Author Archives: Julie Meyers Pron

About Julie Meyers Pron

Julie Meyers Pron is a parenting and education writer, who relies on her experiences as a teacher and parent for inspiration. A mother of three children (ages two, six, and eight), PTO Director, former MOMS Club President and Vice President, and a (non-practicing) elementary school teacher, Julie has both experience and knowledge about parental involvement in education. Blogging at a variety of Websites since 2005, including her personal blog, the Julieverse at Just Precious, Julie is a founding partner of Vlogmom and a Principal at Splash Creative Media.

Earth Day activities and lessons for young children

earth day activity water bottle recycle piggy bank preschool kindergarten

In honor of Earth Day (April 22), we’re sharing quick, easy lessons to use with young children to tie-in to your day. These lessons are suitable for children in grades pre-kindergarten through second grade.

Introduction to Litter for Young Children with The Wartville Wizard

Prior to reading about litter, I was surprised to learn that not all of the four year olds I was working with knew the word “litter.” Together, we defined the word and think of other words that may also mean litter. (Kids will likely list garbage, trash, mess, and junk.)

teaching kids litter earth day

One of our favorite stories, The Wartville Wizard, features an old man who is tired of tidying up the Earth to keep it clean. But when Mother Nature provides him with a special power, he learns he has what it takes to keep the Earth clean. This is a great read-aloud to engage children and begin a conversation about litter and picking up after yourself.

Discuss litter

Next, discuss what we think of litter. Ask the kids why litter is bad and what we can do to stop littering. We created charts with the kids’ responses.

Create Earth Day Posters

trash litter earth day activity kids

Collectively, take the information you shared and create ideas for slogans, posters and poems with the kids. Older kids can work independently or in small groups.  Younger kids can color pictures and get help from teachers and parents to write their thoughts on the paper.

litter earth day poster kids

Go on a Picnic

earth day picnic science littering

What better way to enjoy and appreciate our Earth than to spend time with it? Before Earth Day, plan a picnic with the kids. Create a list of everything you’ll need (include an extra trash bag). Older kids may be prompted to discuss the merits of plastic vs paper.

When you arrive at your picnic spot, take time to look around and identify the nearest garbage cans, reminding the children that it’s their job to clean up after themselves. The “leave no trace” campaign, reminding everyone that when you leave, there should be no trace that you were ever there. For resources, activities and more information, visit the Leave No Trace webpage.

Picnics are always a great time for games and activities, but while there, take a break and have quiet time. Let the children spread out and observe with their senses. What do they hear? See? Smell? Touch? After a few minutes of observing, gather together to discuss the kids’ observations.

Next, ask the kids to look around at the animals in nature. Who else enjoys the Earth when you do? (Look for answers such as other people, babies, birds, dogs, and squirrels.) Discuss why taking care of the Earth is important for everyone in nature and how we can help to take care of the Earth.

Before leaving, play a clean up game and make sure that you Leave No Trace of your picnic and learning time.

Art and Science Activity Using Don’t Throw That Away

recycling earth day kids preschool kindergarten first grade second

Another favorite story, Don’t Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing (Little Green Books), gives us great ideas of what we can do with products that are often thrown away, and helps little minds brainstorm many recycling activities. A few days before Earth Day, ask families to collect reusable products such as cardboard boxes, egg cartons, plastic bottles, jars and containers, as well as old buttons, hair clips and nearly anything they’d usually throw away or recycle that’s clean. (Request that families clean out the bottles and jars before sending them to school.)

egg carton art preschool kindergarten elementary crafts

Just two of the cute creations made with recycled egg cartons.

Gather supplies into a box or on a table and read the book, Don’t Throw that Away! with the kids. After reading, discuss what the kids learned about recycling. Ask them about items they throw into the garbage that could be reused, then share the collection of recycled materials and allow the kids to create freely.

earth day activity water bottle recycle piggy bank preschool kindergarten

This piggy bank was created from a recycled water bottle and scraps of tissue paper.

7 More Earth Day Books for Children

Picnic image used with permission from Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps. Book cover images are publisher images. All other images from Rusty & Rosy contributor Julie Meyers Pron, Julieverse. This post contains affiliate links.

Want to get the most out of a family trip? Ask questions

among goals on our trip last year: a day on the lake to do nothing but play.

