Online arts for kids: Museums, arts organizations bring the experience home

Arts organizations bring the experience home to kids

Lights are out at theaters and museums around the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. But arts organizations are finding ways to stay connected, even with the youngest art lovers.

"It's really nice; it's really, really a godsend," said New Yorker Erica Mata. Now she and her eight-year-old son, Eric, look forward to daily visits to Lincoln Center … the website, that is. Lincoln Center at Home offers free children's classes, with each day covering a different topic.

"One day it's puppetry, and then it's songwriting, and dance," said Mata. "That was more like a hip hop dance. I have never been able to afford hip hop class, but we had it today, and he was like, 'Yay!'"

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Watching an art lesson via Lincoln Center at Home. CBS News

Lincoln Center isn't alone. From Tate's website, where kids can learn to make cutouts like Matisse, to the Museum of Modern Art's kid-friendly audio tours, arts resources are populating the Internet for homebound children.

It's all music to the ears of Henry Timms, president of Lincoln Center. "We are all feeling anxious right now," he said. "We are all feeling fearful. We are stuck behind walls often with kids in particular. We have a generation of kids who this is going to be part of their childhood, this story, this coronavirus period. The more we can do to provide moments of joy and connection to them, to protect them from the coronavirus – not just the virus but the anxiety around the virus – if Lincoln Center can play a small role in that, I think we will be tremendously proud to do so."

And as Mata can attest, it's not so bad for parents, either.

"Sunday Morning" producer Sara Kugel asked, "Your son gets to learn and explore the arts, and mom gets an hour to herself?"

"Yes! I'm trying to catch up," Mata replied. "Even if we are staying in the same kitchen, I can see that he's safe. It's really peace of mind."


More arts resources for kids 

Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classroom on Facebook Live
A daily dose of creativity from some of world's best artists and educators to help families with children explore a variety of art forms.  Every weekday at 2:00 pm ET.  (Check schedule here.)

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A 1554 woodcut by Pedro de Medina.  Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

#ColorOurCollections
Who need coloring books when you have "Color Our Collections"? Dozens of museums and libraries across the U.S. and Canada are making available downloadable PDF pages of etchings, prints, line drawings and other works from their collections (such as the sun from a 1554 book, "L'arte del navegar"). 

Tate Kids
Free art games and activities, quizzes, and lessons about famous artists, from Degas and Dali to Hockney and Warhol.

MoMA Kids
Audio tours for kids. 

Children's Museum of Manhattan: "CMOM at Home"
Daily videos, sing-a-longs and games from the educator at New York's Children's Museum of Manhattan.  They even offer a recipe for magical surprise slime.

LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems! Episode 07 by The Kennedy Center on YouTube

"Lunch Doodles" with Mo Willems
Children's book author-illustrator Mo Willems, a Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, invites you into his studio each day to explore ways of writing and making art together. Kennedy Center@Home also offers free videos of live and on-demand performances, with new releases daily.

The Louvre: "Learning About Art"
The Parisian museum's website features interactive activities include: "A Closer Look," allowing students to magnify works of art; "The Elements of Art," which explores topics such as composition and perspective; and "Tales of the Museum," a playful exploration of the Louvre's history. 

Boca Raton Museum of Art
Follow the Florida museum via #BocaMuseumatHome for updates on their free online activities – online art lessons and activities for all ages – on Facebook and Instagram

Frist Art Museum: FristKids
Nashville's Frist Art Museum's website offers FristKids, with interactive activities and videos. 

Speed Art Museum: "Speed Online"
The Louisville museum's "Art Sparks" offers instructional videos and ideas for younger kids, such as creating abstract paintings and geometric prints. 

Walters Art Museum
The Baltimore museum offers a virtual classroom with lessons plans for a variety of art topics.

National Gallery of Art
The NGA Kids Art Zone app for iPad contains interactive activities inspired by works in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, plus a sketchbook for freehand drawing, and a personal exhibition space.

         
Story produced by Sara Kugel and Roman Feeser. 

        
See also: 

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.