At Tacoma Art Museum, we believe that all students are artists, with the power to make meaning by viewing and creating works of art. Through creative expression, artists express the realities & possibilities of communities, society, and the world.
Create with Artists
We love picture books at TAM! When we’re open, we have a wonderful children’s book library in TAM Studio for families to curl up on the couch together, our monthly Second Saturday Studio & Storytime program connects stories with art-making, and we even like to tuck special books in the galleries for families to enjoy while they’re looking at art together.
During this time apart, some of our favorite children’s book authors and illustrators are inviting young artists to create alongside them. Check them out here:
Explore Art Online
Is the artist in your life needing a bit of inspiration? Check out some of our favorite online resources to keep the creativity flowing with your young artists at home.
- Google Arts & Culture: Take a virtual tour of museums around the world
- Met Kids: Activities made by, for, and with kids from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- NGA Kids: Art games for kids by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
- Tate Kids: Art games for kids by the Tate, London
- ArtGames 2.0: Art games for iPad by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems: Join children’s book illustrator Mo Willems for daily doodle sessions from his studio
- Author Read-Alouds: Active list of children’s book authors who are offering online read-aloud of their books
Art Activities for Home
When developing art activities at TAM, we like to focus on creating open-ended invitations for young artists to create. This means the process of exploring materials and making creative choices is more important than what the final product looks like. It means letting go of a bit of control and being open to the joyful discoveries that come with art-making!
Check out some of our favorite art activity sites:
- Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: https://www.carlemuseum.org/blogs/making-art
- The Artful Parent: https://artfulparent.com/
- Art Bar: https://www.artbarblog.com/
- Meri Cherry Art Studio: https://mericherry.com/
- Tinkerlab: https://tinkerlab.com/
Happy creating! Be sure to share your art with us at #InspiredByTAM. We’d love to see what you’re up to!
Mindfulness with Young People
One of my favorite parts about visiting an art museum is strolling through the galleries to find a work of art I want to spend a quiet moment with. I plop down on a bench (or even the floor), and spend a few moments, just to myself, quietly looking. I listen to the sounds in the gallery. I let my shoulders drop. My breathing slows. I find a sense of calm.
During these extra stressful times and with museums and galleries temporarily closed, it’s been even harder to find these moments of peace. That’s especially true for young people who have had their routines interrupted and may be having a hard time transitioning between the different parts of the day: play time, school time, family time. Mindfulness exercises can be helpful for easing those transitions or for when little kids are feeling big emotions. Here are some of my favorite resources for exploring mindfulness with young people:
Take Your Art Ouside!
From inspirational nature walks to giant sculpture construction, spend some time creating art in the great outdoors with these activities from some of our favorite art museum friends:
- ARTfull at Home Creativity Prompts, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
- Explore Outside, Peabody Essex Museum
- Nature Mandalas, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
How to Talk About Art with Your Kids
- How to Talk to Kids About Art by Casey Lesser
- Image of the Day by Visual Thinking Strategies
- Name That Art Game Show, Google Arts and Culture
DIY Paint at Home
Here at TAM, we love getting messy with paint. And while we enjoy using high-quality watercolors, acrylics, and temperas from our favorite art supply stores, sometimes we like to start the creating with the paint itself.
Check out some of our favorite DIY paint recipes below, from pudding paint for the littlest artists to egg tempera like the old masters:
- DIY Art Materials: 3 Easy Homemade Paints for Kids by Dabble Babble Do
- DIY Watercolor by Laguna Art Museum
- Microwave Puffy Paint by Housing a Forest
- How to Make Egg Tempera Paint by Summer Art Adventures from the Walters Art Museum
Poetry + Art
April is National Poetry Month, and here at TAM we think art and poetry go together like peanut butter and jelly (just not in the galleries, too sticky).
Here are a few of our favorite poetry and art resources to get you writing:
- Poetry Lesson Plans and Activities from the Getty Museum
- Poetry Pairings: Art Edition
- Programs, Prompts, and Activities from Write253
And if you’re feeling especially inspired, submit a poem, thoughts, or musings, about a painting from Painting Deconstructed for a chance to be featured online or in the galleries.