Why should you visit museums with the children? Museums are old, sometimes have funny smells in them, and you’re not allowed to make noises nor touch stuff on display, kids would just find them boring.
True, some points are true, kids will definitely be bored if you bring them to museums. And still, why should you visit museums with the children? Because MUSEUMS ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY and SPARKS CURIOSITY, and museums bring them closer to history. These are just some of the many reasons why parents should visit museums with the children. Apart from teaching them patience and following rules within the museum walls.
Visiting museums is not a like a walk at the park. If you plan on taking the tykes museum hopping, here are some things to keep in mind:
Know what to expect
Prior to the actual museum visit, educate yourself as much as you can about the exhibits you’ll be taking the children to. Check if they have an online brochure. See which areas will be of particular interest to your kids. If you have a clear idea of the places you’ll go to, you’ll be able to maximize your time for a visit.
Planning ahead will also save you time, especially for bigger museums. See if there would be interactive displays that they could participate in. Some museums have such holographic displays where they could show how you look like at particular eras, and it’s interesting and funny for the kids.
Don’t do it all
(Except of course if it’s the Louvre.) Try not to cram everything in one visit. Just choose certain portions of the museum to check out, as kids are notorious for their short attention spans. There shouldn’t be any sort of pressure on you to visit every part of the museum. You can always come back another time, if it’s within your city.
Relate art to real life
This is the heart of your museum trip. Try to make connections between pieces of art and the kids’ everyday experiences. As they look at artwork, have them talk about familiar things which it reminds them of. If they’re looking at a painting of children, for instance, have them compare the kids to themselves.
Movies are sometimes a good reference for kids. Once at the Louvre, my son saw Venus de Milo and said “oh, that’s the sculpture Hercules broke!” He was referring to a scene in the animated movie Hercules.
Get Them Souvenirs
Make the museum trip memorable by having the kids pick out a souvenir from the museum gift shop. And this is a must for my kids. It could either be postcards, a pen, a bookmarker, a snow globe or a wind-up music box. There are a lot to choose from at a museums souvenir store, there could also be calendars, coffee cups, swiss knives, so make the kids choose well.
It may cost some bucks, but just bring something back for them to remember the museum by.
Visit Museums with the Children, Key Takeaways
Museums are a better alternative than crowded and noisy malls. Kids will learn valuable stuff about life and bond with you at the same time. Make sure that you plan ahead and know what the exhibit would be about. Choose certain areas of the museum to visit, those that would particularly be curious for the kids. Encourage a discussion with them about the displays and don’t forget to buy them something as a remembrance.
It doesn’t really matter which kind of museum you visit with the children, be it an art museum, a music museum, or a chocolate one. You can make museum fun and enjoyable for them. Yes, you can try to make the experience a memorable one for them. Who knows, eventually, they may turn into “museum rats”?