Introducing the 9/11 Memorial Art Cart: Activities for Kids

A girl stands next to a woman as she makes a charcoal rubbing at a name etched on a bronze parapet at the Memorial. Other young visitors do the same behind her.
A young visitor makes an etching of a name inscribed on the memorial. Photo by Jin Lee.

Visitors bringing children to the 9/11 Memorial now have a new way to discover the symbolism and meaning behind many elements of the Memorial and the rebuilt World Trade Center site: the new 9/11 Memorial Art Cart.

The art cart features hands-on activities and self-guided explorations available during spring and summer school vacations. The cart’s exploration activities, written in age-appropriate language and focused on four themes, invite children to follow clues to discover stories and interesting facts about the 9/11 Memorial plaza.

The Meaningful Adjacencies Exploration focuses on personal stories of September 11 victims. The names on the 9/11 Memorial parapets are arranged according to relationships shared in life, as requested by family and friends. Children will have the opportunity to learn stories related to how these names were laid out in meaningful adjacencies.

The Architecture & STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Exploration highlights the design and science of the rebuilt site. The 9/11 Memorial and World Trade Center skyscrapers are some of the most symbolic—and sustainable—structures in the world. Young visitors will be introduced to some of the architecture and engineering concepts that made this possible.

For children ages 3 to 5, the Senses & Shapes Exploration is an age-appropriate introduction to September 11. Children will follow clues based on sight, smell, sound, and touch to explore the 9/11 Memorial.

Finally, for visitors interested in creative writing and drawing, the Journal Exploration will include open-ended prompt as inspiration. Participants can draw or write poems and stories in a small journal to take home, such as shape collages, acrostic poems, and haikus.

There’s something for everyone on the 9/11 Memorial Art Cart, no matter your age, interest, or learning style. It will be available free-of-charge from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on April 13 and 14 and weekdays, June 19 to August 18.

The 9/11 Memorial Art Cart is made possible through generous support from New York Life.

By Noaa Stoler, 9/11 Memorial Manager of Youth & Family Programs

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