Kids Get Crafty: Tate Britain & Sea Monsters - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Kids Get Crafty: Tate Britain & Sea Monsters

| August 31, 2011 | 21 Comments
Tate Britain

Photo by Tate Britain

Hello! Welcome back to Kids Get Crafty! I am very excited about today’s post, as it is something I have been wanting to do with my kids since they were born (Yes, that is how “sad” I am) – visit an art gallery and get crafty! Today we went to Tate Britain “quite by accident”. I was supposed to be going to the Natural History Museum with Zoe from Playing by The Book and Natasha from Natasha Worswick. For several reasons we had to cancel. I though we would go anyway, so I called another friend and she suggested The Tate, as they have an “Art Trolley” for kids during the holidays and at weekends. So off we went.

There are several reasons why this Art Trolley is fabulous – it tells you, the parent, that kids are most certainly welcome (very important), it helps you focus on some interesting artwork AND it provides you with some ideas and materials. Perfect.

The Book

Anna's Art Adventure (Picture Books)I know that there is a lot we have missed at the gallery – especially since one our favourite art books is Anna’s Art Adventure – and Tate Britain has housed Duchamp’s Urinal and some Jackson Pollock. Which we didn’t see, but we must go back and investigate, maybe book in hand!

Anna’s Art Adventure,  by Bjorn Sortland – After the success of Katie & The Mona Lisa and the fact that I want to start getting books that Red Ted (3) can grow into, I decided to get hold of Anna’s Art Adventure. When we first opened it, I though 0h-oh – a reasonable amount of text and not your usual “small child friendly” illustrations. However, we sat down to read. I decided to skim over the text and “tell” Red Ted the story as we went along. Starting off with Anna talking to a very kind and old looking Rembrandt then visiting Munch and the very sad van Gogh. On we go through painting after painting, meeting various artists along the way. Surprisingly Red Ted loved it! And asked for me to read it 4 times in a row. It DID help, that Anna had to go to the toilet and was wandering through the paintings to find “Duchamp’s Toilet”. Toilets always grab little people’s attention! Red Ted was particularly curious about Picasso’s Dora Maar Seated and Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table – where everything is “square” and you can see it from all sides at once. He also asked by Andy WooWoo (Andy Warhol) was selling soup on the beach. I was chuffed to bits. The back of the book has extra information on the artist and some of the paintings shown. It is fabulous and I hope that Red Ted will still enjoy it when he is 10! A great reference book for a school art project!

All photos taken on my iphone, so apologies for picture quality!

The Art

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sunrise with Sea Monsters circa 1845

Photo by Tate Britain

We started off with Turner’s Sunrise and Sea Monsters (well, you would, wouldn’t you?).

So.. we took our supplies. We took an activity sheet and off we went to find the painting. The children were very excited and ran off straight away. Once we found it, we spread out on the floor and got crafty. We decided to make some “Sea Monster Puppets”. It was such an incredibly positive experience.

We felt welcomed. We had space. We had time. We got to see some beautiful artwork. We felt creative.


art galleries with kids art galleries with kids

The children really got stuck in. Everyone working on their own pieces. I think “all I did” was cut out the very basic “puppet” shape (to slide a hand into afterwards) and suggested adding little sticker eyes. That was it. The kids did the rest!

art galleries with kids art galleries with kids

art galleries with kids

The Sea Monster Puppets

Aren’t their Sea Monster Puppets just brilliant???

Whilst Red Ted took his time finishing his monster, Pip Squeak and I look at the rest of the Turner paintings. She loved seeing the boats and the water.

We then had a tea and juice break and ate a picnic.

