Someone long ago thought of the concept of Museums. Thanks to him /or her, we have thousands of Museums around the world for everything and anything. Puppet Museums, Textile Museums, Natural History Museums, Science Museums, Art and Design Museums, Transport Museums, Umbrella Museums, Holocaust Memorial Museums, Doll Museums, Wax Museums, Toy Museums etc. And then, there are some very weird Museums. like The Museum for Instant Raman in Japan, Dog Collar Museum in England, UFO Museum in Mexico, Gelato Museum in Italy , Museum of Torture Instruments in Amsterdam , Hair Museum in Turkey, Sewer Museum in Paris, International Spy Museum in Berlin, Sulabh International Museum of toilets( this one is India and is an inspiration for less developed nations), Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers, Lunch Box Museum and Skelton Museum in United States.
Many who don’t normally visit museums have a tendency to dismiss them as boring and often wonder what the appeal is. Some people have a preconcieved notoin that they suck, the others would rather spend their money on shopping and some who just don’t care how the world beyond their spheres look like.
My take: Museums aren’t BORING , instead they are inspiring , they help us keep wondering, imagining new things and dream of many amazing possibilities!
Museums Visits are always on our priority list, whenever we travel to distant lands. Our kids have been subjected to museum visits on almost every family holiday we have taken till date. And yes, it sounds boring and it sometimes sucks and our kids have hated a few of them, but overall its been a great experience for our family. We have seen the visits becoming more and more fun with each passing year. This is also because we as parents have got smarter on which Museums to go with kids, how to build up the visit for them beforehand and how sometimes its ok to drag them and let them wander on their own on the museum floors. Our kids who are young adults now, have cribbed many times , over our love for museums, but seem to be enjoying the visits now (their teenage egos till recently made sure we didn’t think they found them enjoyable or if their inclusion was ever a good idea).
What we feel we have given them through these visits is exposure and inspiration that makes them believe in the big beautiful world out there.The experiences have surely helped widen their perspective and introduced them to new subject matters. Museums have taken them to ancient, modern, weird and surprising places which they would have never ever gone in reality.Museums Spark Creativity. Through museum programs and activities, our children have been exposed to many opportunities for creative expression.And as parents, we are waiting for the time, when the tradition continues and our kids are grown up enough to take their own children to see the world and happily include the so called boring museum visits in their itinerary … ( and us waiting desperately to have our parental instinct kicking to tell them , “See we told you so, you will do some of things…. you hated us for .. with your kids !)
Given below are research supported benefits of taking our children to Museums (I haven’t, I promise made them up in my own mind just because I love Museums)
- Museums offer learning experiences and unique environments for family bonding and interesting conversations.When we walk into a museum that contains the skeleton of a dinosaur that is taller than anything what we have ever seen, is taller than our house and has not walked this planet in millions of years, our mind begins to wonder.
- Museums make people feel good. Experiences create more happiness than material goods because they help families reinterpret fun times. So consider foregoing a shopping trip for buying stuff that you might not need and instead take your children to a museum.
- Museum exhibits inspire interest in an area of study, subject matter , time period, or an idea that we never knew anything about, hence extending our interest areas.
- Museums have been the caretakers of history for decades. Whether we take our kids to a children’s museum, art gallery, museum of natural history or science museum,let’s remember how history has made a huge impact on the innovations shown here .
- Museums are full of stories, and we should make our children to hear those stories. For example Stories told at the Holocaust Memorial Museums not only teach our children history but also encourage empathy. Stories of invention of railways and of tunnels in a Transport Museum and so may more.
- Museums offer opportunities for children to compare and contrast , hence developing in our children higher order critical thinking skills. For example an art museum will contain various types of artwork and as they walk through an exhibit they will notice differences in the style, subject matter, and techniques demonstrated in the artwork.
I love Museums, so my reason for taking my children there is also fuelled by my selfish desire to go myself to marvel at this beautiful world and experience whatever all is out there… a lot of which would have been beyond my circle of influence and understanding! Museums are beautiful blessings as they give us innumerable opportunities to see the world around and beyond us.