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November 20, 2017
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Nature's Gift, Family-Style

Tips for taking kids to our rainbow-filled exhibition

By OMCA Staff

Looking for something fun to do with your family this holiday season? We have something special just waiting for you and your family—literally! Our latest exhibition needs you to complete the experience. Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown is all about connecting people together, and sparking joy and creativity.  

The centerpiece is the giant inflatable sculpture created by the artistic collective FriendsWithYou (you might recognize their name from their TV series for kids, True and the Rainbow Kingdom), and the space also has a grassy Astroturf floor, silky-smooth hammocks, and large bean bags! You can even lay down and rest here. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate this space that kids will fall in love with as they explore: 

When you first enter the Great Hall corridor, follow it all the way down to the rainbow light. Before you turn the corner to see the sculpture, ask each other what might be inside. What do you think it will look like? What can you hear?

Then, turn the corner and enter a new world. Remember that in this space you’re not just an observer. It’s all about interacting—with each other, the sculpture, and all the other visitors in the room, too. 

Feel the playful joy of the space. Be in awe of the glowing light. Explore with wonder and curiosity. You might start by taking a loop together around the whole room to take it all in.

You can help kids, too, by showing off how to use the space. Remind them although it’s okay to touch this artwork (yes!), it’s is a very special work of art that someone created just for OMCA. It might look like a bouncey house, but it’s more delicate and it’s best to gather around and inside the work—not on it!

See all those floppy green bean bags in the space? Pull one inside the sculpture, and curl up together while you enjoy watching the changing rainbow of colors. Want to use a hammock? You can swing gently in this space, but play with chill vibes—it’s  more about gentle swaying than boisterous swinging.

Cultivate your little ones’ curiosity by asking questions about the experience. What do you notice about the sculpture? What colors do you see? How many? Choose three places to stand or sit in the space. Does it look the same from every corner of the room?

Let yourselves dream a little while you’re here. Where’s your favorite spot? If this were your kingdom, where would your house be? Who would your friends be, who would you want to invite over? Try a game of follow the leader, too, and invite your naturally curious children to show you what they’ve discovered here. 

You can pick up glowing and LED-light up toys to use inside the space, too, from the OMCA Store or from the Pop-up Store inside the exhibition on Fridays from 5 to 9 pm. Grab a LED hula hoop and start a-swinging, or pick up some visual effects glasses to watch how the colors look through new prismatic lenses. How does it change your experience? 

During Friday Nights @ OMCA on November 24, be sure to stop by our hands-on family friendly activity to make your own balloon art, inspired by Nature’s Gift, from 5 to 8 pm in the California Room on Level 1.  

Finally, don’t be surprised when your kids ask to come back in again during your visit, or even in another week!

Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown is on view through January 21, 2018.

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