Activities for children of all ages to look at, talk about and make their own discoveries about art.
As you explore this resource please keep in mind that there are no wrong answers, or that there is only one way to do the activities - they are all about looking, chatting, making, and exploring art, wherever you are and whatever you have around you.
You know your child best
Some activities may suit you better than others so pick and choose!
We’ve aimed the language at age 7+, but activities can be suitable for any age, just adapt to suit your child.
How long your child engages with the activity will vary. Depending on their age, the way they’re feeling that day, the immediate appeal of any activity... some will work better than others. Don't worry if they're not feeling it - try again another time, or move on to something else. You might be surprised by what they're interested in.
We hope these suggestions will allow your child to develop their creativity by encouraging their curiosity, open mindedness, problem-solving and imagination.
You don’t need to know anything about art to have fun with it. Encourage your child to share their ideas, observations and opinions. There’s never a wrong answer about art. And it's ok not to know all the answers. Nobody does. Where would the fun be in that?
If something worked, do it again!
Let your child lead
You don’t need to have all the ideas. In fact, if you really want your child to be creative, encouraging them to come up with their own ideas is a brilliant way to help your child be creative and explore their imagination.
Try to enjoy, together
Take a deep breath, you’re doing a brilliant job. Let us know if we can support you - we can't wait to see you in the gallery, as soon as we can.
Addison Crescent Study (London Series)
This artwork was created by an entire family - Mark Boyle and Joan Hills, and their children Sebastian and Georgia Boyle. The artwork is an exact copy of part of a street in London. The Boyle Family threw a dart onto a map in order to decide which piece of the land they were going to reproduce!
The Boyle Family used lots of different things to create this piece of art - they wanted to make it EXACTLY the same as the piece of land they found on a map. It looks like the artists have removed part of the roadside and stuck it onto a wall. Isn't it amazing to think that anything you can see, even a kerbside, can become a work of art!
It is a HUGE artwork which draws our attention to the shapes, textures and patterns we pass by daily without really noticing.
Activity one: recreate the ordinary to make it extraordinary!
Find something in the world around you that you'd like to turn into a work of art. It could be something in your house, in your garden, or in the street just outside. You could do a drawing of your carpet, a photograph of a garden gnome, a sculpture of a traffic cone... anything!
If you have a sheet of card or paper, you could start by making a viewfinder to help. It's really easy to create a viewfinder - just fold your paper or card in two and cut a small square in the middle.
Try drawing, collaging or photographing your view – or use anything that you have in the house. We looked at a traffic cone through our viewfinder, and then recreated it out of a blanket, shower mat, a cereal box, and a red chili!
Activity two: see, think, wonder
Art can inspire us in lots of different ways. This activity doesn't require you to do or make anything, just to think and to talk, using these questions as prompts to help you see the world afresh. You could just think about these questions to yourself, write down your thoughts, or have a conversation with others.
Take a closer look at this week's artwork by the Boyle Family...
Do you like it or not? Do you think it is a good artwork? Why? / Why not?
The Boyle Family make art that looks like an exact copy of something in the real world. They recreate every tiny detail. They talk about using their hands and using their heads to make art. What do you think is most important when you make art? Your hands, your head or something else?
Some artists make art about real places, people and things, while other artists use their imagination to invent new worlds, people and things, to share ideas or feelings, or to tell stories. Some people like to escape from reality when they look at art. Do you think art has to look real?
Do you think the Boyle family argue when they work together? What might they disagree about? Make a list. Are your family good at working together?
Activity three: a mid-week challenge for all the family
The Boyle Family threw darts into a map to work out what part of the world to recreate. We're not going to ask you to throw darts, but you can use Google Maps to discover inspirational views! If you need direction, here’s a link to part of the grounds around the Gallery of Modern Art.
We want you to go on a virtual wander in Google Maps and switch to Street View to ZOOM in on any point- and get close up. Then recreate what you see using anything you have in the home- or just draw what you see.
Activity four: watch
Think about what an interview with your family might look like. How would you sit, what would you like to be asked, who would speak first?
If you have a mobile phone that records, try recording it and share it with us using #homeart.
Activity five: get to know the back of your hand!
We use our hands every day but how often do we REALLY look at them closely? Would we recognise them if we saw them on someone else?
Use anything you can find around the house to recreate the lines, lumps and bumps that you can see on your own hands - look really closely and try to capture any wrinkles and creases. Make a version of the hands of the people you live with, and see if they can recognise their own!
Especially for under 5s: X marks the spot!
The Boyle Family threw a dart on a map to inspire their amazing artwork.
We want you grown-ups to create a simplified map of somewhere such as your living room - with symbols for things like the sofa and the telly. Then, hide something in this room and mark on your map where you’ve hidden it. You could hide anything - maybe a small toy, or even a treat! Once it's hidden, see if your wee one can find it using the map!
You could take it in turns to hide and find the ‘treasure’, and encourage everyone in your family to make their own map!