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Experiencing Museums with Family

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Tags: family, education

Created: 11/22/2012      Updated: 8/10/2016

One of my fondest childhood memories is of visiting museums with my mother. It was a great girls' day out; riding the train together, having lunch and exploring every corner of whichever Chicago institution we chose to visit for the day. The choice might be made based on the featured exhibits or whatever my interests were at the time.  During one of these outings, we saw an exhibit about Pompeii. My mother prepared me with some facts the night before so that I could better understand the exhibit the next day. I arrived with a connection to the subject matter before I even saw the exhibit.

Author with a Museum guest

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a wonderful institution for families with children of all ages. Between my museum experiences with mother and my employment here, I have learned some great tips to maximize a family museum experience and would love to share them with your family.

  • Discuss general nature subjects with your children before your visit to the museum- animals, ecosystems, green living, etc -- this will help develop a connection with the content you’re about to see.
  • Check out the calendar of events at the museum for the day of your visit. The museum often has extra activities in which your family can participate- many for free. These include crafts, animal interactions and story times.
  • Read the signs in the exhibits. Let the children operate the interactive components. Share the information you learn as a family. There is relatable content for every age in every exhibit.
  •  Give your family enough time to enjoy the exhibits at a comfortable pace and keep the focus on your museum experience the entire time you are here.

A day at the museum can build memories of family fun and learning experiences for the rest our lives. (Thanks Mom!)

Laura Saletta
Public Programs Educator

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