This blog post was updated on October 30, 2018.
When I was young, I was incredibly into art (this has not changed as I’ve gotten older). My parents did a wonderful job of helping me have meaningful artistic experiences when we traveled, which taught me how to incorporate art not only into my travels, but also into my everyday life. Here are some suggestions for help your young art lovers get the most out of their travel experiences.
1) Art journaling. Suggest that your child keep an art journal while traveling. He or she could sketch, write poetry, make collages, create watercolor paintings— whatever medium your budding artist prefers for recording travel perceptions and memories.
2) Museum visits. Depending on your young art lover’s age, he or she could research a museum or a particular piece of art before you leave on the trip and “teach” the family about it when you go to see it on the trip. Older kids could organize a whole art outing day, incorporating one or two museum visits, a lunch, a visit to a public sculpture, etc.
3) Public art. Help your young art lover notice and appreciate public art. Many places in the U.S. and abroad have sculptures located throughout the city and/or collected in sculpture gardens. Take the time to enjoy these unique art pieces.
4) Art fairs. Many cities host outdoor art fairs and/or art crawls (where artists open their studios) in the summer months. Check online to see if such an even will be taking place during your trip. This is a great way to meet artists in an informal context and get a feel for the art scene in a particular place.
5) Studio visits. Many artists open their studios to visitors, and are especially happy to welcome young art aficionados. If you know people who live in the place where you will be visiting, ask them if they have any artist contacts who might be willing to provide this sort of experience for your family. Help your young art lover prepare questions to ask the artist and prime him/her on studio etiquette (don’t touch things unless you’re invited to, thank the artist for his/her time, etc.)
6) Meaningful reflection. Invite your young art lover to really think about the art he/she experienced during the trip. What does it reveal about the place you visited? What things did she/he learn by looking at the art/interacting with the artist? Etc.
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