Archive for the 'Family Fun' Category



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!

mary-bowser

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.

mary-bowser-book

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

sensory-bottle-1

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?

sensory-bottle-2

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.

sensory-bottle-contents

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

Friday Photos: Mural Mania

In celebration of Nicolas Party’s installation along the Museum’s concourse, our September Home-school and Family Workshops focused on the world of murals. After walking through the “magical underwater forest” as one participant called it, families had an interactive lesson about different forms of public art, including murals, installations, and graffiti. They were challenged with a matching game of pairing local Dallas murals to their locations, followed by a riveting game of Jeo-Party, a spin on the classic game show featuring questions about the artist.

After taking another closer look at Pathway, we came back to the studio to create our own larger than life masterpieces. Using vibrant chalk pastels on large sheets of butcher paper, the young artists had a blast creating their murals!

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Our next Family Workshop is on Saturday, October 8 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. You can register and find out more information here!

Grace Diepenbrock
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

How to Own Your Face

This year is the 25th anniversary of the DMA’s literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live! We celebrated this great achievement with a fantastic lineup of award-winning authors and performers earlier this spring, and then decided to extend the celebrating this fall. We’ve scheduled six programs that strongly connect to the DMA’s collection, and one of them is a wonderful book about celebrating our differences.

Robert Hoge

The Australian author Robert Hoge was born with a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. The surgeons were able to remove the tumor and built a new nose using one of his toes! He survived, but his face would never be the same.

This didn’t stop Robert, though. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. Then he had to come face to face with the biggest decision of his life: undergo a dangerous surgical procedure that might make him look less different but potentially make him blind, or live with his “ugly” face forever.

His memoir Ugly, designed for middle grade readers and older, offers a powerful message about being yourself, shaking off bullying, and accepting your appearance–themes we can all embrace!

“We all have scars only we can own.” —Robert Hoge

Hoge

Robert Hoge: Own Your Face

Sunday, September 11, 3:00 p.m.
Promotional Partner: TEDxSMU

Buy Tickets

 
 
 
At 2:00 p.m.: Join us for a pre-event tour of art that explores self-image and ideas of beauty, including Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait Very Ugly. Tour sign-up will begin 30 minutes prior to the start time. Tour space is limited and is first-come, first-served.

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Beyond the Coloring Book

Coloring Book 1

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and the perfect relaxing activity to take a break from your spreadsheets at work, the laundry piling up at home, or that never-ending to do list. If you don’t really want to share your coloring books with the kids, here are some creative, easy ideas that go beyond the coloring book.

Coloring Book 3

Graph Paper Drawing
A couple years ago, one of the few things on my nephew’s Christmas wish list was graph paper. He was genuinely thrilled to open up a gridded white board, and got to work right away creating all kinds of designs. If a blank piece of paper is too overwhelming for your child, graph paper drawing is a great alternative. The preprinted lines and shapes provide just enough structure while still allowing for open-ended expression. You can download and print your own graph paper in all kinds of designs, from regular squares to triangles, circles, hexagons, and more, here.

Coloring Book 4

Scribble Drawings
Scribble drawings are still one of my very favorite ways to doodle. Simply scribble a line (or two or MANY) on your paper and then fill in the spaces with color for a fun abstract design. Or, step back, take a closer look at your doodle and see if any images materialize. Can you see a face? A tail? Fill in the appropriate spaces to finish out what your imagination sees in the lines.

Coloring Book 5

Back and Forth Drawings
Turn coloring time into together time by playing simple drawing games together. Tangle Art & Drawing Games for Kids has tons of creative ideas. We tried “Horizon Drawings” here in the office. I drew a wacky horizon line on a piece of paper, then handed it off to Jennifer, who turned it into these delightfully kooky characters. Can’t you just imagine the story that is happening here?

Surreal Drawings
Surreal drawings are another imagination-builder. Start off with an everyday object—clip pictures from recycled magazines or print images from the internet. Challenge your child to transform that object into something new by drawing. Characters are an easy place to begin—a carrot turns into a basketball player, an egg beater becomes a charming friend.

Coloring Book 8

Pokemon Go Unplugged
When it’s time to unplug and disconnect, your kids can still burn off their Pokemon Go steam with a little old-fashioned drawing. Have everyone in the family invent and draw their own Pokemon Go character and hide it somewhere in the house or yard. Call “ready, set, go” and race to see who can collect the most characters.

For more great drawing ideas, check out these links:

Fun drawing games at The Artful Parent

All kinds of drawing prompts from TinkerLab

Drawing game using household objects from Craftwhack

And ten more drawing games from Craftwhack

Happy coloring!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs


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