Guided Visualization for Children, or How to Take a Trip with Your Kids Without Leaving Home

Follow-up to “Sunshine Playdate,” Thursday, January 9, 2014

Photo by Drew Smith Photography
Photo by Drew Smith Photography

Grown-ups and children alike are affected by the weather in Ohio.  Gray, cold days can take hold of anyone’s moods and when it’s too cold to go outside for days on end, your child’s abundant energy needs an outlet! Creative visualization is one way to take a trip while enjoying the warmth of your pajamas!  Let your child be the captain as their imaginations drift away by using simple storytelling and props on a fun, guided journey in the comfort of your living room. 
Materials needed:
A designated seat, preferably on the floor, such as a mat, cushion, blanket, pillow or soft throw rug.
While brainstorming your “adventure plan” (see below) you will create a list of “supplies” you may need on your trip.  Note: props can also be used to create special sound effects!
Examples of recycled props:
pillow = vehicle (boat, car, plane)
cardboard toilet paper tubes  = binoculars, telescopes
flashlight = lantern, headlight
aluminum foil = thunder
frisbee = steering wheel
scarf = sail
wooden spoon = oar
drinking straw = snorkel
toy blocks = dumped in a pile, arranged to look like a campfire
wax paper = ice
Extras: Sunglasses, hats, keys, umbrella, seasonal clothing and don’t forget your travel companions: stuffed animals, dolls or even the family pet!
HOW TO:  First, plan your adventure
Start off by brainstorming a far away (or even imaginary) place your child would like to visit.  Perhaps somewhere sunny and warm with a waterfall and a cabana nearby!  Ask your child to think of his/her adventure as a story web.  Start from the center (the main idea or setting of your adventure), then gradually branch out into the details, like a travel agent arranges the “where,” “what,” “why” and “how” of a trip.
Sample questions to generate ideas: “Where would you like to travel if you could go anywhere – and why?  How will you get there?  What will you do when you arrive, when will we come back home and how? Who might we meet there?”
…Enhance the mood or tone of your child’s storytelling by including background music as an added effect, and try speaking into an empty tin can as a microphone!  Your child will be entranced and transported to warmer climates in no time!
Story Time in the Galleries
Thursday, January 16, 2014
“Kokopelli & the Butterfly” by Michael Sterns is a book created for sharing with your children as we approach an important peacemaker’s birthday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Be part of the magical, tribal adventure of Kokopelli as he sends children a message of kindness, love, tolerance of diversity and peaceful conflict resolution then travel to the studio to create clay peace trading beads and terracotta coil pots to keep them in. Story Time is 11:15 am – 12:15 pm on the third Thursday of each month, when the museum offers complimentary gallery admission to all visitors. No registration required.  ALL AGES welcome!
Kids Studio
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Did someone say “Minecrafting” in the museum? Construct a 3-D “tilted” landscape, in which nothing is what it seems.  “Mine,” deconstruct and reassemble as you work with traditional and non-traditional architectural materials to create your own mini model environments while making aesthetic decisions about form, proportion and balance. Key sculptural works in the Museum’s collection as well as the current exhibition of artist Diana Al-Hadid’s Nolli’s Orders will be explored.
Studio class is 12-3 pm.  Cost per class $10/member child, $15/non-member child.  Registration is required. Ages 8-12. 
Family Day
MONDAY (Yes, we’re open!!!), January 20, 2014
Enjoy those closest to you while spending some time together working on peaceful, multicultural art activities in the Museum lobby.  Contribute to our 100 Acts of Kindness stained glass window art, celebrate skin color with painted portraits and create a “Hands Around the World” chain to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Join in a collaborative music ensemble then tour the galleries. 12-4 pm. Admission is free for families. No registration required. ALL AGES welcome!