Do you shy away from taking your kids to museums because you think they’ll be too noisy? Don’t miss out on this educational and fun family activity. Use these tips to make the experience less stressful for you and more enjoyable for your child.
The museum you choose sets the tone for the entire outing. Choose a museum with displays that will appeal to your child. Many cities have children’s museums that are a natural option, but you can also take your child to regular museums. Does your child love art? Try the local art museum. Is he a history buff? Take him to a history museum in your area.
Check out the museum’s website to get a sense of how well it will match your child’s personality. Look through the current exhibits to see if they’ll keep your child’s interest. Look under the museum’s general information to see if they mention kids. Look for a museum that seems very welcoming to kids.
Timing It Right
You know your child’s internal schedule better than anyone. Don’t tempt the cranky child within. Time the museum trip when your child is the happiest. He’ll enjoy the exhibits more and you’ll be less likely to see a meltdown.
Having the Talk
Before you head out the door, have a talk with your child about behavior expectations. Let him know whether or not touching things at the museum is allowed. At a children’s museum, he can probably touch anything he sees. In an art museum, he won’t likely be able to touch anything. Discuss proper voice volume and general behavior, such as no running.
At the Museum
Let yourself and your child have fun. Don’t worry about going in order or seeing everything — let your child take the lead. If you want him to focus on certain things, make a scavenger hunt list of items you know are in the museum.
If your child gets out of control, remind him of the museum behavior expectations. If he still doesn’t behave, take a break in the restroom, lobby or outdoors — just make sure you can get back in without paying again. Watch his demeanor. If he starts to get bored, move on to a different display. You’ll find that making the trip all about your child makes it much easier on everyone.