Visit the National Gallery
Almost every weekend we venture into London and love exploring museums, often wondering around until the announcement that "this place will be closing in 15 minutes". Lovely son has finally reached an age where he is interested in things and doesn't just charge through the museum halls like a mad bull.
So another Sunday and another trip to London. And after spending two days in a row recently at the Science Museum we decided to go and look at some art. So the National Gallery was an easy choice although next time we plan to visit Tate Britain.
So when parents tell me that their kids would not have the attention and patience to wonder through the National Gallery halls I disagree. And here a few of my tips for your first visit. And trust me you won't be able so see even one tenth on your first visit. you need to be back again and again and again.
Let them run around and explore.
Let them lead you.
Stop in front of a famous painting and read out the name of the artist.
Ask if they've heard the name before.
Ask them to describe what they see.
Talk about the colours they see.
Join a kids activity.
Make a sketch.
Follow a trail through the museum.
Ask which one is the biggest painting.
Go to see Whistlejacket and ask them what is different about this paining.
Stand in the Rotonda room and look up to admire the beautiful architecture and gold leaf details.
Look for the dent in the floor in Hall 29. Ask why is it there.
Find out what happened to the paintings during the bombings of WWII. Where were they taken?
Look for the only painting that is not rectangular. Find out what style it is.
Use your own words to explain still life. Landscape. Portrait.
Look at your kids faces when they see "Two followers of Cadmus devoured by a Dragon" by Cornelius von Harlem.
Find "Saint George and the Dragon" by Uccello and tell them the story of Saint George.
Search for the "Sunflowers".
See if you can spot a tiger. Think Henry Rousseau.
And if you can't escape without getting something from the gift shop than opt for an art book. Or just a book. Any book.
Yes it is as simple as that. Please do go and explore London. It's an incredible city, an amazing place to be raising kids. Let them leave their mark.
Have a great Monday!