvious.

Containers. Any sort of bottle will probably do, but I’ve learned to take a minute to think about who will be using the sensory bottle and what will be inside. I strictly use plastic bottles and jars, so that there is no safety concern when the bottle inevitably gets dropped. I also vary the sizes I use. Babies need smaller, lighter bottles that are easier for them to pick up and hold (think of the mini water bottles you see in kids’ lunchboxes). Older children can handle slightly larger bottles. If a bottle will be holding liquid ingredients, make sure that the plastic is durable and strong. I prefer using bottles with wide openings so that small toys and objects can fit through the bottle neck. Make sure your bottle has been thoroughly cleaned and is completely dry before filling it up. (If the label gives you any trouble, use an adhesive remover like Goo Gone to remove it and get rid of the sticky stuff).

Contents. Basically, anything goes when it comes to contents. Consider how your child will play with it—do you want a noisemaker or do you want to explore how colors mix? Do you want something that has a hide and seek element to it? Here are some of my favorite combinations.

  • For musical shakers: beans, rice, sand, toothpicks, plastic beads, jingle bells, or nuts and bolts
  • For color-mixing: vegetable oil or baby oil + water + liquid watercolor
  • For “I Spy” play: colored rice and small toys
  • For mesmerizing gazes: clear dish soap and/or hair gel + colorful mini rubber bands
  • For glowing play: glow in the dark stars + glow in the dark paint + seltzer water (which glows under black light!)

Closure. Sensory bottles are not meant to be open, so run a line of strong adhesive around the mouth of the bottle before permanently screwing on the plastic cap. My favorite glue to use is E6000.

Now for the DMA Sensory Bottle Challenge—extend your Museum visit to at-home play by creating a sensory bottle inspired by a favorite work of art. Use a work of art your child has expressed an interest in as a starting point. Pay attention to the colors, shapes, lines, and objects you see in the work of art and then make a list of things you could fit into a bottle. Here’s what I came up with!

The Lily Pond Sensory Bottle—inspired by Claude Monet’s Water Lilies
Contents: Water, blue & silver liquid watercolor, toy frogs and turtles, silk flower petals

The Purrrfectly Egyptian Sensory Bottle—inspired by works of art in Divine Felines
Contents: Water + sand + gold glitter + Egyptian-themed toys

By playing with a sensory bottle, your child is gaining experience with all kinds of “big kid” concepts—gravity, density, color mixing, viscosity, cause and effect, and so much more! But more importantly in my book, they are having fun. Play on!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs


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