SAMA’s popular Playdates program for toddlers ages 2 to 4 has gone virtual! Every first and third Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., little art lovers and their caregivers join Miss Chris and Miss Michelle from our Education team to hear stories, look at art, and get creative—all via Zoom. While it took us all a moment to adapt to sharing this special time twice a month over the Internet, our Playdates regulars look forward to socializing with us virtually and having art time together.
By pre-registering for Playdates, caregivers are able to gather the simple art materials needed to make art projects in advance. Family conversations about the selected artworks can begin before the virtual Playdates session and continue afterwards to extend learning and creativity for your toddler.
SAMA’s encyclopedic collection allows us to create Virtual Playdates experiences that introduce toddlers to world cultures and a wide range of art materials and techniques. This exposure to a rich variety of experiences fosters a child’s creativity while building an early foundation for empathy and critical thinking skills. Learn more about the importance of creativity and play in the development of young children in this article from PBS.
We love sharing stories with toddlers through the Virtual Playdates program, and you can discover more early childhood video storytimes in our Playdates Bitmoji Playroom in the Families section of the Learn tab on our website. These resources are always available, so they work well with a toddler’s schedule. Explore the Playdates Bitmoji Playroom for art activities and stories by clicking on books and objects—then look for more stories at home, in the library, or on the Internet based on your child’s interests. Reading together is very beneficial for toddlers, and they love hearing the same story more than once.
Another great follow-up activity to a Virtual Playdates program is a visit to SAMA to see the works of art in person. While you are visiting, it’s fun to have a snack in our sculpture garden or take a stroll along the Museum Reach portion of the Riverwalk. Don’t feel like you have to see the entire museum in one day with your little one—short visits are great!
Noël Bella Merriam
AT&T Director of Education, Diversity, and Inclusion
Published February 20, 2021