Lookie No Touchie
The world offers us the ultimate education through its unbelievably packed museums. As adults we worship the artistry of the Sistine chapel, marvel at Mona Lisa’s smile, stand in awe as we take in the breadth of fort McHenry’s star spangled banner. How do you, on the other hand, guide younger ones through rooms of treasure and priceless artifacts without setting off the security alarms? The answer is two fold: first, try to choose kid friendly museums. There are some pretty fabulous choices out there.
- 1. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo Interactive machines and exhibits explained by resident scientists
- 2. The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry Epic installations like a mirror maze, a coal mine ride, and a real life submarine make this a can’t miss
- 3. The National Geographic Hall of Washington DC Rotating exhibits that include a 3D theater as well as a history of the magazine
- 4. The Clos Luce- DaVinci’s last residence, France Interactive machines created by the master dot the estate’s garden for loads of fun
- 5. TELUS Spark, Calgary, Canada This STEMcentric museum lets kids explore every aspect of science to discover at their own pace
- 6. The Thinkery, Austin, Texas Plenty of immersive activities that have kids rethinking how things really work
- 7. National Museum of Scotland, Glasgow Ready to immerse kids into science and history with plenty of interactive exhibits to connect with
- 8. V&A Museum of Childhood in London, England Full of toys, games, learning and fun make this museum a must
Opting for the Grand Dames
Secondly, if you do choose one of the classics like the Vatican or the Louvre, prep them with the facts and translate that into some ownership. Kids will connect with art and history if they can connect some dots. Try familiarizing kids with that wonderful art by ensuring they have opportunities to see it. Books are the best way to start. Then, create some stories of your own about art so there is a reference point when your young mind sees it in person.
Once you decide on a museum, check out their website to see if they offer any kid friendly activities. For example, when visiting the HMS Britannia in Edinburgh, kids can keep a close eye out for stuffed corgis hiding all over the ship. Very clever! Additionally, The Louvre has an entire section of their website dedicated to helping kids understand art.
Probably the most important way to connect kids with art is to help them understand why something is impressive. The power to understand wow is an important tool to unlocking a true interest in art, history and the museums that house them.