Kids and Culture

Tips for making Culture Family-Friendly

Despite what you may think, visits to museums and galleries can be made exciting for children. Education about our cultural heritage is not only for adults.  Excursions to places like orchestral concert halls and theatres can be family friendly events. If you are wondering where to take your children on school holidays, it is possible for your kids to see world-famous ensembles for much less than it would cost for an adult. You can simply google “art and culture” and then check for discounts and family deals at Tourist Information Centres and Transport Offices.

Use Audio Guides

When visiting Museums and Galleries, you can maintain your child’s interest by allowing them to listen to remote audio guides that the child can hold to their ear. Quite often, informative audio explanations will include an interactive element to keep the little ones interested.  Exhibits will often be explained in simple terms that children will understand.

Put Junior in Charge

An excellent way to focus a child’s interest on culture is to put them in charge of taking photos and videos or allowing them to have their own camera. This way they will have an active involvement in recording their visit.  You will also discover what it is that interests them or excites their imagination.

Keep it Local

One of the best ways to generate interest in local culture is to allow the children to interact with other children. This will also serve to breakdown language barriers and shyness.  So, if you are travelling around the world, look for playgrounds where children can meet other children of different cultures.  Just google “kids’ playground near me”.  Local museums and markets or temples will often showcase an area’s cultural differences and heighten cultural awareness in your children.

Take a step back

If you are visiting art galleries, step back and allow the children to come to their own conclusions about what they are viewing and what it might mean.  Ask questions and allow the child to express their thoughts and ideas.  This can be a good form of cultural awareness training.  You don’t need to be a tour guide, constantly explaining things.

How much is enough?

According to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, a good rule of thumb for experiential learning for children is… 10 to 15 minutes for toddlers, and 20 to 25 minutes for pre-schoolers. Thereafter, add 10 minutes for every year over five years of age.  A good tip is to go on cultural expeditions in the morning when everyone is fresh and well fed. This way, cultural tourism will be a much happier experience.  Remember, when visiting galleries and museums, that they can be overwhelming for children.  

Nevertheless, if the experience is made enjoyable and fun for them, they will remember it with fondness and learn much about our wonderful world culture.