If you’ve never been to a children’s museum, you may not know what to expect. The word “museum” generally conjures thoughts of quiet halls filled with art and artifacts. But for children’s museums, this idea is far from the reality. Children’s museums are filled with hands-on, interactive fun for the entire family. At children’s museums, we play – hard!
To make the most of your visit to the Glazer Children’s Museum, here are a few tips:
Plan Your Day
Sit down with your child and look at the museum website before visiting. Talk about what he is interested in seeing. Discuss whether you will have a snack while visiting, or if you’ll visit the gift shop. If your child likes schedules and plans, make a visual plan for your trip, noting what you cannot miss and what you definitely want to do. But don’t be afraid to deviate a little, if everyone is ok with that.
Let Your Child Lead
It’s tempting to plan out the whole day and try to see it all to get the biggest “value” from your visit. But by letting your child lead the visit, you can maximize time spent at places that interest her, while avoiding boredom and “meltdowns.” Often a child will only want to explore a few exhibits. That’s ok!
Take Time to Rest
Even adults can suffer from “brain drain” in a busy learning environment. For children who find themselves overstimulated, or just tired, find a place to sit and rest. Glazer Children’s Museum has reading nooks in many of our exhibit spaces, which allow for a spot to sit and think quietly for a moment. Maybe your little one needs a snack or a quick trip outside to “reset.” While the museum may seem like its go-go-go, we encourage families to slow down and relax! An added bonus – sometimes a short break in the action can help the educational lessons sink in.
Children’s museums are a place where children learn – often without realizing it! To help things along, ask open-ended questions: Why do you think that happened? What do you think would happen if (X)? What do you think will happen next? Take some time to get down on your child’s level and play with her! And, when you get home after, talk about what you saw.
Learn About Each Other
Finally, remember that learning isn’t all about content. Sure, its great to learn about healthy eating and airplanes and electricity – but you can also learn about your family! Share personal anecdotes and stories with your child – maybe your father was an engineer! – and encourage her to share with you! If something is very interesting to you, let your child know that, and ask what she is interested in. Sharing these experiences will make memories that last!