Last weekend, we headed north. In my blog surfing I had come across one of the coolest things ever... The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Can I just express my joy a little? Woohoo! Pictures! I love picture books. My favorite section at any bookstore is still the children's section. I have such great memories of books from growing up and I love to be reminded of them and to think about which might be good memories for my babies. Needless to say, the museum went on the "must-visit-before-leaving-New-England" list. When I saw that they had both The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the work of Virginia Lee Burton on display, a more prompt visit became necessary. :-)
So, Saturday we loaded the kids up and headed to Massachusetts. I was impressed as soon as we got there - the building is beautiful! It's modern and very white, but there was a lot of light in the main hall which made it very inviting. Also in the main hall are 4 very large color pattern paintings by Eric Carle. This is where we first got to reinforce the "Look with your eyes" rule (we had gone over the 2 rules in the car - "look with your eyes" and "stay safe"). I can't say I blame them for wanting to touch... the texture was soooo rich! Clara went up to the blue one and said "Look mama! Fish!" Then we entered the galleries... that was a little rough. The kids weren't really interested in what was on the walls, but fortunately there were some small activities and books by the artists in the area. I made Connor pick his favorites... something he's beginning to roll his eyes at, but at least it gets him to stop "going" for a moment and look around. We passed through the galleries fairly quickly with the kiddos, but Michael and I each went back through so we could really look.
Next we headed out into the orchard. Thank goodness the woman at the front desk suggested a run through the trees... it was just what Connor and Clara needed!
After the fresh air, we headed in to the art studio. Kids (and mommies) get to make art like the art they just saw on the walls. How cool is that?! The day we visited we got to make a tissue paper collage. It was very cool. We were given watercolor paper and the rest of the supplies were on the table. You begin by painting liquid starch onto your paper. Then you lay down a piece of tissue paper and paint over it with the starch. Clara loved using the paintbrush to lay on the starch. Connor was *gasp* a little distracted, so he threw down a few pieces of tissue and then went to play with the toys (and other kids) in the corner.
I did a run through of the shop... I told myself before going in that I would only buy something if it was very special. Well, there was so much special I didn't buy anything anyway! :-)
After that we headed home... well, after a trip to Arby's!
For your viewing pleasure, here is Eric Carle talking about The Very Hungry Caterpillar.