FC: Playdates: I Spy With My Little Eye -Playdates = A program for children ages 2-4 and their parents. I Spy With My Little Eye = this week's theme, finding and identifying colors in artworks- | San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) | March 13, 2 0 1 3
1: One place parents can learn about Playdates is online. This is a screen shot of SAMA's website with the program's description stating the overarching goal that "Playdates will cultivate, nurture, and inspire creativity while developing an appreciation of art and world cultures."
2: SAMA also produces a brochure listing all community programs geared towards the family audience group. This print marketing material is effective in attracting parental facilitators as it “emphasizes people doing fun and engaging things” (Falk, 2009, p. 195).
3: This is the inside of the brochure where Playdates dates and themes are listed. The program is offered each Wednesday from 10:00-11:00 AM, a different theme each time. Reaching out to families, SAMA is contacting “the market segments that are likely to be interested in the product” (Colbert, 2008, p. 112).
5: Playdates successfully accommodates its audience group by offering 15 minutes of free play at the beginning of the program, allowing guests to trickle in. Taking place in the main lobby, this segment provided a blanket with toys, bead sorting, and matching colored papers to their proper band on a rainbow as activities.
6: Sara, the instructor, leads the group in song and dance. For this segment, each parent introduced their child by name and encouraged them to dance when they were called. This facilitated active parent and child involvement, allowing for a nurturing bonding experience, and gave parents a lasting idea "about how best to support [their child’s] museum visitor experience.” (Falk, 2009, p. 222)
7: Then, Sara actively read a storybook, acting out the scenes, using different voices for each character, and asking questions such as "what color is this?" The story, about living life as each color, was relevant for the segment theme and fostered learning through color identification.
8: The program then moved to a small gallery adjacent to the main lobby. A glass installation in the ceiling, the object of focus represents an underwater scene and is bright, colorful, and visually engaging for visitors of all ages.
9: Child and adult participants were encouraged to lay on the floor to get the full effect of the artwork. After identifying the present shapes and colors, Sara and a volunteer waved a blanket over the participants, pretending to be the waves of an ocean and creating an immersive experience to help the visitors interpret the artwork. | Walt Whitman
10: After the gallery experience, parents were invited to help their children's create artworks to take home, fostering a more personal connection between SAMA and program participants.
11: The hands-on activity engaged both parents and children. “One commonly held misconception is that hands-on learning is just for children [...]. Yet, many adults are hands-on learners” (Bingmann, 2009, p. 77).
12: As the families left the museum, they were handed the card above, which provides information on how to access the museum's Pinterest board and create SAMA-inspired art projects at home. This allows for the institution to stick in the visitors' minds and for Playdates to have a lasting presence in their lives.
13: References Bingmann, M., Grove, T., & Johnson, A. (2009). Families and more. In The Museum Educator’s Manual (75-85). Lanham, Maryland: Alta Mira Press. Colbert, F. (2008). Program Marketing. In G. Carpenter & D. Blandy (eds.), Arts and Cultural Programming: A Leisure Perspective, (111-125). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Falk, J. H. (2009). Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.