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Ways That Museums Benefit Children


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

There are many obvious reasons that museums are great for our communities—providing people with the opportunities to experience different cultures and take in history, drawing in tourism, hosting unique events for both fun and learning. But one huge benefit to having a museum in your city is the different programs they have for kids! Children's brains are like little sponges soaking up everything they see and hear, and sometimes we don't give them enough credit for what they are capable of learning!

One of my friends, who was raised by a museum curator, grew up with a deep appreciation for art and history. In fact, for her seventh birthday, she directed her little friends in a play about King Henry VIII's wives! At a young age she knew and understood parts of history that a lot of kids don't learn until their deeper high school and college courses. Not only did this help her excel as a student, but it also gave her a broader worldview and taught her valuable lessons about the nature of humans.

So let's take a moment to celebrate all that museums do for kids and give credit to some of the wonderful programs that are available!

Free Virtual Programs for Kids

This list was written by Christine Mooney on Mommy Poppins.

Cayton Children's Museum

Every kid knows recess is the best part of school, so kids won't want to miss out on the Southern California Cayton Children's Museum's online recess, a twice-daily livestream of playful stories, crafts, and music.

Children's Museum of Atlanta

Each weekday brings something new to CMA's virtual play hour, including cool activities like flower dissection on "STEM Tuesdays" and animal yoga on "Health & Wellness Fridays." 

Children's Museum of Manhattan

Build a mini neighborhood, learn a Haitian dance, or construct an astronaut obstacle course with CMOM at Home activities. Each day, three different projects, crafts, or cultural lessons are uploaded to the site.

Creative Discovery Museum

Check out Tennessee's Creative Discovery Museum on YouTube for Creativity TV, which showcases culinary lessons, musical performances, and creepy-crawly encounters. Stop off at the CDM at Home page to download some great at-home STEAM activities, like bread goo and mustard slime.

Discovery Place Science

With whole-family fun in mind, the North Carolina children's science museum Discovery Place is offering videos and Stay-at-Home Science projects about beekeeping, tricky mazes to try, and more.

Kidspace Children's Museum

What kid wouldn't want to virtually attend something called Weasel Wednesdays? The creators behind the beloved children's book World of Weasel series are reading the books during live-stream storytimes, teaching kids how to draw animals, and doing at-home crafts, courtesy of this Pasadena institution. 

National Children's Museum

Build a pasta tower, create art from items found on a nature walk, and learn about science with a hair dryer: Each day, DC's National Children's Museum posts awesome new projects on Facebook.​

READ MORE: Giant List of Virtual Tours, Field Trips, and Museums with Free Educational Programming Online