Getting Creative at the Museum

stick rock flower

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We are so lucky to have, a relatively short drive from home, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This place is not something you’d expect in a place that’s still sometimes thought of as the middle of nowhere, but it’s great to be able to see amazing art (we have “Rosie the Riveter” and the Charles Willson Peale George Washington) a short drive from home.

They also have great kids’ programs, which we took advantage of during spring break.

The girl had been to the museum once before for what they call a “preschool playdate,” a day of fun that involves music, outdoor activities and crafts. It was great fun and she’d been asking to go back. Luckily they had some fun stuff planned for the week of spring break, and though it wasn’t quite what she expected (their “playground” was all playing with art, not a literal playground) it was still a lot of fun, and the ideas are things you could do at home with a little work, too.

Big Painting

stick painting
The girl said she was swirling her colors.

The thing I thought was the coolest that you could easily do at home was painting with a paintbrush attached to a long stick (they used bamboo).

Just tape or tie a paintbrush to a long stick and use watercolor or other paints to paint on paper taped to cardboard on the floor (the tarp underneath was a great idea).

Sculpting with Stone

natural art
Working on her composition.

Another fun idea you could try at home is to gather a bunch of natural stuff like rocks, sticks, pinecones and leaves and use them to make a design.

The girl decided to make a flower out of rocks and shells with a stick stem. Really cute.stick rock flower

Fun with Clay

Another room had a craft involving making creatures out of clay. That’s pretty typical, but what I thought was interesting was that they only had white clay but they advised people that you could color it with a marker and knead in the color.

clay octopus
The most colorful octopus ever.

The girl just colored the top of hers (it’s an octopus), but still, that’s a handy thing to know.

Have you made art in any unexpected places or ways lately? I’d love to hear about it.

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