Having kids adds another dimension to museum visits. All of the sudden the simple task of contemplating your favorite masterpieces becomes an impossible mission that threatens with ending your day and possibly, your whole trip. Don’t get me wrong, my children look forward to going to the museum, but there is something about crossing its entryway that dissipates that emotion and provoques a mixture of reactions.
Kid #1 is the one who has read every single piece of information about the artwork shown at the museum and lets you know that he isn’t learning anything new at the moment. Yes, looking at the paintings or sculptures is exciting but not for more that 10 minutes. He proudly announces that he is ready to go after 15 minutes of arriving to the place. Kid #2 is another story. He isn’t interested in reading any of the descriptions of the masterpieces or the brochure from the museum. He is simply way too lazy to care about learning unless I make the whole thing a thriller. I need to tell him the more exciting details about the painters lives, how they looked like, studied, ate, and died, just to get his attention long enough to absorb something from the exhibition. Kid #3 learns by listening, she doesn’t do much reading, but sounds get her attentiveness. For her I make sure to always order an audio guide, she loves it and it guarantees that we, grown ups, are able to concentrate on the art instead of her yawning and yapping.
We visited the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam two days ago. It was quite the adventure! My little ones were excited and knew some interesting facts about the artist and his crazy life, but again we had to be very creative to keep them motivated and encouraged to walk for two hours with the less amount of complaints as possible. We conquered it and we did it! It was stressful, but at the end I felt accomplished and proud. Every visited museum represents a tool that I’m giving them to grow well rounded: global. The three Little Nómadas enjoyed Van Gogh’s masterpieces and his story of passion, art, and lunacy, and they left the place wanting more! As a reward, they got to run for as long as they wanted in the Vondelpark and ate “bitterballen” and “stroopwafels” while mommy drank coffee sitting on a bench.