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Art Safari

Saturday, October 10th at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia

The 20th annual Art Safari is an Alexandria family tradition that provides kids with a free afternoon of hands-on crafts that spark their imagination and inspire their creativity.

Explore, create, and communicate!


EXPLORE: Expressive Vocabulary
ENRICH: Verb Variety

ENGAGE: The ability to use animal-specific verbs


Visit the 3rd Floor Hall to create paper bag animal masks.



  • While you create your masks, use this activity as an opportunity to discuss the different animal names and the ways in which they move:

    • First, ask you child to name at least five animals that he/she sees in the masks that other people are making.

    • For each animal, have your child identify a verb that describes how that animal moves. For example, snake-slithers.

    • Finally, have your child use each animal name and verb in a sentence: "A snake slithers."


EXPLORE: Oral Comprehension
ENRICH: Answering Wh- Questions

ENGAGE: The ability to answer questions about pictures


Visit Studio 21 to participate in the gallery scavenger hunt of the "Superstition and Belief" exhibit.



  • The gallery scavenger hunt has clues that guide your child to different pieces in the gallery, making it an ideal situation in which to practice answering questions about the works of art he/she sees.

    • Have your child answer a "who" question. For example, "Who is wearing a purple dress?"

    • Have your child answer a "what" question. For example, "What mythical creature breathes fire?"

    • Have your child answer a "where" question. For example, "Where is the king standing?"


EXPLORE: Articulation
ENRICH: Pronunciation of Speech Sounds in Sentences

ENGAGE: The ability to produce the // sound


Visit studio 16 to help create a giant papier-mâché giraffe.



  • The // sound, which can be written in a variety of ways in English (j as in "jump," g as in "gerbil," and /dg/ as in "lodge" are the most common), can be a tricky sound to master because it is an affricate sound - a sound made up of two sounds (the /d/ and the /ʒ/, which is the sound in "meaSure" or "garaGe"). To help your child produce this sound, remind him/her to start with the tongue touching the bumpy ridge behind the front teeth, then release the tongue and let air rush out through slightly rounded lips.

    • Ask your child to say the target words "giant" and "giraffe" five times each.

    • Next, have your child create at least three silly sentences using the phrase "giant giraffe," such as "The giant giraffe is in my house."

    • If your child can produce /dʒ/ correctly in sentences, challenge him/her to think of five more words that start with the sound and use them to make a story.

      • Here are some words you can use if you're having trouble brainstorming your own: joy, jog, jolly, jello, juice, July, George, Julie

EXPLORE: Requesting
ENRICH: Social Verbal Interactions

ENGAGE: The ability to ask for help


Visit studio 15 to create origami treasure boxes.



  • As anyone who has ever tried origami before knows well, it is not always easy to figure out how to fold your paper so that it turns out just right. However, an experience of frustration or confusion can be turned into a learning experience by teaching your child to ask for help appropriately. For all of the following skills, you can model for your child and have him/her repeat you if he/she is not able to do them independently. Ask your child to:

    • Politely get a museum staff member's attention (e.g. "Excuse me").

    • Use a complete sentence to ask for assistance (e.g. "Can you help me with my box?)

    • End the interaction appropriately after they have received help (e.g. "Thank you for your help!"


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