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#1 of 14 Old 10-27-2010, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I think this is the right place. If not, please move. My DDs have two (half) sisters. The older one is seven, eight in January. She is a smart, serious girl who wants to be an artist when she grows up. And she loves art. All kinds. DDs want to take her to the Art Institute (we're in Chicago) over Winter Break when DD1 is home. They have a kids section there where there is interactive art and miniatures and other things to do, but most of the museum is not. She has gone to the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum, but those I feel are much more interactive than the Art Institute.

DDs father gave the okay but DD1 is still unsure of if their sister would be able to handle all of the 'look but don't touch.'


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#2 of 14 Old 10-27-2010, 11:01 PM
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My DD is the same age, and wouldn't have any trouble at all handling the "look but not touch" aspect. She would enjoy a trip like that. But she was good at looking but not touching when she was 2, so she may not be a typical example of a kid her age.
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#3 of 14 Old 10-27-2010, 11:31 PM
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I don't think it would be too much for a kid that age to "look and not touch" (my dd is only just 6, and wouldn't have any problem at all). Some kids might find it less interesting than a more interactive exhibit, but it sounds like your DSD has quite a love of art and would probably really enjoy it. And it is a bonus that as well as looking at the general exhibits she can spend some time doing hands-on stuff in the kids room. I say go for it!

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#4 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 12:22 AM
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yup by 8 that urge to touch is pretty much gone.

in fact last weekend my dd went to the new wing of our art museum that just opened up and she was totally fascinated by it. she really enjoyed it very very much.

dont worry. for someone interested in it, it will be a feast for the eyes. how sweet of your dd to think of her sister that way. awwww!!!

however i would check the holiday schedule of the art institute. i know our museum has lots of activities for kids - if you have the $$$s. so if $$$s is not a problem you might be able to sign up for a one time art class, or something making or drawing class.

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#5 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 12:25 AM
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I think she would be fine.
I take my kids to art galleries all the time. Last summer (they were 11, 8, 8 and 6) we spent the better part of two days in the Cleveland Museum of Art when we were on vacation there (fabulous gallery btw).

Many of the art galleries we have been to have family programs, special tours/audio tracks, scavenger hunts etc which make the don't touch part much easier to manage and makes the whole experience fun for kids.

We also often take our drawing books and pencil crayons with us, assuming there are no gallery rules prohibiting that (and I have never come across a gallery that doesn't allow it).

I'd say go for it. The Art Institute is one of my faves and I can't wait to take my kids one day.

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#6 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 04:02 AM
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I think this kind of thing really depends on the kid. My friend's ADHD 7 year old couldn't do it. My super-serious art-loving 7 year old could and, in fact, *has*!

She sounds like my son, who loves art and wants to be an artist when he grows up. he actually did art classes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art when we were living there. He also went to the Art Institute in Chicago with my mom when he was five and it was *fine*.

I say go for it.
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#7 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post

We also often take our drawing books and pencil crayons with us, assuming there are no gallery rules prohibiting that (and I have never come across a gallery that doesn't allow it).
This is what I was going to suggest. I think she'll be fine. If she isn't, then understand that it may be best to stick with the interactive kids stuff and maybe a gallery or 2 this time. You can try a longer, more thorough visit in another year or so. She can see some highlights that she's likely to enjoy, like the Calder mobiles and a few pieces that she's likely to see in books, like the Seurat Sunday in the Park and leave while everyone is happy and interested instead of frustrated and tired.

I love the Art Institute - it's such a fantastic place.
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#8 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 08:54 PM
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I've taken my girls to art museums since they were infants. They are now 4 and 6 1/2. We tend to move through the galleries pretty fast these days but when they find something that interests them they will ask questions and really pay attention.

I've found that museums really do make an effort to keep kids interested. At the Milwaukee Art Museum they were given clipboards and colored pencils. At the Getty there is an activity for children at the end of many of the galleries. At the National Gallery of Art there was a picture scavenger hunt that my then 5yo loved. If nothing else we visit the gift shop or go outside when the urge to move gets to be too much. We've only really had problems with modern art where it's at ground level without a barrier around it.

The Art Institute has a page on their website for Planning a Family Visit.
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#9 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 10:42 PM
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If there isn't a scavenger hunt one of the things my siblings and I loved at those ages was my Mom would buy us each around 5 postcards which had artwork in the museum and we would have to find "our" pictures. It worked well to keep us all entertained. I would expect most neurotypical 7 and 8 year olds would be fine at an art museum without having to touch everything.

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#10 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 10:45 PM
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I think most kids that age can handle a museum visit without any trouble.

My dd is not quite 6, and her love of art makes it both thrilling and kind of terrifying to take her to art museums. She has such big emotional reactions to some of the art that she wants to get really close and it can be hard for her not to touch. So I find that with her, it's important that there is one adult that can stay really close with her and help her interact with the art safely while still having her experience. But I think she's an outlier in that way. And she's still quite a bit younger than the girls you're talking about.
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#11 of 14 Old 10-28-2010, 10:54 PM
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A 7-8 year old will be just fine. I've taken my 4 year old to several art museums and galleries and she loved them. At the Boston Museum of Fine Arts I just followed her lead. I've been to the MFA enough to allow myself to have no personal expectations for what I'd like to see. We had some fun conversations about the art. The MFA has tote bags to check out with activities for kids. While most of it was over her head (except the sketch book--she loved drawing the Buddhas!), there were several activities that were perfect for 8 year olds. Check to see if the museum you are going to has something like that for use throughout the whole museum. If not, bring a sketchbook and colored pencils. I've also gone to art museums on field trips with kids from 2nd-8th grade (I'm a teacher) and it's always been wonderful.
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#12 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 12:29 AM
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I've been taking my 2 high-energy, high-need boys to art museums since they were babies. I often invite their buddies to join us at the museum, and every kid I know loves coming with us (I play I Spy, plus we always look for mummies & medieval suits of armor, and find really cool famous artists like Andy Warhol or artists with the same first names as my kids or their friends, or we interpret untitled modern art). I think an 8 year old art lover would feel right at home in the Art Institute of Chicago!

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#13 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 06:55 AM
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I live in DC and I take my wild 4 yo to the Smithsonain all the time. Never had any problems with him touching stuff. I'm sure the 7 and 8 to will be fine

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#14 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 07:11 PM
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We have been taking my 4 and 7 yo to the Museum of Fine Arts for over a year. We go when its not crowded because its no fun for them to look at people's legs. We bring sketchbooks and colored pencils and cover only a few galleries each visit. They love it!
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