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By Sharon Shaffer

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There are many wonderful books that introduce museums and encourage children to think about their role in the world. • Mon petit Orsay by Marie Sellier • The Shape Game by Anthony Browne Many museums offer guides for parents and teachers that introduce visual arts to young children. Teachers and parents should ask their local art museum about similar publications. S. Department of Education and the Smithsonian Office of Education • Family Guide by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden • Behind the Lions: A Family Guide to The Art Institute of Chicago • Looking Together: Introducing Young Children to the Cleveland Museum of Art IMAG ld to the Arts 43 INE!

Opportunities to witness their child’s developmental growth. The chance to help their child understand some of life’s dilemmas. ENGAGING YOUNG CHILDREN IN THEATER There are several ways that parents and teachers can help children enjoy dramatic play, even with little or no theater background or experience. First of all, encourage children to play and to be imaginative. Enter into the game by giving children the chance to take the lead in play activities, taking your cues from them about your role.

Older children will be able to talk about characteristics that make games special. Is it originality, repetition, rhythm, rhyme, or volume that makes the game special? Encourage him or her to ponder the “how” and “why” of particular games. Together, compare similarities and differences to determine which characteristics make the games unique and interesting. Photo by Avis Mandel Pictures / Courtesy of Urban Gateways: The Center for Arts in Education IMAG ld to the Arts 51 INE! Introducing Your Chi The beauty of exploring folk arts with your children is that traditional arts provide a framework for meeting lots of people, learning about a wonderful array of cultures, and experiencing important subject matter in unforgettable ways.

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