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The Early Learning Center: A Great Way to Interest Kids in Art
Posted on March 13, 2014 at 10:00:07 am by Louisa D.
Thinking about going to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, but not sure if your kids will find enough to do? Fear not – the Early Learning Center is the perfect place for kids to experience art in many forms. Bright orange walls invite visitors to the unique room. Glass doors (perfect for seeing through, to check on little ones) are open wide to a brilliantly blue space stocked with beanbag chairs, bookshelves, coloring markers, crayons, and building supplies. The first thing that catches your eye as you walk in are the seats – in a rainbow of color. A flat screen television is mounted on the wall, ideal for viewing educational films or other videos. To the right is the “Building” corner. Soft foam mats are on the floor anchored by a giant box of wooden blocks. A low bookshelf is loaded with tubs of foam blocks and different types of connect-the-piece shapes. A colorful painting, titled The Fort by artist Terry Ratliff displays the downtown Fort Wayne skyline in bright, bold brush strokes. Further back along this wall is the “Read” corner, with a loaded bookshelf and cozy padded benches, just the spot for sharing a story. Picture books for young readers and a comfy chair for a parent are ready and waiting. One of the most impressive art areas is the “Draw” section. On the wall is a large mural of white hills, a magnetic tree silhouette, and blue sky. A thin plastic sheet over the wall provides a kid-sized drawing space, with a box of Crayola dry-erase markers - all the impetus young artists need. The wall is covered in different doodles and drawings. Paper drawings are stuck on the wall, too – in the branches of the tree. Small tables in the “Me” and “Draw” corner are just the right size for young artists to sit down and make their mark on one of the many sheets of paper available. The entire Center is warm and welcoming, with kid-sized everything and plenty of space to run around. Parents are allowed to come in and work with their children – a special plus, if your young one needs help with reading a story or hanging a picture. There is no age limit for kids who want to come inside and explore. Once a month on Tuesday mornings, a special program called “My Mini Museum” is held for kids up to 8 years old. Each program is led by a member of the FWMoA staff and features a different activity each month. In March, kids will draw animals and have their works of art photographed, for display on the FWMoA website. Other monthly activities Students will each choose a letter from a hat and draw an animal that starts with that letter that will be photographed and exhibited at fwmoa.org (with parental permission) for family and friends to enjoy.Students will each choose a letter from a hat and draw an animal that starts with that letter that will be photographed and exhibited at fwmoa.org (with parental permission) for family and friends to enjoy. It will include drawing favorite water animals and listening to a story and drawing a favorite part. There is no program fee for caregivers who attend with their child, however admission must be paid for children who attend the My Mini Museum programs. For more information about the Early Learning Center and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s ‘My Mini Museum’ programs, log on to http://www.fwmoa.org/PreK-12.