What: Discovery Backpacks
Where: High Museum of Art
When: Check them out whenever you visit the High
Cost: The backpacks are free to check out. Museum admission is additional
I love the High Museum, and one of my favorite things to do when I take my kids, is check out a Discovery Backpack. It’s a fantastic way to introduce your children (and you) to some of the pieces in the High’s permanent collection.
There are two versions of the backpacks, each with four lucite cards depicting a piece in the museum along with questions to ask and accompanying objects that make it hands-on. For example, one card features a marble statue of a girl. You go to that floor, open your backpack and pull out the book “Escape from Pompeii.” Read the book in front of the statue, then answer the questions on the card. Questions like, “What do you think the weather is like?” Answer “Windy, her dress is billowing.” Then you pull out the blocks of stone, wood and marble and choose the material used to make this statue. My then 4-year-old enjoyed this and I was surprised at how accurate his answers were.
Another card asks kids to interpret a painting of two circles and a swish underneath. I saw suns, not very creative. My oldest saw two people hugging each other. I love that painting now and whenever I see it I think of him and smile.
In my opinion the backpacks are a stroke of sheer genius. They make the art more accessible and the museum less overwhelming, plus it adds that hands on element that kids (ok and adults) crave.