Kids in Museums

Posted on March 19, 2020 by

Blog post by Program Assistant Laura Grant. To read more posts from Laura, click here.


During this time of uncertainty, I’m trying to focus on things I’m looking forward to. From big things, like traveling to visit family to small things such as visiting restaurants, I’m taking time to think about the things I’m excited for. Workwise, I’m looking forward to the opening of our next exhibit, Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit. Additionally, I’m excited to continue working on a project I started a few months ago, developing a series of monthly family programs at the Museum.

If you know me today, you would assume I loved visiting museums as a child. However, that was not the case.

My mom likes to tell the story of the time I got so frustrated as a toddler during a museum visit, I took my shoes off and refused to put them back on. As I got older, I still dreaded museum visits with my family. They tried their hardest to pique my interest, but for the most part I found the visits boring. It was only when an exhibit related to an existing interest of mine or involved unique interactive elements that I felt engaged.

An exhibit about weather at the Tallahassee Museum caught my attention since I wanted to be a meteorologist as a kid.

As an adult museum professional, I know the benefits of visiting museums as a child. Museums enable kids to express their creativity, become exposed to new ideas and perspectives, and develop social and cognitive skills. Museums also provide a space for intergenerational learning-for adults and children to share ideas and have a social experience together.

All of this makes me excited that I have the opportunity to develop programs for this audience, like creating menorahs out of recycled materials.

Yet, I also keep my early museum experiences in the back of my mind when I’m thinking through program planning. I try to incorporate a variety of interactive activities that rely on different skillsets to maximize the chance kids will find something that interests them. I include activities that families can do together and work towards modelling the kinds of questions and conversations adults can ask kids to help facilitate learning.

Finally, snacks and breaks are included within the program because everyone needs them.

In the coming weeks, I will be working on developing future family programs. As I do, I am thankful to my parents who despite my protests, exposed me to museums at a young age. It certainly had a big impact on my life.

If you or someone you know is on the lookout for programs designed for young kids, stay tuned for more details about upcoming themes, partners, and activities! Make sure you are signed up for our e-mail list – if you don’t already recieve our e-newsletters, email Rachel Kassman at rkassman@jewishmuseummd.org to be added!


 

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