Escaping the parent trap: Facing tough topics with kids at the museum (New Post on “O Say Can You See?”)

How to deal with difficult topics in museum exhibitsWhen I was taking 3, 4 and 5 year olds into the museum every day, my brain was honed to look for “traps.”  These were the edgy exhibits that usually involved nudity and maybe had subject matter that was dark or difficult to explain.

It is important for kids to fully experience the museum, in a way that is age appropriate. For parents, teachers and caregivers that means planning ahead to help guide kids through exhibits that aren’t as easy to experience and explain. In a new post for American History I give some specific tactics to help you and your kid navigate difficult exhibits.

It sometimes feels like museums set traps for unsuspecting parents. You are in an art museum, patting yourself on the back for all the culture you are introducing your kids to when one of them asks (quite loudly) “Why is that lady NAKED?!” Oops, not exactly a question you’d planned on answering. For me at least, the parental equivalent of fight or flight kicks in… what do you do?

History museums can also offer similar challenges. While there are many triumphant moments in American history, there are also dark and unpleasant ones. One of the clearest examples is the Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibition on our third floor of this museum. Taking your kids through it can feel a bit daunting, and yet it is an important topic and put together in a thoughtful and interactive way….continue reading

 

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This entry was posted in Blog, Early Childhood Education, Kids in Museums, Museum Education and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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