A Few Ideas for Summertime Art Enrichment

Known for their bold colors, oil pastels are my son’s favorite medium to use.

My family loves the rich art culture in Fort Worth, and especially so because it is very accessible. I grew up in suburban Chicago, and while the city offered many wonderful art museums and experiences, it always seemed like more of a production going downtown to the Art Institute. We never could add a trip there to the normal pulse of a day, between say, going to the park and running errands, like I do now with my son. When we go to a Fort Worth museum, we usually park within a minute, walk to the entrance, pop inside, and enjoy an educational, yet still simple, visit to a world-class museum. We truly appreciate all of this within our reach.

Here are some of our favorite ways to soak up some art culture in Cowtown.

Storytime | Amon Carter Museum: For children under eight, there is Storytime at the Carter every Wednesday that runs June 10 – July 29 from 10:30 a.m. to noon., making it a wonderful weekly summertime enrichment event. Or, if you have little ones in strollers or baby carriers, the Carter welcomes you to visit with them any time, and soak up some art together as you stroll through the galleries.

Kimbell Art Museum: The Kimbell offers several art events for kids such as the drop-in studio on selected Saturdays, or children’s workshops and helpful tips for touring the artwork together. In addition, for children 5 and younger, Studio A is a drop-in area filled with books and colorful, thoughtful activities, and it is one of our very favorite places in town to frequent.

The Modern: From a free drawing program led by an artist, to Wonderful Wednesdays and Art Class, Art Camp, and special programming for teens, children are sure to benefit from exposure to these modern art activities.

Van Grow: Art Studio for Kids: FWMB’s profiled Van Grow’s mom-prenuer owner Hanna Vanderstoel last fall, where we learned about all the ways the studio allows children to let their creativity flourish at its fine art classes for ages 2-17, weekly preschool programs, and school holiday and summer day camps. Check out their upcoming summer classes here. Van Grow teaches that art is not just “learning to draw,” but more about learning to express what is in your mind. What a remarkable statement to make! We’re looking forward to taking our first camp in August!

I always feel that my son seems more emotionally balanced after he has had the chance to create something. For little ones who don’t have the vocabulary they’d like, we use art as a powerful tool for expression in our house.

My favorite medium to use at home with my two year old, after learning how much he likes them at school, are Cray-Pas Oil Pastels. I can tell he appreciates making the really intense markings, one of the fantastic characteristics of the pastels. Consequently, since he started using them, he hasn’t looked at a crayon the same way. It’s common that he’ll break a crayon because he expects the output to be the same, and when it’s not, the force of him pressing will snap it in half. Crayons are still out all the time for him to doodle, and we bring out the pastels together when we want to take some time to sit, create, and let him express his mind some more.

Previous articleFive Tips to Keep Kids Calm in Storms
Next articleThe Last Summer: Celebrating Transition
Colleen, an Illinois native, and her husband, Aaron, met in 2001 during their freshman year at Texas Christian University and have been charmed by both each other, and Fort Worth, ever since. What makes her smile is the heady aroma of that first cup of morning coffee, the opportunity to be creative, consuming mid-afternoon hunks of dark chocolate, seeing her sons smile, and feeling the down-to-the-bone joy that is motherhood. Outside of what seems like daily trips to Central Market or Trader Joe's, she is likely to also be found sitting crisscross on a colorful rug at a story time, strolling the Fort Worth Zoo or at home gardening the pots on her front porch, also known as her living room. Colleen is the sponsorship director for the FWMB. She helps local and national businesses connect with the FWMB readership and benefits local mamas by providing new information on products and services important to them. Contact Colleen at [email protected].


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here