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It is very important to introduce children to museums
Museums open up a world of imagination and exploration. It is important to introduce children to museums at an young age, in order to broaden their knowledge. There is no shortage of research indicating the benefits of museum visits for children.
A visit to the museum can provide memorable and immersive learning experiences, apart from provoking imagination. The visit introduces children to unknown worlds and subject matter, in addition to offering a unique environment for quality time with family.
Curious to hear more from people in the field, we asked experts from Rereeti to tell us why they think it’s important to take children to museums. Here’s what they had to say:
1) Museums, with their real artifacts, dioramas, and immersive exhibitions provide a uniquely positive environment to foster learning by children
2) Children are interested in artifacts and exhibitions in traditional museums. They can learn about various aspects of history and biology.
3) Children tend to approach artifacts and exhibits based on their individual motives and interests. However, they learn by encountering real artifacts which they talk about with others, and about which they sometimes express their reactions in various verbal and artistic ways.
4) Appropriate adult encouragement can enhance children’s learning and exploratory behavior in museums
Audience engagement and learning in museums is evolving continuously. Many museums across the world are constantly researching, developing and executing programs to attract young children.
What Museums in India can do
- Provide simple dress up options– It doesn’t need to be fancy. Just a suitcase of assorted daily life items to create DIY objects that relate to the collection provide an opportunity to be creative.
- Provide unique craft materials– Materials that help comprehend the period/civilisation better enable a different dimension of understanding. For example, different style looms that can be woven to better understand Persian carpets. Crafting is one way to bring history to life.
- Workshops– Simple skills such as churning butter or embroidery can be a great experience.
- Recreating scenes – Providing materials like soft dough or Lego pieces to create objects and scenes greatly enhance creative skills and spatial learning.
- Provide a reporting station– People love to tell stories. Have a mike and simple camera placed in a strategic place in the gallery for people to record their stories. Themes could vary and it will help build a sense of ownership.
What parents can do
- Taste food of different cultures– Preparing or tasting food unique to a culture is a great starting point to understand different cultures.
- Watch a movie – Many interesting facets are shown through documentaries. Documentaries leave a longer impact on the child.
- Play Games– Games are an excellent way to engage children into intuitive learning. Create your own game at the museum combining facts and details. This develops their observation skills. Games also generate interest in the collection for both adults as well as children.
- Create a video – A definite hit, creating a video can be an immersive activity. The different themes could be
- things that you find uninteresting and why
- things you find interesting and why
- weird and strange objects
- a story using funny and scary artifacts
- Create an autobiography of the object– Imagine yourself as the object and narrate your story. Be as creative or as factual as you would like to be. Let your child also do the same. This will give an opportunity to be logical and creative.
International Museum Day
International Museum Day (IMD) is an international day a celebration that held every year on or around 18 May, coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The event highlights a specific theme that changes every year. The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”
- Mobile Treasure Hunt: Adults grab your smart phones and take part in this thrilling treasure hunt. Discover your city’s treasures through this exciting and interactive game. May 18 – 21 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Story Time with Shreya Biswas: For 6 – 9 yrs old. May 20, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
- Story time with Vikram Sridhar: For 9 – 12 yrs old. May 21 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
- Write your own story with Aparna Raman: For 12 – 16 yrs old. May 20 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
- Write your own story with Andaleeb Wajid: For 8 – 12 yrs old. May 21 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
All workshops are free, but registration is mandatory.
The original version of this article was first published at: ReReeti . The article has been edited for the readers of KidEngage blog.