Have you ever found yourself tearing your hair out wondering how to entertain your youngster? Take a trip to the museum. Even a two-year-old can have plenty of fun and learn a lot too. Every year in May an event called Museums At Night takes place, a national campaign for late night opening across the UK. You can find out about it at www.mgm.org.uk.
Many museums are directed at children, and they can delight at the life-sized versions of the characters they have met in books. But even the more adult museums can provide displays that fascinate a youngster.
During the school holidays many museums put on special activities such as art and craft or scientific investigation.These are sometimes free, and you do not have to book, but some charge a small fee and booking is necessary.
Some museums have a story-time, just like the library, but the theme of the books that are read can be illustrated with real objects. That two-year-old was fascinated by some huge shells available at a story time about the sea.
In a local history museum you can examine pictures of your own town in the past and ask your youngster to say what you can see that is different now.
Find out from your local museum has to offer. You can certainly fill a morning there. And if your children are used to the idea of going to a museum for a fun day out, they will feel comfortable when they are taken to a museum as part of the national curriculum. The big, commercial museums may shout about what they do, but many smaller ones have activities but are not able to afford adverts and leaflets. You only know out about them when the pictures appear in the local press after the event. Find out what your local museum has to offer and support it.
©Pamela Marson 2006
About the Author: Pamela Marson is a volunteer at the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum, having spent years campaigning for a museum in Windsor. She is one of the founders of Friends of the Windsor& Royal Borough Museum.