gallery games: which artwork is?

Before my TinkerLab days I oversaw school programs at a contemporary art museum where I trained docents, created curriculum guides, and gave tours to kids of all ages. 

To make things more engaging for children, because let’s be real, kids get antsy in galleries, we played around with a variety of fun strategies that helped children think more creatively about art. A few months ago I created a version of this game for a group of art museum interns. After sharing a peek of it on Instagram, I heard from many of you that you’d like to try this with your kids or students. And so, voila, it’s finally here and I hope you’ll enjoy it. 

The process is pretty simple and the goal is to help children make choices while developing their reasoning skills. The benefit for you is that you get a front row seat into your child or student’s mind, which is a pretty fascinating place to hang out.

Gather your Supplies

  • Which Artwork is…? 6-page printable (download below)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil/s
  • Clipboard/s
gallery games: which artwork is?

When you visit an art gallery, it can be so much fun to have personal conversations with the art. The labels share a perspective on an artwork’s story or meaning, and it’s our job to look deeper, ask our own questions, and make connections to the world around us.

Play this game in any gallery that holds a variety of pieces. As you play the game, look around at all the pieces and choose the one that you think best fits the description on the page: most beautiful, expensive, gift-worthy, or confusing.

After you play the game once or twice, you may like to come up with your own categories such as which one you’d like to hang in your bedroom, which is your least favorite, which one was the most difficult to make, or which one could have been made the fastest.

You can also cut out the cards at the end of this packet. Bring them with you and as you’re making your choices and place them in front of the work you’ve chosen. If you have a group, make copies for everyone. 

This gallery game is designed for children ages 5 and up. Younger children will need more assistance with reading the prompts and drawing or writing their responses.

Most museums will allow pencils in the galleries. Please check with the gallery or museum staff ahead of time to confirm their policies for writing tools and other interactive games.

Get the free guide here

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