Taking kids to the museum can be challenging. How often do you hear them ask when they’re going home, states that this is boring, or ask why they have to be here? Once you hear that, you know that they’re no longer having fun and are completely disconnected from what you’re doing.
However, we want kids to be engaged with museums because they offer so much to people of all ages. You have the chance to see paintings and artifacts that are hundreds and thousands of years old up close. Plus, you get to learn more about history in a way that’s outside a classroom or a book.
So, for your next museum trip, here are four ways to help keep your children engaged and make the trip fun!
You can find a movie about almost anything nowadays, including artifacts and other items in a museum. Depending on which museum you’re going to and what exhibit you’re visiting, find a movie that explains the history behind it.
You’ll find that not only will your kids learn more about the exhibit and have a better understanding when they get there, but it also keeps them more engaged. It gives them a sense of “being there” as they walk through the exhibit and relate it back to the movie.
Scavenger hunts are a fun way to keep children entertained and secretly learn something at the same time. You can plan your own mini scavenger hunt before you go to the museum or even see if the museum itself has scavenger hunts made for children.
Have clues planned out that match with the exhibit you’re visiting. Your kids then have to decipher the clues to lead them to the next painting or artifact to view. It helps make things more exciting as they successfully lead you through the museum with each clue they answer.
Instead of taking your child throughout the museum, let your child lead you. When they’re in charge, it not only gives them a sense of responsibility, it also can be a lot of fun for them (especially when they’re in charge of their parent).
Give them a map of the museum and circle the exhibits you both want to visit. Then, let him or her guide you around. Of course, if he or she gets stuck, you’ll want to help out a bit.
When we say play a game, we don’t mean something that involves children running around and screaming. Instead, play a game that gets your child to interact with the exhibit. You could have your child pose and mimic the artifact or painting and snap a photo (ensure the museum allows photos ahead of time).
You can also play “I Spy,” or “20 Questions.” Have something in mind around the museum and get your children to guess what you’re thinking of by asking questions. Once they have an idea, have them lead you over to their answer.
Keep museums fun and engaging for children by incorporating ideas that they’ll love. Using quiet games that are respectful or the museum will help prevent them from becoming bored and wanting to go home right away.