Educare children explore art through museum partnership

Over the past three years, children at Educare Kansas City have been channeling their inner artists through a partnership with the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

The partnership offers a unique opportunity for museum staff to visit the school for four weeks each spring. Not only are the children getting exposure to arts and culture from the largest contemporary arts museum in Missouri, they are building essential skills, including social and emotional development, literacy, language and creativity.

The Kemper Museum coordinates a group of volunteers to participate in the partnership. They train the volunteers on how to work in preschool classrooms and discuss art with young children.

The museum’s education coordinator creates lesson plans for the program based on the current art exhibitions. From geometric tile stamps to creating art from nature, the children explore different forms of artwork. A volunteer reads a book to the children that connects the concepts in the art and then the children create art using the week’s featured work as inspiration. Teachers and volunteers work together to assist the children with the activity.

At the end of this year’s program, the museum made goody bags for each child that included materials to complete an art project at home.

Educare schools intentionally integrate arts into the classroom curriculum to help children gain fine motor, academic and social-emotional skills.

Want to bring more arts into your early learning classroom? Here are some tips for forming arts partnerships in your community:

  • Reach out to museums or arts programs in your area
  • Collaborate to find a program model is developmentally appropriate, benefits your children and families, and meets the goals of both partners
  • Reflect on what is and isn’t working with the lesson plans to plan for the following year


View photos of the children’s artwork.