Museum exhibits come alive in the movie, Night at the Museum. Ben Stiller and company show that museums can be more than what meets the eye. Come and discover your local museum! Ask your favorite kiddo to join you on an adventure worthy of memory making opportunities. Enjoying these public spaces may lead to a lifelong interest in museums. There are so many things for a child to experience at a museum. Here are a few:
#1- Interactive Exhibits
Children can take part in the diverse exhibits the museum has to offer. Follow the child’s lead and interests. They can examine, talk about, and learn from the museum displays. Encourage dialogue. If a docent is available, go on a guided tour.
#2- Events for Kids
Check out the special events that are designed for children. You can sign up to receive free newsletters, if available. Or view the museum’s calendar of events on the website. School field trips are a great way to introduce children to their local museum, encourage historical empathy, and communicate information to children in creative ways.
#3- Leave with a “Twinkle Think!”
Museums are places that keep, care for, and display a collection. Ask your child why the museum has chosen this collection. What is important about it? Do they like/dislike it? Why? As you and your child explore the museum, find a Twinkle Think. That is one thing you want to learn more about when you leave. A Twinkle Think gives the child a way to extend their experience and dive deeper into a topic.
Let your young explorer’s imagination take flight at the museum. Schedule future museum playdates with your child. Return often to see the ever-changing museum offerings.
Greene, J. P., Kisida, B, & Bowen, D. H. (2014). Why field trips matter. Museum, 33-41.
Moynihan, N., & Diamant-Cohen, B. (2012). It’s all fun and games in “Tiny’s Diner”: Preschool programming in unusual exhibit spaces. Journal of Museum Education, 37(3), 91-98.
Dr. Marisa Macy is a board member of the Foundation for Las Cruces Museums. She writes a weekly blog about play at www.marisamacy.com.