A Trip to the Museum

Many people may not think the museum is a good place to spend time with a child. Museums are traditionally thought to be quiet places that house classic pieces of expensive art. The idea of bringing a young child that wants to touch everything and talk loudly can seem like a nightmare for many parents. The good news is that the model for museums is rapidly changing today. The number of children’s museums are on the rise and many traditional museums are beginning to add child friendly exhibits to their collections. These days a trip to the museum can be a fun and educational event for children of all ages.

Children’s museums can be found in many cities today and they serve as a great way to expose a child to art education. These museums are full of hands on exhibits that entertain and promote learning all at the same time. A museum is a great place to teach children about science as well. The exhibits featured in children’s museums are designed with education in mind. Many hands on exhibits expose children to complex concepts that might be difficult to explain to a child in in a home or school setting. These exhibits use visual art to introduce concepts in the areas of physical science, history, math and art just to name a few. Participating in the hands on activities can develop your child’s interest in these areas. Just because it’s a museum for kids doesn’t mean adults can’t participate as well.

Adult participation can help foster a child’s interest and is a great way to enhance early childhood learning and art appreciation. There is a growing trend for museums to offer both adult oriented exhibits and child friendly exhibits. Oftentimes a trip to the adult museum can be manageable if there is a place to let a child run wild so to speak. When the constraints of the adult exhibits become to much for a child to handle it’s time to head to the kid’s section. Exposing children to the art in museums opens a child’s mind to more than just art. The exposure opens doors to other cultures and ideas that children may not learn about at home or in school. The other great thing about museums is the multitude of lessons and classes that are offered. Many museums offer classes where children and parents can work on arts and crafts together. The exhibits are also geared toward children of different ages so it’s a great way to spend time with a child no matter what their age.

Parent and educators may be surprised by how interested a child will be with the art that’s showcased in a museum. Even if the section of classical art may not be that interesting a child may think the modern art is amazing. It’s important to adopt an attitude of exposure while not force feeding information that’s not interesting to a child. Becoming irritated if a kid is not impressed by art that is considered to be a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa is counterproductive. True appreciation comes in time and the only way to foster appreciation is through exposure. Ask children questions about the artwork, what colors they see or questions about the objects or people in the picture. Going to the museum is a fantastic way to create a dialog about art.

By Laura