Activities

How to visit a museum with children

What a good idea to visit a museum with the kids! It’s an excellent way to show them the world of art, to sharpen their observation skills and to stimulate their curiosity. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Is he too small? Can he understand? These excuses just don’t add up anymore. More and more museums everywhere are making considerable efforts to adapt their exhibitions so that both children and adults can appreciate them. And that is without even mentioning all the museums that are solely dedicated to children. 

Museums are so rich in information.  While visiting them, you can learn a lot of things about an event in particular (like the Maison nationale des Patriotes in Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu or the Maritime historical site of Pointe-au-Père where you can find out more about the Empress of Ireland, etc.), about art (Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec, Montreal or Ottawa, the Contemporary Art Museum, etc.), about an economic activity (Thetford Mines Mineralogical and Mineral Museum, Charlevoix Maritime Museum, etc.) or visit a thematic museum (Sherbrooke’s Nature and Science Museum, le Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, The Canadian Railway Museum in Candiac, etc.). Most of the time, these museums also allow us to learn more about the cities where they are.

Babies at the museum!

It is really nice to walk around with your babies in the museums during their first year. That way, they experience a whole new and very stimulating world. As in the Momzilla novel, mothers left the shopping malls and now meet the girls at the museum during their maternity leave. In addition, some museums like the McCord Museum offer musical, sound and image awakening workshops for babies. It’s a fantastic idea, don’t you think?

A great tour!

It is easy to make sure that your visit goes well

  • Find an exhibition related to your child’s interests. Your son loves dinosaurs? Don’t take him in a museum that explains how to make soap for his first visit. While the exhibition may be interesting for other children, it is not likely to interest your dinosaur lover and you will lose a great opportunity to associate museums with pleasure. Because we must admit: this is the first objective. You must find a museum that will tell him more about his favourite prehistoric beasts.
  • Maximize your visit by planning it well! See if there are special activities, a show or crafting on the day of your visit. This will add to your visit and allow your child to actively participate in an environment where he usually is a spectator. He will love it! 
  • Try to avoid busy days. This way, you will get more for your visit and the guides will be free to answer all of your questions. 
  • Lower your expectations. Do not expect to spend the whole day at the museum with your children. Humbly aim at a one-hour or one hour and a half visit. It is useless to aim too high; you would disappoint your child and make it boring for him.
  • A museum is not a sanctuary. Let your children take a stroll without preaching and warning. Of course, there are rules to follow, but you shouldn’t overstress either. For their first visits, kids exhibitions are the best. Often interactive, these exhibitions allow them to touch, experiment and manipulate objects to find more information. 
  • Memories… Not that you should buy everything at the gift shop but you could give a little money to your child to buy a little souvenir (a pencil, stickers, etc.) Also, take pictures during your visit. It will allow you to revisit your findings. 
  • Go further! The subject interested you? Your child had a revelation? Why don’t you find books about it and continue your research at home? Did you see artists’ paintings? Organize an exhibition at home. The idea is to keep the museum and what you have learned in mind for a long time.

This week

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