17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Art Gallery

If you are getting spring rain or you live somewhere where spring hasn't figured out how to arrive yet...try this to entertain your kids inside. I promise, it's so fun!

Play Art Gallery.

Now, for some of you just the name will get your creativity going and that's all you need. But I'll explain how we played Art Gallery, to get the rest of you started.

To prepare

--I cut out some "frames" from old files (you could also use cardstock or construction paper). Make your center cut-out about the size of a half-sheet of paper. I drew some swirls and curls on some frames and drew straight lines on others to make them look fancy. Then I taped them along a couple walls, from the top only, at kid height.

--Next, I wheeled in my son's desk, which is really a printer stand. This was our cashier's table. I stocked it with an egg carton and some change. (The egg carton seemed fun for sorting-- but any sort of bowl will do.)

--Then I set up the table with a few art stations: Markers/crayons, chalk (with black paper), and mosaics. (To do mosaics I cut lots small squares of various colors of construction paper and throw them in a bowl. Then I draw simple geometric designs or pictures--house, flower, boat, etc, for the kids to glue the squares in.) I kept most of my art paper 1/2 sheets. Some mosiacs were full size but the acutal picture still fit within the frame's opening.

Next came the kids.

I had them all be artists first. As soon as the art was made I taped it up on the wall under (showing through) a frame. But not taped TO the frame (this makes it easier to take off and sell). When we had enough finished pieces the kids became the sellers, buyers, cashiers, and some remained as artists.

I was actually the seller first (to help them get the hang of it). I showed the buyer around the living room and tell them about each piece of art. I made up ridiculous names of artists, funny explanations of each piece, and exorbitant prices.

Then the buyer would choose their favorites and buy them from the cashier. (You'd almost think the cashier got the shaft and didn't get to do much--but I think having the desk and the change was a favorite job!)

We continued playing, switching jobs as we felt like it, constantly trying to keep enough art in the frames, and having a great time.

Here's why I loved playing Art Gallery and why I'm posting about it.

--First, it's a great activity to get involved with your kid's imaginative play--I didn't find it boring after 5 minutes.

--Second, it can be simplified or made more elaborate based upon your kid's ages--I think you can get a great variety of ages involved in the game (ours ranged from 2 to 7).

--Third, you can get a bunch of kids involved, or keep it to just a couple. We had my three kids plus two neighbor girls over.

--Fourth, it's fun for boys or girls.

This game may go a lot like office, restaurant, school, and so on. I had just never thought of art gallery! In fact, I owe the inspiration to my 5 year old niece. While I was IMing my sister, she said that she had to go because her daughter wanted her to play art gallery. I don't know exactly how they played, but we had fun running with the idea.


  • Katie - You always have such great, creative ideas. I can just imagine how much fun you have at your house. Thanks for posting. I love ideas like these.
    posted by Blogger beth at 4/07/2008 02:23:00 PM  

  • WOW! You are such a great mom...thanks for sharing this cool idea.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 4/07/2008 04:55:00 PM  

  • Love this idea. And I am in need for stuff like this to pass the time since I am still "with child" and the Princess is still on Spring Break.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/07/2008 05:02:00 PM  

  • I absolutely love this. Thank you for sharing all the details--I couldn't have come up with that all on my own and I love your ideas.
    posted by Blogger Linz at 4/07/2008 05:22:00 PM  

  • You really are a fun mom!!! I was patting myself on the back because I broke out the playdough and rolled snakes with my kids for an hour today...this is a whole new level!
    posted by Blogger Jen at 4/07/2008 06:06:00 PM  

  • Thanks you guys.

    Jen, ha!, don't worry, I've patted myself on the back for playdough too. :)
    posted by Blogger Katie at 4/07/2008 06:37:00 PM  

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