It might seem contradictory to some to bring toddlers to a museum to See Art where even the adults need supervision to be sure they follow all the rules. Doing Art might seem like a challenge too, when sharp scissors and messy glitter are involved. It is possible to make it work, though.
Making It Easier
When I See Art with my toddlers, I keep it short, definitely under an hour. When we get to the museum, I direct the experience as little as possible, letting them pick which rooms to see and how fast to see them. I also pick places they are more likely to enjoy. Outdoor places and sculptures are the best for us.
I have less specific expectations for museums when my girls are with me. It isn’t going to be an especially thoughtful experience when I’m watching the kids, answering their questions, refereeing battles and carrying them when they get tired. I need to make another trip another time for the grown-up art experience.
The Do Art option is easier for some kids, because it is active and more naturally a fit for their attention span and interest. You might want your kids to wear casual clothes that you don’t mind getting messy. My girls are pretty motivated by new art supplies and materials and that makes it easier.
There are the obvious rules when Seeing Art, like no touching, no running and no being too loud. It’s good to keep in mind that other people in the museum are probably more interested in the grown-up art experience. When you are Doing Art, it is kind to be aware of your kids and help them as needed, depending on their age. It helps for you to help them not waste materials and to share materials with the other kids.
Seeing Art and Doing Art isn’t crazy after all. With a little extra thought, it can be fun for everyone.