Visiting a wildlife Art Gallery or exhibition is a wonderful way to get your children out of the house and enjoying an activity they wouldn’t usually explore. It’s another wonderful way to learn about wildlife and their habitats too.
Miss Possum enjoys drawing, painting and also loves wildlife so visiting an art gallery was a match made in heaven. Although our visit was quick because we had three year old twins in tow, it was a really nice cultural and educational experience for all three of them. Here’s some activity suggestions for during and after your wildlife gallery visit.
While you’re at the art gallery
1. Talk to your child about the art gallery. Ask questions like what is an art gallery and why do people visit them? Encourage your child to take their time looking at each picture/sculpture/image and to view the whole picture and not just the animal in the picture.
2. Ask open-ended questions. Asking questions will help children see, learn and understand more about each piece of artwork .e.g.
- What animal/s are in this picture?
- What habitat is shown behind the animal? Is this animal at the beach?
- Look at the picture again, is there something you didn’t see before? What can you see?
- What do you think the animal is thinking?
- What is the mood of the painting?
3. Get closer to the artworks. Discuss how the artist made the scales/features/fur look so real using different types of art techniques.
4. Talk to the gallery staff (perhaps they are an artist themselves). Ask the staff member about your favourite picture in the gallery and if they have any behind the scenes information. Did the artist draw from a photograph? From life? From memory? What is the artist like? See if your child would like to learn more about their favourite art in the gallery too.
5. Discuss the different types of wildlife art. Can you see paintings, collages, sculptures, photographs?
Wildlife Art Gallery Post visit activities
6. Create your own wildlife art at home. Trying different types of wildlife art can also teach children about wildlife. Clay lets children think about how to build the body of an animal, how it’s put together and what adaptations the animal has.
Drawing can help a child see and understand the small external features of wildlife like scales, fur, claws and whiskers. Remember you can try many types of wildlife art too. We’ve already explored drawing wildlife from an image, wildlife hand art, wildlife collage and wildlife photography.
7. Learn about an artist. Look up one of the artists you learnt about from the gallery visit and find out more about their life and why they are passionate about creating wildlife art.
8. Watch some wildlife art You Tube clips. It can be hard for children to understand how much time goes into creating such beautiful artworks. This video clip below starts slow but it does show you how this artist uses paints and shades to build a rhino on paper.
10. Start a wildlife art journal. Each day draw/sketch/collage animals you’ve seen in a wildlife art journal. We documented our daily wildlife finds on a wildlife holiday last year.