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Arte Kids, learning dual languages, and the San Antonio Museum of Art

A visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art with Arte Kids books featuring pieces of art from the SAMA collection

Last week, as summer slipped quickly through our fingers, I needed to find a new way to get my art-loving daughter excited about heading to her 3rd grade dual language class. And, as my son was starting dual language Kindergarten at the same time, I wanted to continue introducing him to basic Spanish. In his Kindergarten class this year, the instruction is in Spanish 90% of the time! Helping him become familiar with Spanish phrases will hopefully help ease some of that culture shock.

We headed to the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) for a day of fun learning about art, but we embraced our Spanish skills there too!

As it happened, last December, while I flailed about from a nasty case of flu, San Antonio bloggers met at SAMA to celebrate the launch of Arte Kids, a new book series published by Trinity University Press. These colorful board books focus on colors, numbers, shapes, and animals and they all feature art from SAMA, along with descriptions in both English and Spanish. Although I didn’t attend the event, Burgin Streetman, with Trinity University Press, kindly sent me complimentary copies of three of the books to enjoy.

A visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art with Arte Kids books featuring pieces of art from the SAMA collection

When I received the books last winter, my kids were immediately drawn to the vibrant photos of paintings, sculptures and glass, and my daughter loved sharing her knowledge of Spanish with her little brother as she read the books to him.

But last week during our visit to SAMA, the art and my kids’ blossoming Spanish skills really came to life when we brought our Arte Kids books along. My niece accompanied us and each kid selected their favorite of the three books. They took turns searching the museum, high and low, for the original artwork that appeared in their books. When we found them, we repeated the English and Spanish words for each piece of art.

A visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art with Arte Kids books featuring pieces of art from the SAMA collection

It was a bit like a chaotic, artsy scavenger hunt. Taking three kids to SAMA, each of whom had different (and very vocal!) opinions on which art to see when, was like trying to keep up with three balls bouncing around a pinball machine at the same time. Even so, it was completely worth it. The kids were energized by the vast variety of art (OK, yes, the naked, Greek sculptures elicited more than a few giggles) and they embraced the excitement of seeing the art from their books live, and in person.

The San Antonio Museum of Art is a lovely place to take your children, even the young ones, to explore and investigate. SAMA offers many programs for all ages. Admission for adults is just $10 and kids 12 and under are free. And everyone receives free admission on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 10:0 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


  1. We were just there this morning! We went for the crafts, but there was also a band playing folk music from Veracruz.

    I like the idea of using the Arte Kids books for a scavenger hunt.

    The “advanced” version of the scavenger hunt would be to use “The San Antonio Museum of Art: Guide to the Collection.” Yikes!
    Inga M. Cotton recently posted…San Antonio parents: Do you feel like you have “plenty of options” for schools?My Profile

    • Colleen Pence says:

      That would be one crazy scavenger hunt, Inga! Maybe we could do it with a bunch of bloggers on a Friday night (with wine!). 😉

  2. That sounds like so much fun!! I love art museums 🙂
    Julie recently posted…Crafty Thursday Obsessions {29}My Profile

  3. What a fantastic way to bring together culture, reading, and learning!!
    Mary @Capturing Magical Memories recently posted…A Wordless Wednesday Tour of the Epcot Norway PavilionMy Profile

    • Colleen Pence says:

      Thanks, Mary. It was so much fun. I think we’ll do it again after we buy the other two books in the series.

  4. This is such a cool idea!! I’ll have to try this when Co is a little older.
    Ashley recently posted…Having a Baby Prep–Freezer MealsMy Profile

    • Colleen Pence says:

      Ashley, they also have a toddler time on Wednesdays that I hear is wonderful. I bet Co (and you!) would love it.


  1. […] “Take in San Antonio’s Art Museums and Galleries” page 4 Not only are San Antonio’s museums fun, educational, and interesting. Nearly all of them offer free days and times to visit. My kids’ favorites? The DoSeum, The Witte, The Briscoe, and The San Antonio Museum of Art. […]

  2. […] See our post about the San Antonio Museum of Art: Arte Kids, learning dual languages, and the San Antonio Museum of Art […]

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