Local museums, and those located all across the country are terrific ways to teach and entertain the family. You always want to be sure to ask if they have a discount program for homeschool families. Most of the time, I’ve received anywhere from 20% to 50% off and have even been given free entry. Only once did I get a rude response, and we didn’t really need to go to that museum anyhow!
Parents worry that museums are not appropriate for children. They are concerned that their children will become bored and misbehave, knock over valuables, and all manner of nightmare experiences. But have no fear! With a small amount of prep-work, and a little patience and creativity . . . you can make museum adventures a regular part of family entertainment!
If you start the children young, you can easily teach them to use their indoor voices, walk slowly, and use proper museum etiquette . We like to enhance the experience by using notebooking pages which help the children retain what they are learning at the museum.
Children can sketch a picture or take a picture of an artist, and fill in the blanks – even help younger students if needed by doing most of the writing for them. Either way, it will enrich the learning experience and help them focus on important details.
8 Ways To Keep Children Engaged At A Museum
- Find scavenger hunts or journal pages for children to complete during their visit. You can find FREE printables several places online and on my FREE Notebooking/Journal page. You can also check with the museum to see if they offer any resources. Many of our local museums provide FREE scavenger hunts, family friendly guide brochures and even flashcards.
- Take along art or history books that contain information on some of the artifacts or pieces of artwork you may encounter.
- Ask the museum if they have discovery backpacks available. These generally contain resources (like books, drawing paper, magnifying glasses, etc) that children can utilize throughout the museum to enhance their learning experience.
- Find out if child friendly audio guides are available.
- Take a docent led family tour.
- Take along a small toy or something children can hold in their hands so they won’t be tempted to touch. My son always takes along a couple Lego Minifigures to help his wandering hands.
- Give children a pad of paper and a pencil and have them draw their favorite pieces.
- Discuss the art and artifacts with children, don’t just read the informational plaques. Ask them questions like what is your favorite color in the piece or what do you think the artist was trying to convey. Discuss the tiny details, like the girl standing in the background. Have children count objects in the artwork, like birds or trees. Discuss cultures and time periods.
Remember children do have short attention spans so it is perfectly okay if you don’t see the entire museum in one visit. Be flexible and have fun! Nurture their love and curiosity for art and history early on because children that learn to appreciate art and history become adults that appreciate art and history!
Enter your email below to download the free Artist Bio Page to use on your next museum field trip – or with a book from the library . . . another fun field trip idea!