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Guest Post: Making the Most of Museums

January 30th, 2017

3 Ways Museums Can Foster a Love of Learning Among Children

The word “museum” conjures quiet images of dusty manuscripts, poorly stuffed lions, and maybe even a dinosaur skeleton or two. While these things may be found in many museums, modern times have drawn museums from stuffy to colorful, advanced, and exciting. The displays are often kid-friendly, catering to field trips and instructors. However, by bringing your children to museums before their formal education begins, you may be giving them a leg-up. Here are a few of the ways museums can teach your kids to love learning:

1. There’s an App for That

Most museums in the modern age boast apps that act as virtual tour guides through the museum. These apps might have additional information on each exhibit, supplemental resources to learn more about the exhibits, or fun little games to play to include younger children. In fact, some apps will even allow you to take a virtual tour of a museum without leaving your home.

By using these supplemental apps, you make the process of learning about the exhibits an exciting, interactive adventure. Your kids will be thrilled to be allowed to hold your phone or table and wander through the museum, accessing information on their own.

2. Hands-On Learning for Exhibits and Classes

Most children and even adults find lecture-based learning dull. And while there are a many fun and creative ways to make learning engaging for kids, nothing quite beats hands-on learning experience offered by visiting a museum.

For example, many museums that incorporate dinosaurs will include a sandbox that allows children to dig for fossils. What could be better than spending an afternoon pretending to be an archaeologist, complete with rocks, dirt, and all the tools of the trade? A museum volunteer may even bring out a real fossil for children to view up close.

This sort of learning teaches children that education does not have to mean sitting quietly, listening to an adult talk about a topic for an hour or more. They will begin to associate their impending education with exciting, hands-on activities that will allow them to get up close and personal with a variety of topics that interest them. In fact, adults may learn a thing or two about educating kids through a trip to the museum.

3. Kids Get to See Parents Enjoying Education

Kids want to emulate the adults in their lives, and taking a family trip to a museum will allow your children to witness adults learning and having fun at the same time. Museums are fascinating for people of all ages, making them an ideal opportunity for learning by example. Furthermore, museums house all kinds of information. Whether you spend a day learning about art history or the evolution of humanity, your kids will find themselves exposed to new and exciting information that piques not only their interest but their parents’ as well.

It is never too early to teach your kids how fun learning can be. If you teach your children that museums are an exciting treat, they will learn that education is fun. Furthermore, museums of all kinds make for fun, wholesome family outings that engage all ages. Everybody loves learning new things, particularly when you get an up-close or hands-on experience. If you find it difficult to get everyone out of the house, you might consider downloading a museum app and allowing your kids to take a virtual tour of a famous museum. In the modern age, the possibilities are endless.

Image via Pixabay by Unsplash

Post from Jamie at scicamps.org

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