This is an article written by Sean Morris. Sean 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.
Museums are one of the best ways to get kids excited and involved in their education. Beyond the obvious benefits of getting kids excited about learning and spending some time outside the classroom, museums are also great in that they recognize different learning styles. Everyone learns differently and has different abilities.
Traditional museums contained the exhibit along with a straightforward plaque for information on the display. While this works well for individuals who speak the language, can read well, and learn best via reading and visual aids, it is not ideal for others. Here are a few ways your local museum works to make sure all their visitors go home having learned something new.
- Immersive Exhibits
Many people, particularly young children, learn best through touch and interaction. Viewing exhibits locked behind glass simply doesn’t have the same effect that being able to touch the item does. So, for most museums, it is only natural to include hands-on and interactive exhibits. Replicas of exhibit objects may be placed in the walkways for people to touch and view up close.
For example, a recreation of a civil war cannon might be available for people to inspect the finer details of the machinery. Other exhibits allow people to actually interact with them, such as sandboxes for kids, where they can excavate “fossils” in order to learn about how we find and extract ancient remnants.
- Activities and Workshops
Some people are more kinesthetic learners, meaning they absorb information best when performing an action related to the lesson or moving in some way. For these visitors, many museums will offer workshops or events for guests to attend. For example, an art museum might offer a kids’ painting class so active learners gain an appreciation of art and the effort that goes into it.
A maritime museum might have a toy sailboat race where people can build their own vessels and compete against others in order to learn a bit more about how boats float, how they are steered, and how they are propelled.
- Apps and Digital Tours
Other learners prefer to be the teacher. Using apps provided by museums, visitors can learn information about the exhibits and act as their group’s tour guide. These apps can also be great supplements for kids who learn better with games and added activities.
Digital tours can be an incredibly helpful tool for people who are unable to physically visit the museum due to illness or disability. This can be perfect for a homebound student who is unable to attend the class field trip, keeping all students involved in the lesson being given.
Museums are a great tool for both families and educators. People of all ages will enjoy visiting museums, looking at the exhibits, and attending any events offered by the institution. Regardless of the learning styles or abilities of each patron, there is always something available to help guests learn in a way that suits them. Whether your learning style involves using an app to become a tour guide or participating in hands-on activities, you and your family are bound to come away having gained valuable knowledge and perhaps some inspiration, as well.