What's New?

PHOTO OP (Shockwave, 7 MB)

This interactive activity introduces you to digital photography and image editing. Use the virtual camera to snap photos, then edit the images or add special effects to create your own works of art.  

photo op collage

photo op drawing

four heads

BRUSHster (Shockwave, 312k ) is an interactive painting machine that creates abstract art online. Express yourself! Paint colorful abstractions or use the program to design your own note cards, wrapping paper, or screensaver art. The program has forty brushes and two dozen special effects, plus there's an AUTO button that makes BRUSHster fun for all ages.

brushster icon



Still life interactive

Create an interactive Still Life that mirrors the paintings of the old masters. We have a few surprises in store for you in our (not so still) Still Life program. This Art Zone activity is suitable for all ages. (Shockwave, 8 mb) 

Dutch Dollhouse icon
Dutch Dollhouse
(Shockwave, 4.6 MB)

Mix and match colorful characters, create decorative objects, and explore the kitchen, living quarters, artist's studio, and courtyard of this interactive 17th-century Dutch House.

What's Happening?

If you're planning a visit, scroll down for a list of things to see and do at the Gallery. Program links will open in a new browser window.

calendar of events for kids


Download the most recent edition of the NGAkids family activities quarterly. (PDF, 215k)

Visit the Family Activities page on our Web site.

Parents and teachers may wish to sign up for the mailing list or consult the Gallery's online Calendar of Events.

films for kids
For up-to-date information on the current month’s films, please call the Children’s Film Program information line at (202) 789-3030 or read this list of scheduled Children's Film. No registration is required. Children’s film programs are shown in the East Building auditorium unless otherwise noted. Programs are free and are subject to change without notice. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-seated basis.



Current Exhibitions 


Searching for something?  

If you're looking for information about specific artists or works of art that are not mentioned in NGAkids, just search the collection.

You can learn about the history of the National Gallery of Art or read gallery guides in five languages. Your teachers will find interesting activities and lessons in the NGAClassroom section of our Web site. 

NGAclassroom NGAloanfinder

Paintings of the Dutch Golden Age (PDF, 6.8 MB), a free 165-page guide to 17th-century Dutch art, is available in NGA Classroom.

Dutch Teaching Packet
There are many places on the main Web site to explore. You can always return to NGAkids by clicking the NGAkids text link or by returning HOME to start over. If you get lost while browsing, our direct address is http://www.nga.gov/kids.

Famiily guides

Inside Scoop - Miro

The new issue of Inside Scoop features paintings by Joan Miró. (PDF, 295 k)  

Download back issues of Inside Scoop and children's guides to special exhibitions.

If you're planning a visit, download a West Building Treasure Hunt.

   Need help?

Technical problems
If you're having trouble loading this page, your browser may need updating. Read this introduction to the NGAkids page. If you're having trouble opening links, check your browser settings to be sure Javascript is enabled. Finally, try the "low tech" version of this page.

To view the Art Zone interactives you need Adobe Shockwave Player, which also handles Flash content. QuickTime is used for several videos and animations.

Recommended Browsers

Mac OSX: Safari or Firefox 2
Windows: Explorer or Firefox 2

Please note: Firefox 3 on the Macintosh is not fully compatible with Shockwave Player and Flash. This problem should be resolved in a future update. If you plan to use Firefox on your mac, be sure you have updated to the most recent version of the browser and the Shockwave plug-in. If you experience display issues, resize the browser window after the programs loads to refresh the Web page.

You can test your browser to see if it's ready for Shockwave, Flash, and QuickTime.

For more information about installing Shockwave Player, and to learn how to save the art you create online, visit the NGAkids HELP PAGE.

The links below will take you to the download sites for these popular browser plug-ins.

get shockwave

Get Flash Player

Get Acrobat Reader

Get QuickTime


The Art Zone
interactive art that you can make online
Photo Op

NGAkids PHOTO OP (Shockwave, 7 MB) is a two-part interactive introduction to digital photography and image editing. Use the virtual camera to snap pictures, then experiment with the easy-to-use photo editing tools to give your art a whole new look. The special effects palette, colorizing options, collage tools, warps, and mirrors will transform your photographs. This program is suitable for all ages. Learn more, or start the program. Get Shockwave Player.

Brushster screenshot

BRUSHster (Shockwave, 312 k) creates abstract art in many styles. The program is easy to use and fun for all ages. AUTO options offer interesting ideas for young artists, and advanced users can experiment with BRUSHster's customized tools to create sophisticated non-representational paintings. For a sample of what the program can do, here's a slideshow. Get Shockwave Player.

sample still life

Visit the NGAkids Art Zone to make a still life of your own. Mix everyday objects with elements borrowed from art in the National Gallery's collections. Get Shockwave Player.

inDutch-StudioCourtyard at night

Paintings by well-known 17th-century artists spring to life as you mix and match colorful characters, create decorative objects, and explore the kitchen, living quarters, artist's studio, and courtyard of this interactive DUTCH DOLLHOUSE. (Shockwave, 4.6 MB) A high-speed Internet connection or preloading prior to play is recommended. This interactive is fun for all ages. Get Shockwave Player.

Jungle interactive game

Create a tropical jungle filled with tigers, monkeys, and other exotic creatures. Inspired by the art of Henri Rousseau, NGAkids Jungle is an interactive art activity for children of all ages. (Shockwave, 930 k)  


 collage machine 2

Collage Machine II is the second edition of our popular interactive collage-maker.

collage machine 1

Collage Machine I 


Explore 3-d with 3-D Twirler and Cubits.




zoom! LEFT TO RIGHT: Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de' Benci, c. 1474/1478, oil on panel, National Gallery of Art, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund. Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing, c. 1665. oil on canvas, Gift of Harry Waldron Havemeyer and Horace Havemeyer, Jr., in memory of their father, Horace Havemeyer.  Pieter de Hooch, A Dutch Courtyard, 1658/1660, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Andrew W. Mellon Collection

When you're looking at art online, it's hard to see the details. Try this. Click an image above or the "Zoom" links below for a closer look. 

Zoom  Learn about Ginevra de' Benci, the only portrait in America by Leonardo da Vinci.You can even see the fingerprints of the artist!
(Flash, 20 k) 

A Lady Writing is featured in a popular children's book about Johannes Vermeer. for a close look at the painting and other works by Vermeer. (Flash, 20 k) 

Zoom This 17th-century painting of a A Dutch Courtyard by de Hooch was the inspiration for the courtyard in our interactive Dutch House in the Art Zone. (Flash, 20 k)

Thanks for visiting NGAkids. Let us know what you think of the Gallery's Web site and tell us what else you'd like to see online. In accordance with the Gallery's privacy policy, we don't collect or share personal information about our visitors. We aren't able to answer letters from kids, but we'd enjoy hearing from you! Grown-ups are welcome to write, too, but tell them to be sure to include an e-mail address if they'd like a reply.


Send your comment to NGAkids

NGAkids online is supported in part by a generous grant from the Ruth S. Willoughby Foundation.

Site Credits

NGAkids logo

Remember -- clicking the red, white, and black icon at the bottom of most NGAkids pages will bring you back to this home page. To leave NGAkids and explore the National Gallery's main Web site, use the text links below:

Download the Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci Vermeer - A Lady Writing de Hooch