Look, talk, imagine, learn, and wonder—together! During a child’s earliest years, their brain makes one million neural connections every single second. Inspired by Vroom, these Museum Moments activities provide you with the tools you need to be a brain builder—while encouraging a love of art. We’ve modified the in-gallery activities for you and your little ones, ages 5 and under, to use at home.
Look at the artworks below with your child. Click on each image to view a larger version.
Use the prompts to talk about what you see. The Brainy Background explains how the activity is helping your child grow.
How’s the Weather? (Ages 1–2)
Activity: Talk about the weather in the painting. If you could step inside it, would it feel hot, cold, wet, windy? What’s the weather like around you today?
Brainy Background: Asking your child these kinds of questions encourages your child to hold a picture of something in their mind. This is an important skill for imagination, creativity, and focus.
No Words (Ages 2–3)
Activity: Ask your child to look for the animals in the painting. Are they sitting or standing? Look at their faces. If the animals could talk, what would they say? What sounds would they make to get your attention?
Brainy Background: You can help your child learn to communicate with words and in other ways by noticing how animals communicate when they have no words. Use what your child notices to ask questions and help your child think like a scientist, applying what they observe to their own life.
Acting Out (Ages 2–3)
Activity: Strike the same pose as the figure in the painting. Ask your child to copy you.
Brainy Background: When you and your child copy each other, your child is learning to focus and make connections between what they see and what their body is doing. Being able to follow movements and focus are important skills for learning new things.
What’s Your Size? (Ages 2–3)
Activity: Take turns pointing to different shapes in the painting. Which shape is the biggest? Which one is the smallest?
Brainy Background: Playing this game helps your child focus on details. They’re learning about size and practicing to notice differences between objects that are similar, a skill needed in school and life.
Animal Game (Ages 2–3)
Activity: Choose an animal in the painting, and say, “I’m thinking of an animal.” Provide clues to help your child guess what animal you’re thinking of. Keep giving clues until your child finds the animal.
Brainy Background: Playing this game helps develop your child’s working memory, including their ability to recall names and details. It also turns waiting time into a fun learning activity.
Faces and Feelings (Ages 4–5)
Activity: Look carefully at the person’s face. Try copying their facial expression. What do you think this person is feeling? Take turns making faces and copying different expressions.
Brainy Background: When you talk about your own and others’ feelings, you’re helping your child learn to take a new perspective, which is helpful in getting along with others.
Seeing with Your Ears (Ages 4–5)
Activity: Invite your child to close their eyes and listen to you describe an object in a painting. To describe the melon slice in this work, you can say: “It’s a piece of fruit that’s pink inside with seeds. What am I seeing?” Give them a turn—close your eyes and let them describe something they see.
Brainy Background: Your child is using focus by closing their eyes and listening to your description. In order to come up with an educated guess, they must use what they already know about objects and connect words to those ideas. Encouraging them to ask questions builds their critical-thinking skills.
Where in the World? (Ages 4–5)
Activity: Pretend you are standing inside the painting. Ask your child questions about where you are, and what you might see and hear. “Are we in a forest? The mountains? A city?” “What kinds of animals might we see?” “Do you think it is loud or quiet here?”
Brainy Background: Pretending is important to learning—it helps your child imagine, be creative, and take the perspective of others. And it’s fun!
Museum Moments are sponsored by Four-Four Foundation and an anonymous donor.