A Work of heART: Our Trip to the Museum

As Ms. Kim pulled up pictures of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on the classroom Smartboard, the children could not contain their excitement. She informed our preschoolers they were about to leave for a special field trip to the museum. Squeals exclaiming “The museum?!” ensued while the best was still yet to come! Twenty-two children from two classrooms, along with volunteers from the Nelson-Atkins, St. Teresa’s Academy and our parents/grandparents loaded up in private school buses made possible by the museum.

The educators from the museum are no strangers to our preschool; they have begun to regularly visit for art lessons in our classrooms serving four and five year olds. Wednesday, February 24th was the first time our youngsters had trampled through their exhibits however. Not to worry, it was thoroughly stressed to our kids not to touch anything! The children were divided between two groups which alternated on projects halfway through. The main focus for their trip was colors and shapes. One group sat calmly while an instructor asked them to view a sculpture in the Bloch building and tell her any shapes they saw. The kids happily pointed out circles, squares, diamonds and one shape that turned out to be a flower. Museum volunteers then passed out pencils, construction paper and pipe cleaners to make various shapes. Since our creative kiddos were put on the task, of course the materials were soon transformed to magic wands which turned a majority of our adults into frogs. The other group learned about primary and secondary colors by looking at a painting and describing what they saw in the modern piece. They were given transparent pieces of primary colors and encouraged to overlap the shapes on sticky clear film. The children noticed and named the secondary colors made as a result of the overlap and the end product had an appearance likened to stained glass.

After both groups went through the projects it was time to go. Luckily our children do not have to wait too long before they see their favorite art instructors again, they will be visiting the classrooms in a couple weeks!

Children’s TLC is deeply grateful to the Nelson-Atkins staff and their Manager of Community Programs, Ms. Christine Boutros for providing our children with the field trip opportunity and also for organizing multiple visits to the Children’s Center Campus for creative art fun. We are so pleased to witness the impact the museum has on our community as they plan field trips regularly Tuesday thru Friday for a number of their partner organizations. The museum strives to engage urban core youth and adults facing economic barriers. The Nelson-Atkins also holds classes for adults who are English Language Learners wishing to take their citizenship test. Finally, they love working with wonderful partners like us to meet the needs of children, youth and adults with disabilities.

For our field trip all projects were held in the Color Field Exhibit within the Bloch building, however trips and classes are given in all different areas of the museum and main building. We look forward to exploring our abilities and the museum more in the future!

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