Common misconception – You do not have to be Jewish to appreciate the revolving installations at this Upper East Side Museum. Saturdays are FREE for everyone and kids under 18 get in FREE all other days of the week. Our friends at The Jewish Museum have put together some great ideas and facts for the wee ones when exploring beyond the playground and usual playspaces. NYC is abundant with culture, just there for the taking, don’t miss out! (Psst, BFC reader discount on membership below, so read on!)
From The Jewish Museum’s Education Department – written by Nelly Silagy Benedek, Director of Education; Rachel Katz Levine, Senior Manager of Family Programs; and Rachael Abrams, Senior Coordinator of Studio Programs.
Why is culture important for early learners?
Having cultural experiences at a young age supports the development of critical learning skills in fun and engaging ways. The Jewish Museum’s family programs encourage young children to look closely, describe, move, and think in response to original works of art through gallery and studio art experiences. Similarly, our family concerts inspire children to listen actively and express themselves by singing and dancing—all this in a friendly, collaborative environment. Through their participation in gallery conversations, performances, and hands-on activities, children express themselves creatively. They also learn how to share their experiences with others.
Studio art is an important component of our early childhood programming. Families create original works of art inspired by their experiences and by the works of art they encounter in the Museum’s exhibitions. Our studio art programs and projects emphasize the importance of using the imagination, articulating objectives, experimenting with different materials, developing original ideas, making thoughtful choices, learning from mistakes, and expressing different points of view.
Family programs at museums offer enriching artistic and cultural experiences for multi-generational audiences in an environment where families can learn together. Furthermore, children who begin coming to museums at a young age are more likely to feel comfortable in museums and other cultural institutions and are more likely to seek out similar experiences throughout their lives. We hope that visiting museums at a young age is a first step to fostering a life-long passion for the arts.
How can my children and I better engage with art as a family?
• Follow your child’s lead. What sparks his or her interest?
• Look closely. Describe what you notice in a work of art. Explore the colors, shapes, textures, and materials that you see. Discuss what is happening in a scene.
• Take your time. Give your kids time to make close observations.
• Choose a theme. Plan your museum visit around an idea or topic, such as people, place, nature, color, shape or materials. Hunt for specific images or objects in the galleries. Discuss the artwork by asking questions related to your theme. For example: Find a work of art that involves something from nature such as an animal, tree or plant. Have you ever seen this animal or plant before? Where? How is this work of art similar or different from the real animal or plant?
• Ask open-ended questions, such as: What do you think is interesting about this work of art? What do you think is happening in this scene? Does this remind you of anything?
The Jewish Museum is pleased to offer your readers a discount on family memberships. Normally a Jewish Museum family membership is $135, but we can provide a special rate of $100 just for your readers who join by December 31, 2014. Readers can use the discount code BELFAM and redeem the offer by:
- Emailing the membership desk at JMMembership@thejm.org
- Call the membership hotline at 212.660.1519
- Visiting the membership desk at the Jewish Museum and mentioning the code or bringing in the blog entry
Further information about membership at the Jewish Museum and benefits can found at http://thejewishmuseum.org/support#memberships by looking at the section headed “Family $135.”