Getting your child involved with artistic pursuits at an early age has a number of benefits. Not only can art be fun for your child, but creative outlets have been linked to many developmental skills. Artistic children typically show improved fine motor skills, as well as enhanced visual learning and language ability. The best way to introduce your kids to the arts is to engage them early on with fun-filled activities – and lucky for you, there are tons of Chicago art museums to start with!
Where to Look
The Windy City has a very strong artistic and cultural community, so there are a lot of resources available to help you plan your adventures! Here are some Chicago art museums that feature kid-friendly art exhibits:
The Art Institute Of Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago has a fantastic reputation for being kid-friendly. It offers drop-in art sessions every weekend, all throughout the year, with activities for children of all ages. Whatever the kids create they can take home with them. The Institute also offers workshops that give kids their first experience of visiting a museum, including learning about why art is important. Children under the age of 14 receive free admission, making visits for the family very affordable.
Smart Museum Of Art: Another highly respected, kid-friendly art museum is the Smart Museum of Art. Like the Art Institute of Chicago, it offers a number of free family events centered around art for young children. Young art critics can pick up kid-friendly gallery guides to explain the current exhibits as you explore the museum. It also sponsors a kid-friendly website called smARTkids, which provides interactive online games for kids to learn more about art and explore their creative side.
Beverly Arts Center: The Beverly Arts Center is very active in promoting all forms of art, including drama, ceramics, and painting. It has a number of free galleries open to the public that showcase rotating exhibits, but what makes it an excellent resource for children is the educational programs. It offers camp programs for children of all ages, covering subjects ranging from digital art and film to music and theater.
Kohl Children’s Museum: What better way to get your kids excited about art than by having their own artwork featured in a museum? At the Kohl Children’s Museum, you’ll find educational exhibits in a variety of subject areas, and the permanent “Adventures In Art” exhibit invites kids to create their own art for display.
DuPage Children’s Museum: The exhibits at DuPage cover more than just art, but it does have a very interesting permanent exhibit that helps tie the importance of art into other subject areas. The “Interact with Art” gallery pairs interactive exhibits with artwork to explain how and why artists make creative decisions. Each piece of art is labeled with thought-provoking questions and activities that challenge kids to find shapes, colors, and special objects within the artwork to become better acquainted with the piece.
Want more? Try scouring the children’s sections of local newspapers and magazines to see if there are seasonal or temporary exhibits coming to the Chicago area. With so many Chicago art museums to explore, your kids will have plenty of opportunities to get in touch with their artistic side!
Photo by Michael Kappel