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Make! Play! Look! Do! | ARTivity totes at the Carter

Jan 03, 2024


Andrea Severin, Manager of Interpretation and Docents

Part of  these categories:: Education

Are you visiting the Carter with kiddos? Activity bags—called ARTivity totes—can be checked out for free at the Information Desk and are full of fun questions, prompts, and games (in both English and Spanish) for families to use in the galleries.

A woman holding a child on her hip, and with a tote bag slung on her shoulder, looks at an artwork at the Carter.

Pickup an ARTivity tote at the Information Desk and take it with you during your visit.

We know that visiting a museum with children can feel daunting, with their wiggly arms and speedy feet. So, we developed these totes back in 2019 to give visitors with children of all ages and abilities a variety of opportunities to engage with our collection in meaningful ways. The bags and activities inside were designed to reflect the age and abilities of its child user. For example, a non-reading child can enjoy the activities with the help of their grown-up, while an older child may be able to explore the tote’s activities completely independently.

We offer three different tote themes to suit everyone’s fancy.

  • Have We Met? Explore portraits and people in the collection.
  • Make SENSE-ory to Me Experience art using different senses.
  • The Wild West Hang out in our Legacy Galleries, home to artwork featuring Native Americans, cowboys, and cowgirls.
A Carter ARTivity tote and the four pouches.

Inside each tote are four pouches, each full of gallery activities.

Each tote bag includes a welcome sheet along with four pouches, each of which focuses on connecting with artwork through a different kind of activity.

The Look pouch encourages close looking. In the Have We Met? tote, play a round of museum bingo by searching for specific characteristics in portraits and other images of people in the galleries.

The Play pouch includes a game that can be played alone or in a group. Have a few chuckles over a Mad Libs-style game using a letter written by artist Charles Russell.

The Do pouch is what it sounds like: an activity to do! In the Make SENSE-ory to Me tote, touch common materials found in artworks on our walls and pedestals. You can’t touch the art, but you can touch these!

And lastly, the Make pouch offers a prompt and supplies for an art-making activity, from drawing self-portraits to coloring and assembling a paper horse.

An adult and child sit and play in front of a painting.

We love the creative energy and fresh perspectives children bring to an art museum, and we hope you will check out an ARTivity Tote during your next visit to the Carter. Remember, it’s okay to have fun and be silly in a museum!