by Wendy VanHattan
Try these three simple tips the next time you want to visit an art gallery, museum, or historical site. Your vacation to the Uffizi in Florence, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, or the Museum of Modern Art in New York should be more enjoyable for all.
#1: If your kids are old enough to do some simple research before you go, encourage them to look up information on the internet or in guide books. Make it a contest if you have more than one child. Who can find the strangest fact? Who knows how many years it took to build the museum? What is the oldest piece of artwork here? You may want to have a “prize” related to the site. You could give a book on the history of one of the artists, or a t-shirt from that city, or the chance to pick the next destination.
#2: Give each child a disposable camera and picture album. Have them create their own scrapbook of the trip. See who can be the most creative with what they collect. Encourage the addition of a written piece about each picture or a free souvenir attached to the picture.
#3: Stop in the gift shop before entering the museum, gallery, or site. Buy each child some postcards of the pieces showcased there. Create a “treasure hunt” for those works. After they find their pieces, ask them to write something on each postcard about that piece.
Any one of these tips should create a learning experience as well as a lasting memory of somewhere they might not have been excited to go to in the first place.
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