If you are lucky enough to venture through the galleries at the end of the next few months, you may be greeted by the sound of toddlers practicing their bird calls as they investigate Owen Gromme’s Early Nester, or babies twirling scarves to our hello song before settling in for a story.
Our youngest artists are finally back in the Museum through programming like Art Babies and Creative Explorers, and we couldn’t be happier! While these free programs aren’t new to the Museum, the process of reimagining them has helped breathe new life into them and welcomed new participants who get to enjoy the experiences they offer.
On the last Tuesday of each month from 9 to 10am, Art Babies takes over the lower level of the Museum in Art Park. Children, ages 0 – 2, and accompanying adults, explore our current exhibitions through sensory play and art making in a relaxed setting allowing folks to come and go as they please. This month, we started our exploration of Soñadora: Yuyi Morales with her picture book, Niño Wrestles the World. We painted papel picado shapes, explored piñata sensory bins, and even made our very own luchador masks! For a special treat, we wandered up to the puppet theater to enjoy story time using puppets made by the Museum’s amazing curator of exhibitions, Shannon Pueschner.
While Art Babies keeps the Museum on its toes on Tuesdays, Creative Explores allows older children to have a chance at expressing their artistic side! Held on the last Friday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30am, this free program includes more hands-on art making opportunities, and more time in the galleries. During Soñadora: Yuyi Morales we are exploring some of our favorite children’s book authors including Jan Brett, Yuyi Morales, and Jerry Pinkney. This month, we kicked off the celebration with The Mitten by Jan Brett. While it may not be a winter wonderland outside, we made it work! We explored snowflakes and winter animal projects featuring some of the animals from the book. Then we got brave and super messy by allowing the toddlers to make their own Gelli printed mittens. Seeing them explore printmaking was the highlight of the program so far!
As we approach the new year, many new opportunities for art making and exploration for our youngest artists will continue to appear on the Museum’s calendar. Don’t miss your opportunity to dive into these hands-on experiences, because there are plenty for everyone! Register online at lywam.org/learn-do/program-registration or call 715.845.7010.