Then we went on to see Julian Trevelyan’s Layered Landscapes  in the Restless Times display. Now the picture in question, we quite liked – a fabulous collage depicting a city scape all made up of rectangles and triangles and newspaper squares. To us it also looks like a little hill in the background and a beach… not sure if that is the case.. but hey, that is what we saw today! Red Ted got stuck in again. And he suprised us all, by first arranging all his “materials”. He then went on to to stick down four pieces of tissue paper in perfect alignment. I confess to being rather proud of his neatness and sense of purpose. He knew exactly where he wanted what. He then added his own layers or circles and triangles. Once home he asked to add some glitter. So we did. Lovely. And thank you, Dear Friend, for indulging in my proud Mummy Moment.

art galleries with kids art galleries with kids

I love the finished “layered” artwork and love that I know how much thought he put into the “order of things”.

As the children were tired by now, we took them to see some installations. Red Ted loved this:

art galleries with kids art galleries with kids

And wants to make something similar out of popsicle sticks. And then we check out the recommended Cerith Wyn Evans’ mirror sculpture. Which totally fascinated them. Perfect.

Red Ted love the Art Trolley ladies so much, we had to go back and show them all his artwork. I was told to go away whilst he showed them all his “stuff”.

Why not check whether the galleries near you run similar art schemes and take your children along?

For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list. If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up:

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Category: Kids Craft

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  1. Isil says:

    Wow,I am impressed that they let kids do their own thing right in the middle of the gallery! I love their sea monsters, wonderful!Red Ted is bit young but Defne LOVES doing the Monet puzzles on Ipad. She nw knows Monet by heart :)It’s not for children and not so easy but she loves it.

  2. Isil says:

    Maggy, this is very interesting: read this bit about John Berger and the Gallery

  3. Red Ted Art says:

    Isil – thank you so much for the article – remind me not to go to the National Gallery with the kids!! The Tate is obviously much more welcoming!!!!! 😉 and will check out the Monet App too – will see if there is a version for iphones (don’t have an ipad!).

  4. It is so great to see galleries welcoming children to come and engage with the art – their way. Wolverhampton Gallery to really good too.

  5. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh that is fab that you have a great child friendly gallery near you too! :-)

  6. How fabulous that they let kids create right in the gallery like that. I’d never heard of that in formal Art Museums but it would be such an amazing experience! :)

    Love everything they created & what a fun afternoon you all had!

  7. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh yes, Bernadette, we are very very lucky indeed!! :-)

  8. Michelle says:

    That is neat — I want to go craft on the floor in front of a painting!

  9. sunnymama says:

    Looks a fun day out! I love the sea monster puppets. :)

  10. Tiffany says:

    I’m stopping by from The Blog Frog.

    This is a fantastic post! My little girl is only two and not quite ready for this, but I’m definitely filing the idea away in my head. I love taking the famous pictures and having children draw inspiration from it. Absolutely brilliant!

  11. vika gallacher says:

    thanks for sharing this maggie! would love to take bo to the tate! def, on my to do list!xxx

  12. Rachel says:

    Wow, that is so awesome that the gallery lets the kids craft! What a fun, eduational adventure for the little ones! I love the sea monsters, absolutely darling!

  13. se7en says:

    Ug I just can’t link to you this week… don’t know why but the link is not accepting. So here’s the post: Se7en make a Weather station……

    Meanwhile I love the idea of arting in the Tate Modern… Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Our Art Gallery doesn’t come even slightly close to what you have available – sob!!!

  14. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you se7en, have linked it up for you :-)

    And yes – the gallery was fab – Pip Squeak is only 21 months and Red Ted 3.5yrs.. but I guess he got more out of it than Pip! She still loved it though!

  15. That books sounds good really good!

  16. mummiafelice says:

    So cute!!! Your children are so creative for such tender ages! Thanks so much for linking up to Handmade Thursday :)

  17. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaaah thank you *BEAM* they do love it so much, it is easy with them…

  18. I love the monsters. I love that they go to do art at a museum.This looks like such fun.

  19. Alyssa says:

    Oh that’s so cool. I wonder if the art museum near me has anything for little ones. I have to check it out.
    Thanks for the post.

  20. Love that you had the kids create art in the museum!—-We’ll have to do that next time! THis is a wonderful post and thanks so much for sharing and checking out my post!

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