If you thought about additional ways to enhance your child’s learning and exploring skills, why not visit a museum, where these skills are the most prized? Art museums help your child widen his perceptions and sensitivities, while other interactive museums help boost invention and experimentation skills.
Kid- friendly museums around the world
Museums around the world have been motivating and supporting family visits by offering a variety of family programs, which include art workshops for children, discussions, movies, labs and even apps and websites. The famous MoMA in New York has been presenting interesting family-oriented activities to cultivate learning experience in their children’s every-day lives and hence foster a life-long habit from their early age. Instead of spending weekends at the mall, joining a museum in your town can provoke your child’s imagination and introduce unknown worlds to him or her.
Perfect learning experience in museums
Art Institute of Chicago offers an amazing experience for children, with their family exhibitions, such as the Touch Gallery where they can explore portrait sculptures with their hands. Five portrait sculptures from different time periods provide learning about forms, scales and texture by letting children use their sense of touch.
Los Angeles County Museum of Arts offers a Family Days program every Sunday, with bilingual gallery tours (in English and Spanish), dance, music and theater performances as well as an interesting hands-on art-making class.
Dayton Art Institute in Ohio offers thematic gallery hunts with colorful clue cards that send kids to 5 workshops of art per hunt and provides fun quizzes about what they have seen while hunting.
The Geffrye Museum in London has its own Kids Zone where parents can explore online activities for children. They have their own Learning and Education Department that helps develop and deliver a wide range of imaginative and high-quality learning and engagement programs for people of all ages and abilities. For children and families, they have interesting holiday and weekend programs.
Horniman Museum and Gardens in London offers a highly entertaining Kids Activities Program, an aquarium, a hands-on center and a Nature Base with live animals and gardens for picnics.
A few words from experts
With museums around the world developing and spreading their family-friendly offerings, there are also museum experts who spread the encouraging and motivating words for parents, making a clearer picture of how important museums are for children. We’ve chosen of our favorite quotes for you:
“Museums offer a dynamic opportunity to expose children to experiences and explore new things in a rich and educational environment. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on play, children have the ability to take ownership of their own learning and develop and explore their own curiosities. This unique exposure provides the foundation for creativity, critical thinking, and connection to the world around them.”
-Sara Choi, Education Program Manager, Zimmer Children’s Museum
“Bringing children to museums opens their eyes to different ideas and perspectives that are relevant to their lives. This kind of exposure can help develop higher critical and creative thinking skills, which are integral to future success. At the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, all educational activities and resources are designed to encourage discussion, transforming galleries into laboratories of ideas.”
-Rebecca Davidson, Manager of School and Educator Programs, Virgina Museum of Contemporary Art
“Art gives us an experience like nothing else can, a chance to connect, understand, and explore perceptions, feelings, and innovative thoughts. Museums provide a space for reflection, experimentation, inspiration, creativity, enjoyment and allow for authentic learning experiences and play. Bringing children to the museum reveals children and adults as being equally active in learning, putting them on equal standing as they create a shared understanding. It’s a democratic process.”
-Jamee Yung, Education Coordinator, Weisman Art Museum
“It is so important to introduce children to museums because museums open up a world of imagination and exploration. It is even more important to introduce children to museums at a young age because our youth is our future and museums broaden our knowledge of the world.”
-Jennifer Peters, Director of Exhibits and Education, Muncie Children’s Museum
Plan your art weekends
This weekend, plan your family time in a different way. Include activities that you haven’t done in a while, check which museum in your town has a weekend family offer, or if there is a children’s museum around. Visit it, explore it and talk about what you’ve seen and learned with your children. Ask your children to draw a picture of their favorite museum moment and create memorable paintings together. Repeat the same next month and enjoy embracing culture and art as your family tradition.