We spend so much time each winter, planning our year ahead. It usually starts with a Saturday afternoon lunch date, where my husband and I relax by a fireplace, tablets in hand and opened to our electronic calendars, discussing open weeks for vacation and family events.

We share what we want to do for our vacation time, what our goals are and how we can do as much as we can. We brainstorm for a bit. We vaguely look at prices and budgets.

And then I go home to research and, in time, bring it all back to the table to discuss progress and planning. Finally, we book our travel time, and I begin dreaming of all the fun we’ll have as a family. Usually, it works.

But we’ve learned to do it a little differently. We’ve learned to listen. Last year, on our road trip to our family vacation in Maine, we asked the kids to each make a list of ten things they wanted to do on our trip. As luck had it, most of their lists overlapped and, through the 10-day trip, we accomplished 9 of ten things on that trip. A success!

But on the way home, something unexpected happened. Our sons (ages seven and nine at the time), sat in the back of the minivan with a map, plotting out a future road-trip. When we arrived home, they transferred their vacation ideas to a dry-erase USA map that hangs on their walls. Unbeknownst to us, the boys had planned an elaborate trip, flying in to Las Vegas, renting an RV that would take us to Carson City for a night, then travel east through Idaho and North to Montana for a few nights to explore. The trip would then move south to Wyoming, with a visit to Old Faithful (which one of the kids learned about while reading). Next, we’d visit family and friends while exploring Colorado and finish the trip in Zion National Park before returning the RV to Las Vegas.

Their rationale for such a trip? Besides Nevada, no one in our immediate family has ever been to any of the mentioned states, and they wanted to change that. In addition, many of these states had been mentioned in the Percy Jackson series, so they were also plotting stops along the way that matched with the explorations of the demigod. Carson City made the list because Big tells everyone he’s named for it and we were traveling in an RV because Middle has always wanted to.

While they truly wanted to extend the trip and also travel to California, Oregon and Washington, it was agreed that a vacation of six states was easier to plan than nine, and that we could do the coastal range on another trip.

This year, as my husband and I consider vacations, we’re smiling at the boys’ elaborate plans. While we were dreaming of vacationing ocean-side in an all-inclusive in the Caribbean, we’re taking into account the boys’ wishes. They have big dreams, those dreams might tell us a few things about our kids and what will make our future vacations enjoyable.

20 ways to volunteer for your child’s school


Nearly every child wants his mom or dad to be involved in school. If only it were so easy for nearly every parent. Here are ways to help out beyond lunch duty.*


Can you spend some of your day at school?

Before volunteering to help in at the school, review your child’s school policy or ask a few questions:

  • are you permitted to bring siblings?
  • do you need proof of government-mandated clearances?
  • are parents permitted to volunteer in their child’s classrooms or do you have to volunteer in other classrooms?
  • who oversees parent volunteers? Is it better to offer services through the teacher or the parent-organization?
  • will you volunteering in the classroom distract your student or benefit him?

For parents who can volunteer in the classroom

After making sure you’re able to volunteer at school, here are a few ideas you can suggest you help in the classroom. A second set of hands is usually so helpful, but when teachers are put on the spot, it’s not easy for them to remember what they’ll need. By suggesting ideas similar to these, they’ll know what you’re interested in, and how you feel you can best help.
  • Review math facts using flash cards
  • Review site words with flash cards
  • Listen to students read aloud one-to-one
  • Help with an art project
  • Assist during computer or technology time
  • Offer a lesson in your culture, background or traditions that will teach children something new
  • Use your talents to help direct a class play or musical assembly
  • Assist with science experiements
  • Help out while the kids are working on a big project
For parents who can volunteer at school, but not in the classroom:
  • Ask if another teacher in a different grade needs assistance in any of the areas listed above
  • Make copies on the school copier or laminate
  • Create school bulletin boards to show off student work
  • volunteer in the library (usually a weekly volunteering opportunity) or the art classroom
  • help direct the school play or talent show
  • assist at recess or run a running club during that time
  • sponsor an optional book club for students who are interested in meeting during “free” time (often recess)
  • assist in the school office while the school secretary is at a meeting or at lunch
  • help with the morning arrival or afternoon dismissal
  • assist with your school’s parent organization during events such as pretzel sales or field day
  • chaperone a field trip

How you can help your school from home

  • Coordinate the monthly book order
  • cut small projects from paper for a future art project
  • offer to mark quizzes (like math drills and spelling tests)
  • research topics the students will learn about and provide added information to the teacher for her lessons
No matter how you assist, let your children know you care and are wanting to be a part of their education.

