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Your Guide to Family-Friendly SF Museums: 5 Discussion Questions for Kids

Children's Museums In San Francisco Looking to make the most out of SF museums on your next visit with your kids? Compiling a list of discussion ideas will help make the experience more fun and educational for the entire family. And don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert to encourage a lively discussion among family members. Let’s get started…

Encourage your child’s interest in SF museums and enrich the experience with the help of these five discussion-starters:

  • WHO?

Who created the exhibit or artwork? This can prompt further discussion, such as the what, why, when, and how of items on display. A great place to easily involve your child in “Who” questions is the International Children’s Art Museum. The museum features works of art from children around the world in a formal gallery setting, offering a glimpse into various artistic influences, traditions, and cultures.

  • WHAT?

There are “What’s” aplenty to keep your family engaged! “What did you learn?” “What was your favorite?” and “What do you see?” are all great examples that are capable of involving every family member, regardless of age or familiarity with fine art. Broad questions like these often prove highly entertaining as well, as perceptions vary with age. While your four-year-old may notice the shapes in a Picasso painting, for example, your pre-teen daughter may zero in on the skewed facial features, while your teenage son may get in a snort or two over a few anatomically correct parts. There are many great SF museums featuring fine arts displays geared toward children, including the de Young Museum. Here you’ll find collections of American artwork spanning several centuries, as well as free Saturday classes and programs for children.

  • WHY?

Consider why certain objects or pieces of art have been put on display at the various SF museums and what they bring to your community. For example, you could talk to your kids about the cultural significance of the Asian Art Museum, which offers storytelling tours, yoga workshops, and street performances to expose children to a variety of art.

  • WHEN?

At what point in time were the artifacts or exhibits constructed? This will also lead to further discussion as to how each exhibit relates to you and your child’s world. Many SF museums offer family activity kits and age-appropriate questionnaires to promote enhanced understanding and enjoyment of exhibits, such as the Family Guide cards offered by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, one of the few SF museums focused on modern art.

  • HOW?

How does the exhibit relate to the world, the current time period, or culture? How does it make your child feel? How could it be done differently? These types of exploratory questions increase your child’s comprehension of the museum exhibits as well as strengthen critical thinking skills.

Going the Extra Mile

If your child finds SF museums particularly inspiring, consider further encouraging their interests with the help of private lessons with a great teacher. TakeLessons teachers can help your child learn about everything from music to academic subjects to visual arts and more! Keep exploring, and help your child find his or her passion today!

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 Photo by telmo32

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