Saturday morning, the kids are bored and you plan a visit to a museum. Some simple ideas and little planning will make your day go smoothly. I would like to share with you some ideas that have helped our three children to become regular museumgoers:
1) Forget trying to see 21 Centuries of Art
Stick to Contemporary Art or Ancient Art and forget everything that happened in between.
Modern contemporary art is a beautiful playground for children: sculptures in unusual materials, pop art, and light and video installations will definitely blow their mind.
Ancient Art with good mummy factor will also work. Exhibitions of Egyptian art are a no-brainer when it comes to kids: the images of cats, as well as the Egyptian figurines, dolls, warriors and tombs will appeal to even the most TV-addicted children on earth.
Later you’ll have many years to fill the gap in between these two periods.
2) Nightmare at the museum
Hungry children will make your day hell. Start the visit with a meal. Most museums in Scandinavia allow you to bring your own food in a dedicated area. If you promise a piece of cake at the museum café after a bit of art appreciation, everyone will be happy.
2) Let the kids play around in the museum
We avoid special guided tours for children. We do not support the idea of sitting quietly wearing an oversized neon t-shirt with a silly logo. Browsing freely around the exhibitions or solving activities on their own gives the children a more creative experience.
4) Reduce your ambitions
Huge museums are the trend now but they can be intimidating for anyone and particularly for the kids. We introduce them to big museums in small bits and agree on the plan before we enter, often splitting the day in two, with some exhibits at the beginning and the children’s museum or the workshop later. A light meal during the break will definitely make the day easier.
5) Life is too short for boring museums
Don’t waste your precious time in an old-fashioned museum where time stands still. Design studios are revamping museums everywhere, creating spectacular experiences with a consistent narrative flow. These museums are eye candy for children.
6) Get their feedback
Ask your kids to pick up their favorite piece of art in a room. It will keep their interest alive and help them reflect on what they are experiencing. Children of any age have an opinion and are usually not shy about sharing it.
7) They are never too young
Make visiting a museum a habit for children as soon as possible. A museum visit is a possible any weekend at any age. Our first child visited a Helmut Newton retrospective when she was 6 months old and enjoyed the Newton nudes. She was breastfeeding at the time!