*Hey, lunch duty is awesome. More power to you! Thanks for volunteering!

Image source.

Take Your Kids to a Broadway Show



An integral part of spending a weekend in New York City and enhancing the cultural experience is seeing a show. Here are tips to Broadway and off-Broadway for kids.

Broadway for less offers coupon codes to shows that can save you up to 50% off (but usually more like 20-25%.) Click on the show you want to see to check out today’s offers. They also offer exclusive discounts for email subscribers.

If your kids are the patient kind, you can line up at the TKTS store on Times Square. TKTS offers tickets to shows at about 50% off, but they sell out as the go, so you won’t know which show you’ll be able to purchase tickets to until the last minute. Be prepared for a long line, especially if you show up after 11. I’ve waited in this line for over 2 hours before, so you’ll need to prepare. Many families have the parents take turns standing in line while the other parent shops and explores with the kids. You can check out the frequency of discounts as well as appropriate ages for shows at the TKTS website (run by the Theater Development Fund). 

Consider seeing an off- or off- off- Broadway show. Ticket prices can be as little as $9 for the shows and some are extremely family-friendly. Additionally, many have up- and coming-performers and a much smaller venue, making all of the seats close and the feeling more engaging. Check out the TDF Guide to Family Live Performances. 

Educational Materials

A show is much more than just something to watch. By enjoying a show, your family will learn cultural and historical references, engage in comprehension activities and learn appreciation for the culture of theater. Here are a few great resources for educational expansion of a Broadway show experience.

Kids Night on Broadway offers Study Guides, resources, and a souvenir Playbill.

After seeing a show, many kids are inspired to start writing or acting. For writers, the Young Playwrites, Inc., offers playwriting contests and tips as well as a curriculum for teachers.

Before you go

From the lights to the costumes to the music and audience, there is so much to observe during a show. It’s helpful for kids’ comprehension to know a bit about the story before hand. Try to purchase the music ahead of time to prepare your children. If the story is available in book format, read it with your child.

When the show is over

Don’t let the show end and the conversation stop. Discuss what you loved about the show.

  • Who was your favorite character?
  • What surprised you?
  • Did everyone sound and look the same as you expected?
  • How did the Broadway version differ from the book?
  • If you could be a part of a play, what would you want to be? Why?
  • Was there an actor or actress that surprised you? What did they do?
  • Did you sneak a peek at anything back stage? Probe your children to notice all that goes into a show, from the make-up artists to the orchestra, stage hands and ushers–they’re all an integral part of the show.
  • And, my favorite question: What song is stuck in your head right now? Let’s sing it!

Image credit: by nuttakit

How to help your child write his next creative writing assignment


For some children, writing comes easily. Others, it’s the dreaded white sheet of paper. And openness with no end in sight, no complete ending, no right or wrong answers. For children who see writing this way, a writing assignment can cause them to lose sleep, moodiness and become distracted in the classroom. It’s also extremely easy for children to lose focus and procrastinate.

Questions to ask before beginning the assignment

Is there a rubric?

Many teachers and school systems provide a rubric, or a chart that explains expectations. Typical rubrics cover the basic expectations for children in the grade and focus on style or voice, expression, editing, organization and content. (See sample writing rubrics here.) The rubric expresses expectations and provides students a checklist to be used later. It helps kids and parents to understand the critical expectations they’ll be graded on. However, because the rubric is usually generic, it rarely expresses specifics regarding the assignment.

Did your teacher give you an assignment sheet or did you take notes while she explained the assignment?

An assignment sheet should explain the objective, such as, “write a 3 paragraph adventure story with a beginning, middle and end.” Oftentimes, the assignment will begin with a writing prompt, or a lead. If the teacher didn’t assign a story starter, here are a few examples to help lead your child:

  • It was a dark and stormy night…
  • The little boy looked up at the sky and was surprised to see…
  • Yesterday, the strangest thing happened…
  • The path was long and windy…
  • I never expected to see a …

First steps in creative writing

Some writers never have to do it, but many writers start with a brainstorm session. Starting with a basic brainstorm session helps kids to get an idea of their story before writing it. The most important rule of brainstorming is that nothing is wrong. The writer may not use all of the information her brain storms, but it’s important to write down every idea.

