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Museums are full of treasures, and not only for grownups! Adults often underestimate the impact these cultural institutions can have on their littlest visitors. The wondrous world of museums offers unique benefits to kids and their families, whether you’re exploring in-person or from the comfort of home.

Brain-Building Beyond the Classroom

Young children’s brains are wired for hands-on learning; from ancient artifacts to interactive displays, museums make education an adventure. A trip through the exhibits engages children in multisensory experiences, encouraging them to explore, question, and discover. Many spaces even put on special demonstrations and activities, building on new knowledge with fun projects. Museums also nurture development, providing a safe and stimulating environment for kids to flex cognitive, motor, and social skills.

Culture, Community, Connection

Museums expose children to diverse cultures and histories, fostering empathy, connection, and understanding. By interacting with exhibits from around the world, children develop an understanding of and appreciation for human diversity. Exploring museums operated by and highlighting underrepresented communities can open eyes and minds to multiple perspectives, encourage a sense of advocacy, and help children (and parents!) see themselves represented in traditionally-exclusive spaces.

Igniting Imagination

Gazing at a painting, touching a sculpture, or listening to a musical piece can spark a child’s imagination, introducing them to new media and inspiring them to create on their own. After your visit, let children explore a variety of creative materials at home, using some of the things you saw earlier for inspiration!

Virtual Visits

Even if you can’t physically visit a museum, the digital age has opened a window to virtual exploration. Now, families can access many museums around the world through virtual tours and online exhibits. These may offer interactive activities, educational games, or behind-the-scenes peeks for all ages. These digital family field trips can also be a great way to beat the boredom on snow or sick days!

Museums aren’t just buildings; they’re portals to understanding, imagination, and growth. Whether strolling through the halls, exploring exhibits, or embarking on virtual tours, a trip to the museum is tot-time well-spent.

Sources: The Importance of Taking Children to Museums | National Endowment for the Arts5 Benefits of Taking Your Child to a MuseumEducational benefits of taking children to the museumWhy Museums Should Care About Young ChildrenThe Importance of Taking Children to Museums12 Virtual Museum Tours for Kids You Can Do Right This Second21 Awesome Free Virtual Museum Tours to Take with Kids Today