Friday, March 13, 2009

Art is All Around Us!

Hi everybody! March at Please Touch Museum is Art All Around Us month, when kids get to learn all about art. And what better place to experience art than in the museum’s Program Room.

I went to the Program Room today and there were all kinds of fun activities that let you create your own art projects. My favorite activity was “Learning through Light.” There was a projector that lit up the wall and you could use different shapes and colors to make the light change, or even make shadow puppets. I learned how to make a snail! There was also a table where you could make any art project you could think of, using all kinds of art supplies, from paper and markers, to buttons and thread. There were lots of kids making so many beautiful creations.

After I finished my project, I sat down for a little while to play with some of the puzzles and read some of the amazing books about art. I saw pictures of some pretty famous paintings that I had never seen before.

After I left the Program Room, I talked to my friend Mark Dilks, Arts Coordinator at Please Touch Museum, about some of the activities.

Pinky: Why is art important for kids?
Mark: Art encourages individual creativity and freedom of expression, as well as helping to develop problem solving skills. Experimenting with a variety of materials to see how they fit together helps to develop math and science skills such as basic geometry. At Please Touch, we encourage process-oriented art over product-oriented art (i.e. drawing your own picture on paper over coloring sheets) because we believe every child’s individual direction and expression can create their own exciting outcome.

Pinky: Why did you pick these activities for Art All Around Us month?
Mark: The open-ended art play table is an area where visitors can be as creative as they like with a wide variety of art supplies. It is based on the Montessori idea of having the “artist” help themselves to the materials, as well as cleaning them up. This concept allows them to choose whatever materials they like and to use them in interesting ways. We’re also doing the “Learning through Light” activity, which enables our visitor to us the space in the Program Room in a new way. This incorporates the Reggio Meilia philosophy that children learn through manipulating the space they are in, not merely the objects in that space. Light is an interesting way to do this. Light is also a great way to teach color theory and basic concepts of science and observation.

Pinky: Are there any art projects families can do at home together?
Mark: A great way to make art at home is to reuse things like cardboard, Styrofoam, and other discarded materials. All of these materials can have new uses in art projects. This practice encourages reusing and recycling in addition to allowing your children to see objects in new ways. They can see how different objects can be recombined to make new objects.

Thanks Mark! I can’t wait to go home and look for interesting things to reuse, reshape and recycle for my art projects.

Visit for helpful tips on art supplies for your child!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pinky! Great post! Art is definitely all about creative expression. At Austin Children's Museum in Texas, we are making some really neat art projects too. Come check out our blog at!


We're all about learning through play.

Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.