I like art. I like to learn about art. The one formal art history course I took, though, was like being beaten over the head with my giant Gardner’s book (which I still have!) for an hour–three times a week. Since I’ve become my kids’ art history teacher, I’ve been on the lookout for games that help my kids learn about art without giving them the shocking feeling that something so beautiful can be so incredibly boring.
When we studied Monet last year I picked up Go Fish for Impressionist Artists at our local museum. Go fish is a game even young children can pick up easily and this was a simple way to expose my kids to all kinds of impressionist art. These games are available for different styles of art, too, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find something to suit your needs!
I happened upon the Close Up: National Gallery of Art game in a gift shop last winter and it is a fun one! The deck contains pictures of complete works of art and close ups from the same pieces. Instructions for playing several different kinds of games are included, even with options for younger kids. The Close Up games are available for several different museums, so if you’re planning a trip sometime soon you might want to see if one of your venues has its own game!
Our most recent addition to our stash of art games is Art Shark! This is a game that allows players to create their own art galleries and bid for new art or even replace other players’ pieces with forgeries. The strategy of the game may take some practice, but the game is easily modified to make it less overwhelming while you’re learning the hows of the game. Once you’ve got that down, you can start learning about the art!
I didn’t realize it until I started looking for links for this post that all of these games are made by the same company, Birdcage Press. You can order from them directly, or you may find the games and books at museum shops or gift shops, too. I think you will be pleased with any of their games and I hope you are your children have a great time learning about great art!