While many writers brainstorm thoughts on a blank piece of paper, kids are easily guided by graphic organizers. Graphic organizers lead children to organize their brainstorms and help them to keep their thoughts focused. Here’s a helpful Brainstorming Graphic Organizer to get your child started.

Plan out the basics

While older children are taught to plan out the story elements including introduction, plot, climax and conclusion, younger children are taught a more basic beginning, middle and ending. After your child has brainstormed and has an idea of what will happen in the story, next guide him to the steps of the story, reminding him that there should be a problem that needs to be solved. Breaking a story into beginning, middle and end helps the children to see where the story is going. If your child needs more guidance, a Beginning Middle Ending graphic organizer may help.In fact, kids who are writing 3 paragraph stories can easily plan each paragraph this way. This storyboard graphic organizer helps children to plan and organize the story and is helpful for children writing longer stories.


Add the details

Now that the story has a structure, it’s time to add details. The amount of details to include will depend on the student’s abilities and level in school. If the kids have learned about adjectives, help him to remember to include a few describing words to describe the feelings or how things looked. It’s helpful to remind children that the reader wasn’t there when it happened, and he also wasn’t in the head of the writer. This is a very difficult concept for younger children who have difficulty understanding that not everyone envisions exactly what the writer envisions and that the writer has to show what his happening with words.

Proofread and edit

Proofreading isn’t fun or easy—kids often feel that when they’ve written the final period in the story, they should be finished. Remind them to try to focus on one sentence at a time. It’s helpful to read the story aloud when proofreading, as the writer is forced to read every word.

Oftentimes, a student will edit at the same time, but an additional editing tip is to have a friend or relative read the student’s writing to the student, so that the student can hear the story he’s written. Oftentimes, he’ll catch something then that doesn’t quite work.

Check the rubric and assignment sheet

Remember the rubric and assignment sheet? Circle back and have your child grade himself, making changes if he sees them necessary, to do the best he can on the assignment.

If only it were so easy

It’s so easy to have the writing process for children laid out here as a guide. But kids will often get lost along the way. Breaking up the assignment over time and taking breaks in the middle refreshes the writer.

Writing is a difficult process and can be helped by many activities beyond graphic organizers. Some children brainstorm and plan stories better by reciting their stories into a recording or voice memo, while others benefit from illustrating the story prior to giving it words.

Midyear transition to a new teacher leads to valuable to life lessons


Last Wednesday, we received that dreaded letter that was never expected. Our 4th grade long term substitute would soon be leaving, as her contracted counterpart had opted to come back to school, early.

Parents were angered (in August, we were told that the substitute would be our teacher for the year). What’s worse, the children came home from school in tears.

Realistically, kids can usually take changes like this with ease. Sure, they have a connection with the teacher they’ve spent five months getting to know, they’re usually accustomed to her routine and her expectations, but a change to a new teacher isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Kids need to learn that change happens. Learning to learn from someone new, to adjust to new routines and to understand different expectations, these are lessons our children are lucky to encounter, now, at nine- and ten-years old, rather than when they’re 26 and a new boss at their marketing firm/law office/emergency room floor/retail establishment, walks in the door.

Flexibility is an important quality of a well-respected teacher. She’s able to twist a lesson when she sees her students aren’t “getting” the concept she’s trying to instruct. When the fire alarm blasts, she can switch focus in seconds, remaining calm and steady, to take all children to safety. When a child has a sudden change of needs, emotions, feelings, the teacher can push aside her own thoughts to focus on that child’s needs.

Perhaps flexibility is one of the most important things teachers can teach our children.

So, yes. There will be upset over the transition to a new teacher next month in our fourth grade classroom. There will be children who challenge the new teacher’s practices and knowledge. Some children who had a special connection to the first teacher may find they can’t connect the same with the new teacher. There will be kids who respond better to their new teacher, matching personalities or organizational styles in a different manner.

Will the second half of the year run more smoothly? Will the kids and the new teacher appreciate each other’s positions and abilities? Will the new teacher jump right in where the substitute left off, or will she start over?

That’s all a wait and see situation right now, but one thing is certain: None of our children will be worse for the wear. Whether or not they’re happy with the change in teachers, whether or not every single concept is taught the way it would have been with the first teacher, whether or not they like teacher A better than teacher B, they will all grow this year. They’ll all learn a life skill that not every child has an opportunity to learn. They’ll learn flexibility, change and acceptance.

