Going to the gallery (with children)

TIPS and points of guidance to help you when taking your child to an art gallery.


  • Check out the gallery’s web site and have a good look at their collection. Also check to see if they have any special children’s activities planned.
  • Tell your child about the proposed visit and ask them if there are any particular types of painting they would like to see. You could use the chapter themes from the book to help you.
  • With the help of your child select no more than 4 paintings to look at during your visit. If the whole collection is not available on line, don’t worry you can find out where these type of paintings are when you get to the gallery.
  • Take some sketching materials with you as your children will enjoy recording some of the paintings.

When you arrive.

  • Go to the information desk to pick up a floor plan to locate the paintings you wish to see.
  • When you have located your first painting don’t bombard your child with questions give them time to look and reflect on the painting.
  • Sit down to let them sketch that part of the painting which appeals to them the most or even all of it.

Questions you might like to ask.      

These are just some suggestions and not every question is going to be appropriate for every painting.

  • What is the size of the painting and what is it’s shape
  • Are there any clues as to its age
  • What are the colours like and how have they been used
  • What type of paint has been used and how has it been applied.
  • Are there any interesting shapes or patterns that you can see within the painting.
  • Does the painting tell a story
  • Is there anything strange or unusual about the painting
  • What feelings does the painting arouse in you and how does the artist manage to convey these feelings.
  • If you had to paint a picture on this subject how would you choose to depict it.

Time to go

  • Don’t be tempted to spend longer than an hour looking at the paintings. Leave your child wanting more so that they will be excited  at the prospect of a return visit.
  • Before you leave pay a visit to the gallery shop to purchase postcards of the paintings which you saw.

When you get home

  • When you get home suggest to your child that they might like to display their sketches alongside the postcards as a reminder of their visit.

See if you can help your child to come up with some of their own art activities inspired from the paintings they have seen on their vi


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