Visiting a Museum From the Comfort of Home

Stuck at home. Visit these great museums online and find interesting projects to do with your kidsSo, it is going to snow tonight.  A lot, according to the weather guys, and there is going to be ice and sleet too.  This is on top of the “a lot” we’ve already had this year.  The commuters aren’t happy, the people waiting in line at the grocery store aren’t happy but the people who REALLY aren’t happy are the parents home for multiple days in a row with bored kiddos.

I can’t make the snow go away, but I can give you some new ideas for what to do at home. If it is too treacherous on the roads to visit a museum…you may just have to make the museum come to you! Luckily, the leaps that technology has taken gives museums a lot of new ways to play with sharing their information and getting you engaged…even when you are sitting on your couch!

This is just a “starter” list, if you or your child has a favorite museum you should see what they have online.

Google Cultural Institute: “Walk” through museums from around the world, curate your own galleries with objects and artwork you love, see online exhibits of historic moments. The resolution is amazing and you can search and sort based on your interests.

Digitized Collections/Online Exhibits: Museums are working hard to bring their collections online.  Often, you can browse through and see individual objects based on theme.  Some museums have even created entire exhibits that only exist online.  Search for your favorite museum and poke around on the website!

If you want somewhere to get started, the list by the (appropriately named) “Museum of Online Museums” should do the trick. Disclaimer: I haven’t personally visited every site they list so I don’t know if all of them are “kid friendly” or not. I also found some neat looking sites just by typing in “kids museum online” so you could try that too.

Some museums don’t exist “in real life” at all and are only online. One of my favorites is”The Museum of Endangered Sounds” (be ready to explain to your tech savvy kid what a “modem” was!)

NGAkids Art Zone: Bring your art-making online! With games, stories, activities and art history information there is a lot for all ages.

Guggenheim- Learning Through Art: If you want to help your budding artist understanding how (and why) artists do what they do, here is an in-depth resource.  The “lesson finder” will help you narrow down ways to teach about looking at and doing art.

Smithsonian’s History Explorer: This database connects you to hundreds of activity ideas for learning about American History.  There are artifacts to explore, book ideas and you can search based on theme, grade, activity type and more!

Smithsonian Kids: This site will let you explore all of the offerings for kids throughout the Smithsonian museums. Everything from the beloved AnimalCams at the Zoo to a virtual Dinosaur Hall!

Pinterest: I know, Pinterest is super overwhelming. May I toot my own horn and suggest you visit the boards I’ve been working on? I’ve got them broken down by activity type (science, math, literacy etc.). The art board especially has a lot of interesting projects related to specific artists, which then leaves you openings to look up more about them!

Hopefully this “starter” list is enough to get you through the storm tomorrow! If you have others to share please leave a comment so other people can discover it too!

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