This past week we went to our local children’s museum. As the kids had fun going from exhibit to exhibit I was struck by the benefits of museums to kids. Then I decided to turn this into a Science Sunday post to incorporate into our science lessons.
Future Ticia here, I’m updating this post to make it more useful for everyone, and so I’ll chime in from time to time with more information.
Also, I probably added in a few affiliate links.
Aside from the fact that running around like crazy meant they burned a lot of energy.
The many benefits of museums to kids
1. Access to experiments and experiences I can’t easily duplicate at home- Here they got to experiment with centripetal force. I don’t have the money to get that at home. I could make a poor man’s version……. Which is the subject of another post… (Future Ticia, I wonder what post I was referring to)
2. Ability to actually see the results of your experiment- You can try out things on a much larger scale than is available at home. We tried a similar experiment, but here they were able to make a marble run that took up a whole wall. Future Ticia here, the attempt at home in preschool: science lessons, now our attempt in middle school: marble physics
3. See the science behind things- I may be able to explain some things, but here they have an entire museum staff to explain what I cannot and much better.
4. It inspires further creativity- many museums have an “invention lab,” after every museum trip my kids are taken to new creative heights…… It always intrigues me with what they do. Future Ticia, look at the idea of process versus product.
5. It inspires new ways of playing- after this time of playing in the kitchen my kids decided to not just take orders, but expect pay for the food they delivered. Then they went to the next area and were farmers. They came home and what they saw was reflected in their play. Make a travel pretend play kitchen.
6. It brings up new questions to answer- There are many times as we go through exhibits in museums we see something we don’t know about. It gives us a chance to go home and look it up or go to the library and check out more books.
7. It gives me ideas of new projects- I’ve gotten ideas of projects to make the kids from visits to museums.
8. It lets you know what toys to buy for their birthday- What are they interested in the museum? Is this something you can reinforce at home.
9. The discussion you can have from it- I love museums, particularly when they’re less crowded because it gives you more time to talk it through. Our most recent trip was crowded and busy, and there was no chance to really talk about what we’d seen.
10. Insight into what they already know- I get a chance to see if they’ve already learned things from our trips. We’ll see an exhibit over something we’ve covered and it’s great to see them talk about it knowledgeably. I also have to confess I tend to feel a bit of pride as it happens.
Ideas shared on Science Sunday last week
Future Ticia here, I used to run a linkie called Science Sunday, and at the end of the post, I featured some posts linked up the week before.
This was a great pairing of fiction (a Jan Brett book) and fact (Remarkable Reindeer) to learn about reindeer, there are also some great crafts and math games in the post too.
More great way to learn on a Field Trip, beyond the benefits of a museum to kids
Now that I’ve told you all about the benefits of museums to kids, let’s take that learning a step further
- Animal Observation Form for zoos and field trips
- Mayborn Museum field trip
- Using notebooks at the museum
- Create an interactive history notebook (great place to put your materials from the field trip)
- World War 2 field trip