When (And How) To Take Your Kid To A Non-Kid’s Museum

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Just because your kid can barely walk doesn’t mean they’re too young to visit a museum – according to Kimberlee L. Kiehl, the Executive Director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, even infants will engage with art and other kinds of exhibits. While she acknowledges that young kids shouldn’t be expected to last more than 2 hours, the Smithsonian runs tours and programs specifically designed to bring young kids through the halls. Check to see if your local museums have similar offerings, and don’t worry about the fact that they’re not allowed to touch anything. Kiehl recommends coming prepared with stuff that reflects what they’ll see – so bring toy dinosaurs to a dinosaur exhibit, and they can match the T-Rex with the T-Rex (provided seeing the life-sized version doesn’t terrify them so much that they develop museum-ophobia and refuse to ever visit again).


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