Archive for October 2016

Making Museum Trips Fun for Kids

St. Louis Nanny

Photo via Pixabay by Artsvector

Museums are the perfect place for people of any age to learn about history, culture, and the arts, but they are especially important for kids because they offer the chance to see those things up close and personal.  St. Louis Museums like the St. Louis History Museum and the Art Museum are great places for a nanny to take her charges.

It’s not always easy to get a young person engaged in a trip to a museum. These days, if it doesn’t have a screen on it, kids don’t seem too interested. There are things a nanny can do to amp up a kids interest, though, and if you do a bit of planning beforehand it’ll be a magical trip for everyone.  Here are some of the best tips on how to help a child have the best experience possible.

Keep realistic expectations

If you’re planning a trip to a large museum, chances are you won’t get to see everything in one visit, and attempting to make a child walk the length of a huge space and stay focused the entire time is probably just not doable. Instead, do some research before your trip; hop online and check out the museum’s website, because many offer detailed maps and even apps you can download that will make your visit much easier. Pick 10 or 15 things you know your child will enjoy seeing in person and make it your goal to see those first. That way, you won’t feel pressured to get everything in during your trip and your child will be able to narrow down their attention to just a few things.

Start with an interactive exhibit

Many museums have caught on to the fact that people have shorter attention spans these days and are offering interactive exhibits. Some are hands-on–which is great for kids–while others require a smartphone. Starting with one of these can ensure that your child stays interested, as can visiting a museum that focuses on animals or dinosaurs. Or, you might even try incorporating concepts that your child is learning about in school.

Make it a game

After you’ve done some research online about the museum you’ll be visiting and have an idea of the things on exhibit, consider making a scavenger hunt to bring along for your kids. Give it to them when you first get to the museum and ask them to find all the things you listed and write down one fact about each item.

If photography is allowed in the museum, have your child stand in front of a sculpture or exhibit and try to recreate the pose, then snap a picture. Challenge your child to really look at what they are recreating and find one interesting thing about it, then try to find an answer together. For instance, Renaissance artists often painted babies with funny expressions on their faces; look for information about the painting to see who the baby represents and what emotion it is expressing.

When touching isn’t an option

Some museums have delicate items on display that are not to be touched under any circumstances, and many of the exhibits are even under glass. For these, it’s important to keep kids engaged by asking them to look closely at the items to see what they might find. For instance, if they’re looking at a small replica of a famous house complete with furniture and small details, ask them to count how many chairs are inside, or bring along a magnifying glass so they can see it even closer.

Remember to ask the tour guides questions; not only do they love helping kids learn about the museum and all it offers, questions help everyone involved learn more about the exhibits and see things from a new perspective.  With winter approaching consider visiting a museum with the kids you care for.

Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!

 

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.

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