I can’t think of a better life lesson to learn in a fourth grade classroom than that.

Learning with M&Ms

When my son came home from swim team practice last night, he was inspired for a new family activity: the M&M game. As I quickly learned, every Monday at practice is M&M Monday: the child gets an M&M and does whatever is assigned to that color on the M&M chart–it’s a fun way for the kids to run their drills.

The M&M game was also an ice breaker we used in college. Everyone would grab a handful and match their colors to questions on a chart, before eating, we’d answer our questions.

My son wanted to take this a step further. He suggested a weekend M&M game (yes, I do see where he was going with this. Any excuse to eat M&Ms, right?).

But, really, I liked the idea. M&Ms are an inexpensive little encouragement. And you can easily swap them out for Skittles, Candy Hearts, Jolly Ranchers… anything with multiple colors. In fact, you don’t even have to use candies. Colorful balls and or punched circles will work just as well.

I suggested we look at this idea and use it for learning. We can use M&Ms to practice spelling words, math facts… even chores around the house. M&Ms could offer Journal prompts, writing topics, even speech and debate topics. M&Ms could be used in the classroom to help place kids in cooperative groups.

I’ve used M&Ms and Skittles to teach graphing and computer skills, for years, but the M&M game just opened up new opportunities to help children learn.

5 Family-Focused New Year’s Resolutions

setting family goals


January is the prime time for setting New Year’s Resolutions and goals for families, and, usually, children are prompted to set goals in school independently. At home, to increase family awareness and relationships, encourage your family to work together to set family goals for 2014.

Rather than setting goals and dictating, it will be far easier for your family to work to comply and reach the new goals if everyone works together to create the resolutions as a team. Gather round over a special sit-down dessert time or crafting time to brainstorm some ideas. Have a whiteboard or scrap paper near by and start brainstorming. Here are 5 ideas to get your family started.

5 Goals for to set for your family

Vacation Goals

Does you family take vacation each year? If so, consider what you all hope to get out of vacation. Perhaps your family will set a goal to try camping or hiking. Or, maybe they’ll want to go to a beach. The goal isn’t where to go, it’s what to focus on while you’re there.

Some suggestions: This year on vacation we’ll try…

  • hiking
  • to each read a new book in our car trip, rather than watching movies and playing video games
  • to visit a new place each day
  • to see our cousins

Quiet time

At our house, we’ve found that after school the kids need some time to run around and play, but then need to settle down for homework. We’ve noticed that when everyone has calm quiet time at the same time, everyone is more able to focus. Even when we don’t have homework, a designated daily quiet time will allow the whole family to focus and relax.
Some suggestions: This year our family will…
  • work to have an hour of quiet time each afternoon before dinner
  • create quiet time baskets (or folders) so that we have ideas of what to do during quiet time

Address the stressful times

We were finding the morning rush to be so stressful and knew that a change was needed to get everyone out the door and to school, happily. By suggesting an end to electronics time (including TV) for everyone (including parents), our mornings have changed immensely.
Discuss with your family which time of day may be the most stressful and suggest ways to change it.
Some suggestions: We will work to make our (TIME) calmer by
  • having one day a week of no after school activities
  • creating a no-rush rule
  • turning off electronics between ____ and ____
  • making waking up 15 minutes earlier each day
  • creating dinner time jobs/responsibilities for everyone in our family

Family Time

The families that play together, enjoy each other. Try to designate weekly or monthly goal for family time so that your family can enjoy and get to know each other differently.

Some suggestions: Each (week/month) we will…

  • host family hour at the “host’s” decision. We will rotate hosts each time who will determine the activity
  • host a family book club to discuss the book we all read during the month
  • take a weekly/monthly day trip. Some suggestions are hiking, visit a museum, go to a park, take a family cooking class.


I have yet to hear of a family that always gets along, so helping your family to work through difficult times will help your family’s relationship. At our kids’ school, the children rotate the job of “conflict manager”, a student who advises kids on working out the other children’s problems. Teach your children to be conflict managers for family problems with techniques like those found here.
Some suggestions: This year, when members of our family aren’t getting along, we will…
  • visit our resolution center and work out our problems
  • remember to think about each other’s feelings
  • work on taking a deep breath and counting to 10 before reacting
  • finding a private spot for times when I need to think on my own
Once you have your goals, print them, laminate them, frame them and decorate them so that your family will be reminded of your goals and can work to achieve them with pride.
Don’t just make your goals and end the conversation. Remember to revisit the goals you made a few weeks into the year, and again a few months later. Every 2 months will generally work, but if you find your family goals aren’t reachable, remember it’s okay to address that and tweak them. Use this Self Evaluation form to lead your family in your goal evaluations.

