If you have a love and appreciation for great art and would like to encourage this in your children as well then, believe it or not, the Queensland Art Gallery should be put high on your list of things to do with the kids. Although walking around the quiet halls with thousands of dollars worth of valuable pieces being within touching distance of little hands may seem more like the idea of a crazy man, the Art Gallery actually caters for the interests of the younger audience too and can be the perfect way to draw them into the creative world around them.
Situated at Southbank and surrounded by other great spots like The Queensland Museum, State Library and GOMA it’s both easy to get to and a fun way to spend a few hours. Like the other three neighbouring attractions entry is free and it’s a day out that will please both the young and old audience who go there.
The truth is, art speaks to everyone and the emotion or message one person takes from a piece can be quite different from another – and that is what is beautiful about it. It speaks to you on a personal level and for children, it is no different. They will pick out and have an interest in what stands out to them and it is sometimes just as lovely to experience this with them to hear the perspective from their innocent eyes and minds as well.
What’s on for kids at the Queensland Art Gallery
There are always a number of impressive exhibitions on which you can enjoy slowly with your child or if you prefer can take in on a free guided tour. As you wander through, make sure you keep an eye out for the numerous small display cards alongside certain paintings that are titled ‘For Kids’. These are usually underneath the description card that lists the artist with some information about them and the artwork. The kid’s card usually tells them information in a simpler term and asks them questions about the art. This is a good way to get them talking about the artwork and also prompts them to take in and look at certain things in it and why they may be there.
Toddler Tuesdays at the Queensland Art Gallery
Every Tuesday the Art Gallery hosts Toddler Tuesday which is dedicated to children aged 18 months – 4 years and is created to help them engage with one focus work from the Gallery’s collection. The program changes its main focus every 8 weeks and bookings for the 45-minute sessions are essential. Due to the popularity of the class parents are only allowed to book in one session per 8-week block so it’s good to get in early and do so in advance.
Incorporating specially designed games, storytelling and crafting activities the children, along with their parents, also have a small guided tour (carrying their little cushions along for comfortable seating) to different artwork pieces within the gallery – usually ones they have already discussed in their earlier activity. This is a great introduction for toddlers and one they love to repeat whenever possible.
Also be sure to check out the QAC / GOMA initiative The Children’s Art Centre which is situated at GOMA. With exhibitions and programs that run across both galleries at different times, the actual centre at GOMA is always running an activity for children based around a current exhibition.
Once you have wandered through the gallery you can grab some lunch at the café which has a kids menu as well or alternatively head over to Southbank for the dip in the pools and a picnic. If you travel in by ferry, take in the gallery and then head on for a picnic it will mean a full day of adventure, fun and culture for you and your little one. What is not perfect about that!