Blanton Museum of Art here in Austin we decided to take a visit. To make it more fun for the girls, I made up a pictorial scavenger hunt ahead of time by printing out snippets of paintings from the Blanton collections that I could find online.
I ended up making 3 different hunts:
1. Unique objects (a book, or hat, jewelry, etc) from paintings in the European collection
2. Animals from all over the museum
3. A collection of black and white photographs of the very colorful modern art sculptures. (The girls' job was to find each sculpture and color it the color that it appears in real life.)
It worked well. I think they looked at the paintings more closely than they might have. M enjoyed circling the pictures as she found them, and even G found a couple on her own.
I'll be tweaking the pictures for my particular scavenger hunts to share in another post in the next couple of days (in case any fellow Austinites want to use them), but I think the idea could work for other museums as well- especially small museums or ones with smaller collections of paintings so it is not too overwhelming for small children.