This post was originaly published on the European Cartoon Center Blog. It’ s about the role that we, as a cartoon museum, think we have in bringing children in contact with cartoons.
We really wonder how you think about it?
Kids and cartooning
Kids and cartooning, it is not so evident. The humour we find in gag cartoons is often to difficult for children to understand. And drawing cartoons is even more difficult. Children under the age of 14 don’t have the maturity to create completely new funny ideas.
So what? Does that mean that we can not work with children about cartoons?
We think it is important to stimulate the curiosity of young children towards cartoon, arts in general and museums. Are these children not the cartoonists and cartoon lovers of tomorrow? Will a creative and talented youngster dream of a career as cartoonist if he or she never was in contact with the diversity in cartooning techniques and styles?
As the ECC we grab every opportunity to work with children:
1. For school children we did develop an educational program
2. We participate in activities as ‘kids take over day’ or national programs to stimulate children and families to visit museums (f.e krokuskriebels)
3. We organize workshops for children
Important in the choice and development of our activities are the following criteria:
1. School activities are focused on learning about cartoons and not on cartooning. This means that these activities must be fun, also for children who hate drawing. Through a variety of assignments that are discovered in small teams, children learn to appreciate cartoons and understand what a cartoon is
2. Drawing must be fun: it is not the result that counts, but the pleasure of drawing. Try, experiment and be creative.
3. The museum experience, the first contact with the ECC and cartoons are more important than the understanding of cartoons. We prefer children to enjoy themselves rather than acquire knowledge. We are convinced that the learning about cartoons is more sustainable through multiple experiences then by a ‘lecture’ about cartoons
4. Children can understand cartoons, no matter their age. Don’t try to explain what the cartoonist means by his cartoon, let the children surprise you with their own interpretations.
5. We try to develop activities/games that are fun for parents and teachers too. The shared experience enhances the effect
So if I summarize: it’s all about having fun!
Be aware for a great new generation of Belgian cartoonists, let’s say in 10 years.