Why It Is Never Too Early To Expose Kids To Art

Kids as young as two years old are able to appreciate art. Last night, I got another proof that toddlers can be moved by art the same way that we do.

My husband hung a small painting from an established local artist on a wall of my son’s bedroom while I read the bedtime stories to our son in the living room. As he stepped into his bedroom, the painting captured his attention. My son had a true awe moment. The first thing my toddler boy did after he noticed the painting was to sat in front of it to admire it further. I am so glad that I resisted the temptation when I was pregnant to buy him baby art. At the time, I had the feeling that he would outgrow his nursery quickly. He did!

As soon as he stepped into his bedroom, my son noticed the painting. Seeing it triggered an awe moment.

Kids are more able to appreciate art than some people imagine. Why should we restrain children to drawings for children? Yes, we need to read them children books but we can also show them actual art pieces. We often visit museums and art exhibits with our son. Some days he likes it, some days, a little less. Nonetheless, seeing masterpieces helps him develop an eye for art and design. Looking at the art pieces is an occasion to have a conversation with him. We can introduce notions about colors, forms, styles, history, culture, and new ideas. He can respond by telling us what he thinks when he looks at the art pieces. I enjoy discovering what grabs his attention and looking for patterns.

I also share with him my love for modern architecture. I discussed it last March (and later republished here). My teaching about good taste and design goes as far as avoiding tacky toys, books and accessories. Luckily for us, there are many alternatives these days — I used to talk about them. The important point for parents to know is that my approach seems to be working. My toddler said Wow! when he saw a beautiful modern style house on HGTV the other day. You can bet that his comment put a smile on my face.

Do you bring your young kids to the museums, other than kids’ museums or when they are sleeping?