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Celebrate Thank a Teacher Day 2013 on Monday, December 16



Last year’s Thank a Teacher Day was an enormous mix of emotions for parents, students and teachers. Our hearts bled for the teachers and students lost during the Sandy Hook shooting, and we wanted, more than anything, to show our appreciation and our love. Bloggers and non-bloggers shared their love and appreciation by celebrating and thanking teachers on December 17, 2012.

Next Monday, December 16, 2013, we’ll do it once again. We’ll thank teachers for their dedication in a variety of ways, in memory of those lost, in honor of those who give of their selves to protect our children, time and again.

There are hundreds of ways ways you can participate in Thank a Teacher Day 2013. Here are a few to inspire you:

  • Write thank you notes to your children’s teachers
  • Send in a small bouquet of flowers
  • Greet the teachers room with a tray of cookies or muffins
  • Decorate your school with a PTO-led “thank you chain” -
     or classroom doors or bulletin boards with Thank You Stars -
  • Tweet, Instagram and Facebook your appreciation using the hashtag #ThankaTeacher
  • Share this post, and others, to show how others are appreciating teachers next week.

Sure, we should thank our teachers every day. They deserve it. But let’s make Monday a special day where we’re certain every teacher gets the thank you he or she deserves.

For more information on Thank A Teacher Day, visit

3 ways to enhance your elementary school child’s writing skills using Art



From art to athletics, there are many ways to take advantage of your child’s interests and help them improve their writing skills. Help your child select a form of art and, together, complete the following tasks.

Selecting the art

Remember that art takes many forms, so follow your child’s interests. Look for an image or piece that inspires your child–one that he or she takes an extra minute to examine. You can use anyone’s art, except his own art (we’ll look at using your child’s own art in writing in a later article.)

Places to find images of art:

Once you’ve selected the art, print it, cut it or take a picture of it so that your child will be able to look closely. If it’s 3D art, be sure to plan for time to work in front of the piece.

3 Activities to enhance writing skills using art

Describing words

Using the art as inspiration, help your child brainstorm words about the art. To guide her, prompt her by asking “what colors do you see?” and “what feelings does this painting (picture, piece…) give you?” It helps to model brainstorming, so sit with her and create your own list. Limit the time you spend brainstorming to about 5 minutes.

Write a story about the art

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s time to create those words. Help your child organize a story about the art, using some of the describing words.

One of the hardest tasks for children is that they often feel they have to write the “right” story, based on what the artist was creating. Remind them that this is not the point of the exercise. The point is to create their own stories. For example, the story can be based on what Mona Lisa had for lunch before the painting was created. Or, in this picture of a dog and a bird, perhaps your child will write about the conversation or thoughts the animals or having. This image of a fisherman may inspire a story about dinner that evening or a story about the man and his life that led to that moment. What’s important is that there is no right or wrong answer–each person, each writer, will be inspired to tell a different story when he or she sees the picture.

Write a letter to the artist

Remind your child that the art was created by someone, and for a reason. Create a list of questions that your child wants to know about the art: What inspired the picture? Why did the artist use the colors he used? Is the little boy in the painting/photo/sculpture a friend or a stranger?

Sadly, the chance of having the letter responded to will be difficult in this case, as it’s very difficult to find a way to contact the artist. However, if the artwork is in a gallery or museum, don’t hesitate to send the letter there with cover letter asking that the letter be forwarded to the artist. If the artist is deceased, discuss with your child that, because the letter won’t be returned, it may be fun to try to research the answers on the internet or through the gallery or museum where the art is displayed.

Alternatively, your child can write a different letter to the museum. Suggested questions may include

  • “Why did you opt to include this piece in your museum?”
  • Is this a popular piece of art?
  • What have patrons commented about the art?
  • How does the art fit in your museum/gallery? How is it displayed?

Remember, the image is inspiration–art can take us anywhere. Your job, as a parent, is to guide your child to think beyond the images he sees.