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Start with Art: 8 Ways the Brandywine Keeps Kids Excited About Summer

Start with Art: 8 Ways the Brandywine Keeps Kids Excited About Summer

museum explorers
July 27, 2016

As we hit this last month of summer we know how hard it can be to keep kids smiling through temperatures over 100 degrees. Here are eight great ways to spend your last few weeks of vacation and keep kids excited and engaged through the month of August!

Check Out Get the Picture!

seek and find
This summer the Brandywine River Museum of Art features an exciting exhibition that kids will love called Get the Picture! Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration. This exhibition includes some of the most fun and exciting elements of children’s books – bright colors, fanciful images, and extraordinary creativity. The exhibition features artwork by eight renowned artists: Sophie Blackall, Bryan Collier, Raúl Colón, Marla Frazee, Jon Klassen, Melissa Sweet, David Wiesner and Mo Willems. We also have a Seek and Find just for kids that will guide them on a fun adventure through the exhibition!

Fingerprint Activities: Animals

fingerprint book
Little fingers can turn into instruments of art when they are pressed onto the attached colored stamp pad and used to create unique pictures. Fingertips and thumbprints of different sizes will blend together to make interesting and memorable artwork. Great for those days when going outside isn’t an option – let the kids bring nature indoors with pictures of snails, flowers, ladybugs and butterflies! Available in the Museum Shop.

Explore the Museum with a Few New Friends

Group in the galleries
Join us for our Museum Explorers program Thursday mornings through August 25. Kids and their adults can take a special interactive tour in small groups to explore the galleries, with a different theme each week. Following the tour, kids create a craft to take home based on that week’s theme. July 28 and August 11 you can even meet some of our artists featured in the exhibition!

Elephants, Piggies and Puppets! Oh My!

elephant and piggie finger puppets
Did you have a great time at the exhibition? These adorable finger puppets, based on characters from the books of popular artist Mo Willems, will spark a child’s imagination and provide hours of interactive play. Playing with these fun-sized versions of Elephant and Piggie is a great way to encourage little ones to make up their own stories – and maybe even let their brothers and sisters get in on the fun. Available in our Museum Shop and online along with many of the books featured in our exhibition. 

Learn to Draw with the Popular Wipe-Clean Book

wipe-clean first drawing book
This delightful book is the perfect way for young children to learn pen control and to practice creating different shapes. Use the included soft erase pen to trace over the dotted lines to complete the pictures.  Then simply wipe clean and start again for a whole new drawing. Pick this one up in our Museum Shop and stop in and say hello!

Art + Environment Camp

boy with leaf
This inspirational and fun summer camp offers youth ages 9-14 to spend a week with the museum’s art collections and trails and gardens. Each budding artist will explore a variety of traditional and experimental art techniques, and will show their work at an art show for family and friends. Registration is available online or by calling 610.388.8326. 

Make an Unexpected Masterpiece – With Crayons!

eco crayons
Little fingers can create their own masterpieces with earthy colored eco-crayons, designed to emulate sea rocks from the beautiful Maine coast. These crayons are made with natural wax and mineral pigments, and the unique shape is easy to grip in a young artist’s hand. Try these out in our Museum Shop at our art table!

Or, if your little artist is more the painting type, use watercolors to create a Magic Painting. You can view the instructions our wonderful Education Department put together and posted in the videos section of our Facebook page.

PNC Arts Alive First Sundays for Families - Sunday, August 7

Illustration by Raúl Colón for Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014) Image courtesy R. Michelson Galleries
Illustration by Raúl Colón for Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014) Image courtesy R. Michelson Galleries

Children’s Illustration Celebration

Stimulate your imagination with fun art activities and dramatic storytelling. Free admission all day!


11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  – Art activities, gallery seek-and-find
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Read Aloud with Mr. Jason of Middletown Library
12:30 p.m. – Presentation by illustrator Raúl Colón
1:30 p.m. – Book signing by illustrator Raúl Colón

PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative of the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. The goal of PNC Arts Alive is to help area residents gain access to the arts and to help arts organizations expand and engage audiences. For more information visit

With so much to do in the next few weeks we hope you and your family can join us! If it’s your first time at the museum check out our handy Visiting with Children guide with FAQ’s about the Brandywine. We look forward to your visit!

Proceeds from all museum shop sales benefit the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art and support our mission to preserve art and the environment.