My children are already looking forward to going to our annual trip to the ROM. We have been going every year since my daughter was just a year old. Although my children love going to the museum, they won’t spend hours and hours there, and I don’t expect them to. My children won’t leave the museum knowing everything about the exhibits that we looked at, and I’m fine with that too. The reason my husband and I take our children to the museum is so that we could show them that exploring new and unfamiliar things is exciting and fun. It is also our way of sharing something that we both love, with our children.
Visiting the museum comes with many wonderful benefits. Children learn to observe, notice details, process information, and ask questions. These are essential skills that we use in our day to day lives. It is also a great way for us parents to interact with our children by learning and playing together in an educational environment. Children will see that their parents don’t always have the answers to everything, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. My kids pointed to things that caught their eyes in several exhibits of which my husband and I knew nothing of. By watching us read the label or ask someone, it taught our children to seek answers when they don’t know something. This is a great lesson to learn early on.
The ROM has a children’s zone complete with artifacts and specimens that youngsters can hold and feel. Children can try on costumes, dig for dinosaur bones, and examine real-life fossils and meteorites that are part of the museum’s collection. The ROM also has a hands-on biodiversity gallery consisting of interactive displays and specimens from all over the world. The hands-on galleries were my children’s favourite galleries to explore. Although young in age, my kids showed a lot of interest and curiosity and that is why we continue to go to the ROM every year. My husband and I couldn’t be happier to see our children thrive in an environment that will open their eyes and minds to the unknown.
Here are some things to keep in mind to make your trip to the museum enjoyable for both you and your child:
- Plan your trip ahead of time
- Bring snacks and drinks
- Take breaks
- Play “I Spy”
- Ask questions
- Don’t stay too long
- Don’t expect to see everything
- Go at your child’s pace
- If your child becomes tired or bored, it might be an indicator to go home
To learn more about the ROM, go to rom.on.ca.