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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Making Art Together

From a Toddler's Point of View

The other week after observing a tentative toddler at the light table in the Studio I wondered if I had ever really looked at this room from the perspective of a toddler- 25 inches off the ground.  I've gotten on the floor probably  hundreds of times in the past 10 years here, but had I ever really experienced all the corners of our space as a toddler might? 

The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum

Having my own 18 month old at home has uncovered new questions in my work.  Maybe I've said this before? No longer do I see what I do from strictly an educator's perspective- I now see it work through tired, freshman-parent eyes. These eyes are now learning just how real it is to parent a willful, exploratory, energetic toddler. In the hope to tie new connections between work and home I grabbed the camera and got on the studio floor.

The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum

From my observations over the years I know that while pleasant and vibrant, our space is large and therefore overwhelming for some small people.

The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum

My time on the floor offered me more questions than answers .  Is our entry welcoming for toddlers? Do we provide the right visual engagement at their level? Is our furniture conducive to toddler and toddler/parent participation? Do parents of toddlers feel at ease here? Does how I focus the camera match how a toddler sees our space?

The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum

As I explore these questions with Diana and our volunteers,  I want to hear from you.   Have you seen your space - be it your home or classroom, from a young child's perspective? Did it lead you to make any changes? If so, what was the reaction?

The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



by Meghan Burch

This entry was posted on Friday, October 26th, 2012 at 3:39 pm and is filed under By Meghan Burch, Toddlers, Our Approach, Preschool. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


Renee Millikan
Wednesday, November 11, 2012 - 4:26 pm
Thank you for the photos shot from a toddler's perspective. I love the underside of the sink! I too have thought about what my students see. While I have a classroom of kindergartners, they are not much taller than toddlers. I have often been frustrated by the designs of our classrooms. I try to hang posters, work, alphabets, etc. as low as possible, but there is often not enough wall space to do much. I recently realized I could hang papers off the edge of the table in the middle of my room closer to the children's eye level. I keep trying to think outside of the box about how we do school. Thank you for the encouragement.
Saturday, November 11, 2012 - 5:28 pm
Hi Renee, Are you familiar with the learning environments in Reggio Emilia, Italy? They can provide much inspiration and are where the idea of a space being a child's third teacher (after their parents and classroom teacher) has come. There is also a great book<em>The Third Teacher</em>? published by Abrams you might check out if you haven't yet! Thanks!

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