Take A Virtual Art Walk With Caribu

By Beth S. Pollak

Museums are closed, galleries are shut—and you’re missing your favorite exhibits! It’s time to take an Art Walk with Caribu! Art Walk Books #1 and #2 feature some of the world’s most famous artworks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Explore iconic paintings, statues, and structures that are significant to both art history and pop culture. 

The books highlight works from ancient times to the present from across the globe. What does an ancient Assyrian panel have in common with a Rembrandt painting? What’s the difference between an Egyptian sphinx and Rodin’s The Thinker? What can we learn about fashion, ideas, and everyday life by observing paintings throughout history? The Art Walk books take readers on a tour through time and across continents. By including works from different eras, artists, and locations, they show readers that art is universal. Here are some tips to get started on your journey!

Getting Started

There are a few ways to explore each book. One way is to begin with an overview, and then pick a few works to discuss in more detail. On your Caribu Video-Call, page through the book. Tell your grandchild to choose two works that grab their attention. Then, follow some of the discussion prompts below to share what makes the works special. This will encourage kids to talk about the art that intrigues them the most.  

Another way is to discuss the pieces one-by-one over multiple Caribu Calls. You can explore or compare 1-2 works each time you speak. That way, kids will look forward to regular art chats, and develop skills of art appreciation over time. 

For those who need an activity to become invested in artwork, try the challenges described later in this post.

Explore Individual Works

When looking at each artwork, focus on asking open-ended questions about what your child or grandchild notices. Give them a chance to make inferences about mood, feelings, and narratives that emerge from the piece. You will be impressed by their observations and insights! 

Consider sharing some of these questions as you study each work: 

  1. What stands out in this artwork? 
  2. What feelings does this artwork give you?
  3. What expressions do you notice on people’s faces? 
  4. What story do you see happening in the artwork? 
  5. What details do you notice that give clues to the story?
  6. What do you see hiding in the background? Why do you think it is there?
  7. What colors do you notice? What mood does this create?
  8. What shapes do you see? How might these shapes be a part of a story? 
  9. What do you notice about the way the light shines in the painting? 
  10. What brushstrokes or shapes might be part of the artist’s style?

Compare Two Works

Choose two works that have something obvious in common. For example: two different portraits; two different statues; or two different multi-character paintings. Then take some time to notice the similarities and differences. Compare the colors, the poses, the light, the expressions, and the artists’ techniques. Through this process, you might realize that artists have a lot in common, even across different time periods and locations.

Story Challenge

Choose an image from one of the ArtWalk books. What story do you see? Invite your grandchild to create a story that connects to the scene in front of you. Then, tell your own tale of what you see! To extend the fun, write down your stories so you can repeat them at bedtime or share them on your next Caribu Call. 

Photo Challenge  

Take your Art Walk one step further by recreating your favorite works of art in real life! Dress up with hats, gowns, and makeup from a famous painting, and decorate a backdrop with objects similar to the artwork. Get your camera ready, and strike a pose that copies the original! On your next Caribu Call, wear your costumes, and compare your photo with the art in the book. Share your photo on social media, and tag #CaribuApp so we can see!  

Art Extension

Art can be a powerful expression of children’s feelings, and it’s especially important to provide creative outlets during this time. Choose a painting or piece from one of the Art Walk books, and create your own work that captures the artist’s technique. Focus in on 1-2 key strategies: colors, brushstrokes, shapes, etc. Try using these techniques in art pieces that you and your child/grandchild create together on Caribu’s Blank Drawing Sheet activity. You can even challenge each other with the Art Gallery two-person activity. Save your drawing, and share it with #CaribuApp on social media!

Scavenger Hunt

Explore the Art Walk books with a Scavenger Hunt! Find artworks that include the details in the list.  

Art Walk Book #1: Can you find:

  1. Three people with beards
  2. One person holding a cane 
  3. Two different animals
  4. Three different women wearing green 
  5. Four children/babies. 
  6. Three different types of hats.
  7. A building with two pillars. 

Art Walk Book #2: Can you find:

  1. Three statues
  2. One glass window
  3. One tall torchlight
  4. Three different head coverings
  5. One red tablecloth
  6. Four creatures with wings
  7. Two boats 

However you choose to take your Caribu Art Walk, give your child or grandchild plenty of time to observe and share. Like a true art critic, they might need some space to notice details and put their ideas into words. Use these experiences to inspire discussion, creativity, and most importantly, powerful moments of connection. 

Beth S. Pollak is a writer and educator based in California. In addition to working with Caribu, she consults with educational organizations and EdTech companies. Beth has worked as a teacher and journalist in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. She holds degrees in journalism, bilingual education, and educational leadership. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, picnics, and dance.