Taking a child to a museum for the first time is exciting. Children are open to learning and need constant stimulation to keep their young minds going. There are a few tips to keep in mind when you embark on your first museum trip that will keep the visit stress-free and fun for everybody.
Do your research
It is much more practical to perform some simple online research and find out the museum’s hours, admission cost and policies regarding snacks, strollers, bags and cameras than to show up and have to reorganize. One minor hiccup can change the tone of an entire trip.
Spend less on food
Museum snack bars can be pricey. Some families save money by packing a cooler with sandwiches, salads and drinks. Take a break from the museum to eat outside and get rid of some of that pent up energy.
Know when to leave
It is not a good idea to wait until the burn out has already happened; that just makes the rest of the day difficult. When you start to see your child growing bored or tired, you should end the experience on a positive note.
Pick the right kind of museum.
You know your child’s interests more than anybody else. Some children will find an art museum boring while others will love it. There are many museums that are child-friendly and hands-on related to science and natural history. Choose a museum with films and activities that prevent the visit from getting dull.
Talk about the museum. Say positive things about the museum before you even arrive to set a good precedent for the visit. Tell your little one what they can expect to see at the museum and why. Be enthusiastic in order to encourage your child to feel excited about learning.
Follow up the museum with a trip to the library
If you find that your child is especially fascinated by one particular subject, encourage him or her to pursue further study at the library and on the Internet. A simple push in the right direction can lead to college and a career your child is passionate about.
Take a self-guided tour if possible. Children often become restless when there is a structured tour geared toward adults. Self-guided tours allow for significantly more freedom.
Now you are on the right track to having a fun and engaging museum visit.
Photo Credit: MarcWathieu
MuseumIn.org is an online directory of Museums, focused on helping museum goers find museums in their area that match their intersts.