Taking a child to an art museum requires some foresight and advance planning. Here are some tips that can be implemented to make the trip a lot more fun, as well as beneficial for both parent and child.
The first tip is to plan the time of day you visit the art museum. It is a good idea to choose a time when your child is well-rested and has been recently fed to ensure they will be content longer. Second, you should also plan the route you will take through the museum. Decide if you should do all first floor exhibits before moving upstairs or follow the pathway laid out by the museum.
Third, decide beforehand if you will take the tour offered by the museum or tour alone with your child. Would your child be more likely to pay attention to a member of the staff? Are they shy and tend to function better when they are with you? Choose the best fit for their personality. The forth tip is needed especially if you choose to venture through the art museum on your own but is helpful either way. Tip four, learn as much as you can about the exhibits before you arrive. If you do this you are better equipped to help your child learn and glean as much as possible from the visit. Many museums have literature or online resources where you can learn about the exhibits.
Fifth, you should go over the rules beforehand so your child understands what acceptable behavior is once you enter the museum. Be sure to clearly explain what exhibits are touchable and those that require hands off enjoyment. Sixth, to help them be more comfortable and interested, choose the exhibits that are going to be interesting to them. If they are extremely interested in painting, for instance, it would be a good idea to show them paintings instead of other artwork.
The last tip is to know when to make your exit. Realize that regardless of our best intentions and careful planning children don’t always cooperate. If things go downhill and you are unable to redirect your child’s attentions to enjoying the outing, it is sometimes best to leave and try again another day. If things cannot be quickly brought back under control leaving can save you from the frustration of dealing with a difficult situation and ensure that the child does not have unpleasant memories of the museum. You can always try again another day.
MuseumIn.org is a great resource to help you find a museum that will match your interests, budget and time.