hi ho, hi ho...it's off to the AGO

We were living in Toronto when OCAD started their fascinating "crayon" renovation. The project finished up after we'd left the city, but we made plans to come back and get an up-close look. 


Although staying in hotels with our brood always makes for a memorable time, we decided on a staycation for this year's March break with a visit to the city, the crayons, and the AGO at the top of our list.

When it comes to the arts, my kids carry an impressive pedigree. My husband's family (himself included) have a staggering amount of artistic talent and a great appreciation for all forms of art. It's been one of the best gifts in becoming part of his family. And it's been thrilling to watch my children explore this part of themselves.

After luring the kids away from the impressive gift shop (jewellery made out of pop can tabs is distracting), we started exploring. It's a beautiful and open space; perfect for all ages. I do recommend some extreme shadowing for the younger set (the paintings are completely exposed!), though forget about shoulder-riding (we got busted by security). Apparently, it brings their wee hands that much closer to the artwork.

The best part of the tour (for the kids) was found on the lower level, where every piece of art (installation-style) was touchable and climbable. Remember the playgrounds of our past? The wooden ones that made for perfect graffiti-canvases?  Turns out they're just as appealing for this generation. My kids could have moved in for the night and been quite happy. They drew on the walls (!) and on mounted sketchpads and when they'd burned through the pencil crayons, a helpful volunteer magically appeared with a newly-sharpened set. 

Our littlest artist happily spent over an hour in the Hands-On Centre, where she was allowed to touch, taste, throw, glue, and rip everything she could get her tiny hands on. And once again, there was a gaggle of volunteers who were more than happy to do art with our kids. {Note: grab a coffee in the impressive cafeteria before heading in}.

The kids have been madly sketching since our visit (there are also sketching stations with supplies throughout the museum) and look forward to heading back. Whether it was the art, the gift shop, or the AMAZING kids' menu at FRANK that has them hungry for more, we couldn't have asked for a better way to inspire our tiny artists-in-training.


This post is by me; a parent who found a good thing. Put it on your to-do list. You won't regret it.




Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works through Elan.Works and is a designer and content editor at GenderAvenger. They have been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health, Woman's Day, and Flow magazines and at TEDxRegina and on CBC News and Radio. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.