Ever wanted to take your toddler to an art gallery but didn’t know where or how to start? Teaching young children how to appreciate art is not as daunting as you think.
According to early childhood experts, young children are capable of aesthetic experiences. Children make aesthetic choices when they express preferences for colors, shapes, sounds, tastes and textures. Before they can even speak, their responses to the stimuli around them help to establish their personalities and styles of interacting with the world. “Aesthetic experiences can enhance cultural sensitivity, promote language development, and improve the quality of young children's own art making. For aesthetic development to occur, children need experience with beautiful environments within the school and home, exposure to fine art and opportunities to discuss art and beauty with thoughtful adults.” (Feeney & Moravcik, 1987). Cognitive specialists also share that our brains can only continue to grow and form new synaptic connections when we are exposed to new and novel experiences. Thus, thoughtfully planned visits to art museums and galleries that incorporate multisensory activities can be valuable experiences for preschoolers, a first step towards their aesthetic awareness and cognitive development.
Adult intervention is important as we play a vital role in determining what children notice about a particular work and how children feel about works of art. Too often, art experiences for young children only focus on the making of art. Children should be encouraged to talk about art objects, the artists and how the objects were made. Looking at art and encouraging conversations about it in ways that relate to children’s own experiences not only develops their visual literacy and descriptive language, but also their logical and creative thinking. Children learn quickly that visual symbols can communicate ideas.
Come awaken your toddler’s sense of wonder, as well as your own by signing up for our Ilham Kids’ Tours for Tots. More than just another art class, this gentle first encounter with fine art focuses on cultivating art appreciation and creativity in tiny tots within the context of current exhibitions at the Ilham Gallery. Perfect for locals and visitors looking to connect with contemporary Malaysian art together with their kids, our play date styled tour is designed to give 3 to 5 year olds a chance to engage with the Malaysian art scene, interpret ideas, and even create their own art works in a facilitated environment.
Fee is RM 30 per child (must be accompanied by a parent); limited to 12 children per tour.
Registration for tours begins at 10.00am / 1.30pm, actual tours start at 10.30am / 2.00pm
Michelle Lim-Chua and Li-Hsian Choo first met as colleagues at a creative agency. Their friendship grew when they both had babies and transitioned from full-time to freelance home-based careers writing parenthood and children’s picture books, amongst many other things. As mothers raising Generation Z kids, they are acutely aware of how fast content changes in the world today, and how important it is for children of this present age to learn resourcefulness, creativity and cultural adaptability.
Coming from creative backgrounds, Michelle and Li-Hsian wanted to expose their kids to art and culture at an early age, but had nowhere to go, and not a clue where to start. It was hard to find creative cultural experiences for their toddlers in Malaysia. So, the two decided to sit down and do some research to design the very programmes they wanted so badly for their children, themselves. The goal in mind was to give every child a uniquely interactive, carefully curated, hands-on experience with local art and culture, as well as to inspire little minds to look at things differently and think in new ways. Many playdate-cum-work-meetings later, the Ilham Kids’ Tours for Tots / Kids was born in 2015 - no easy feat with four kids always running around!
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