For Kids

Gallery Exploration

MMoCA offers families a variety of open-ended, fun, and flexible resources for exploring its exhibitions. Click on the links below to access a selection of these activities from home.

Learning Centers
MMoCA’s Learning Centers offer engaging resources for exploring its exhibitions. A range of touch-free activities that promote learning and imaginative play are available for Uncommon Accumulation: The Mark and Judy Bednar Collection of Chicago Imagism and Gladys Nilsson: Out of This World. Try your hand at 6 Drawing Challenges inspired by Gladys Nilsson and learn how to create the illusion of space in a work of art. Explore the science, history, and creative use of color, and design a palette after looking at Robert Lostutter’s paintings and studies.

MMoCAkids and MMoCAteens Art Guides
Designed for use anywhere in the museum, the MMoCAteens and MMoCAkids art guides offer multiple ways to investigate contemporary art, be creative, and get the most out of a museum visit. Download the guides or view on a smartphone or tablet.

MMoCAkids ArtPacks are temporarily removed from the galleries, but are available online: download a drawing activity inspired by Nilsson’s painting, Some Other Tree, as well as creative activities based on Roger Brown’s luminous landscapes and Robert Lostutter’s extraordinary hybrid creatures.

MMoCA’s Free Family Resources are generously supported by the Nimick Forbesway Foundation.

Art Cart & Art Cart Extra!

Art Cart and Art Cart EXTRA! are free outdoor art programs that travel to parks and playgrounds across Dane County. In response to current health guidelines, MMoCA and MSCR are pleased to offer Art Cart ArtKits for families to take home to complete.

To pick up an ArtKit, look for the colorful Art Cart van at parks listed in the schedule linked below. ArtKits are limited and available first-come, first-served.

Art Cart
Art Cart continues this fall with ArtKits available for pick-up at a different park each Thursday from Sept 10 to Oct 29. View/download the Fall 2020 schedule here. View video demonstrations for the first three projects of the season: wax resist watercolors, butterfly suncatchers, and postcard prints.

Art Cart EXTRA!
Although Art Cart EXTRA! has completed its run for this year, you can watch the instructors demonstrate how to make an imaginative watercolor painting and a collage scrapbook inspired by the art of Gladys Nilsson and Ray Yoshida, and download ArtKit instructions for Nilsson and Yoshida activities and a drawing activity inspired by Nilsson’s painting, Some Other Tree.

Art Cart is a joint project of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) and Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR). Art Cart EXTRA! is organized by MMoCA. To date, Art Cart and Art Cart EXTRA! are generously funded by the Theda and Tamblin Clark Smith Family Foundation in memory of Sylvia Vaccaro, the Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation, the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, MGE, the Cummings Christensen Family Foundation, and TDS Telecom.

Kids' Art Adventures

MMoCA invites families to pick up a free Kids’ Art Adventures ArtKit complete with supplies and instructions for at-home artmaking inspired by art at the museum. A different project is offered each month focused on a specific artist’s work, which you can see, up close, in the museum galleries when you pick up your kit.

To pick up an ArtKit, stop by MMoCA’s lobby on the dates and times listed below. ArtKits are limited and available first-come, first-served with a maximum of two kits per family; activities are easily duplicated for larger family groups. ArtKit instructions and supply lists are also available here.

SUNDAY, OCT 11 • 1–2 PM

Artist Gladys Nilsson is known for her playful watercolor paintings that depict a variety of characters in amusing situations. Dive in to her watercolor scenes in Out of This World and create a life-size character of your own at home.

SUNDAY, NOV 15 • 1–2 PM

Romare Bearden tells rich visual stories in his wonderfully inventive collages that are often inspired by the sounds of his favorite music. His collage-painting, Serenade, on view in Full Circle, will inspire you to construct and decorate a collaged sculpture that reflects your musical tastes. The ArtKit instructions also include ideas for making actual musical instruments at home!

SUNDAY, DEC 13 • 1–2 PM

Discover the repeated themes and detailed patterns in Amy Cutler’s intricate drawings of fairy tale-like worlds. Use the supplies in the ArtKit to make a mixed-media artist’s book inspired by her work.




ArtZone is MMoCA’s afterschool art program for 4th through 6th grade youth. The program involves students from neighborhood and community centers in a two-hour workshop at the museum that combines engaging gallery discussions with related hands-on art activities. A flexible schedule of ArtZone workshops led by an experienced art educator is offered on selected Friday afternoons throughout the school year and in summer. MMoCA provides supplies, instruction, and transportation free-of-charge.

Support for ArtZone has been generously provided by the Nimick Forbesway Foundation, US Bank Foundation, the Capital Times Kids Fund, the Madison Arts Commission with additional support from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Green Bay Packers Foundation, and Zendesk Neighbor Foundation.

Girl Scouts

Girl Scout troops may work toward completion of a Fine Arts badge by visiting MMoCA on a guided tour. Troop leaders may request an in-gallery drawing experience inspired by works of art.