H and I are big fans of the theory that a little age-appropriate exposure to beautiful things is never going to be a bad idea. And so we take the girls to see lovely buildings (“is it Cinderella’s castle Mummy?”), and big wide open spaces with gorgeous views, and as we like to visit art exhibitions and drink in some of the amazing works of art that creativity, inspiration and a lot of paint can produce, we take the girls too.
I’m the first to admit that it doesn’t always work out, and sometimes we have to cut visits short or reroute to the nearest cake shop to recharge the batteries, but I think it’s important that Kitty and Elma know that such things exist, and that they are important to H and to me; that we have interests and hobbies that go beyond the daily grind, and in a way that we’re more than just parents, even if it will be years before they could actually articulate that as a thought.
And so when we went to London for our birthday weekend we went to see the Making Colour special exhibition at the National. Elma may have slept through a good chunk of it, and then been slightly startled given that she fell asleep in a taxi and woke up in a room full of purple paintings and pigment samples, but Kitty was intrigued.
We got her her own audio guide and she watched all the videos of pigments being made, and a whole basement flat filled with copper sulphate (think deep blue crystals covering every surface if you’ve forgotten your GCSE chemistry), but what she really seemed to enjoy in her children’s workbook was the I Spy section; looking for purple flowers, or a set of gold keys, or a painting of snow. I had so much fun watching her enjoy herself around some of the paintings that I really love.
And so when we saw the Art Treasure Hunt in the shop I knew it needed to come home with us as a little extra souvenir.
It’s a book full of gorgeous art from all sorts of periods and styles and each one has a little list of things to spot and find in the bigger picture. Some of them are easier than others; both girls are pretty good at finding the monkeys, the lions and the man playing a flute in the jungle picture,
but when you get to anything a bit more abstract, or a bit more detailed, it can take a while to spot one of the little squares.
There are more than a few pictures that I find a real challenge to find all the details and I’m trying to be really good and just leave it for another day and not try to point it out to Kitty if she can’t find it; she’s got such a visual memory that if she’s seen it or been shown it once she’ll find it again by geography as much as by actually looking to match the pattern. And so there are pages and clues that are just a bit beyond her at the moment, and we move on, or at least back to the jungle page! I love that it means it’s a book that’s going to last; we’ll still be searching for clues for a good while to come!
And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!