Over the two weeks of Spring Break this year we welcomed all kinds of multi-generational groups to our museum and had a great time sharing with first-time visitors and long-time members what we have to offer our community. Groups came in all different shapes and sizes, from children visiting with their grandparents to caregivers with children aging from babies to teens.
Whereas some embrace visiting museums with a multi-generational group, it can sometimes be difficult keeping the youngest in your group engaged at the same time as the older ones. So how do we ‘Look Together’ when visiting a museum so that the trip is a fun, meaningful and engaging experience for everyone? For this blog post, I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks that you can use on your next trip to the museum!
Prepping for your visit – Before:
- Find out your groups prior knowledge of the museum. Does someone in your group have a favourite memory of a previous visit? Have them share this memory with the rest of the group.
- For first time visitors ask questions like: What is a museum? What can we see and do at the museum? Why do we have museums? Make connections with life at home – is there a place where you keep special objects from your past? Why are they important to you?
- Come prepared: bring cameras, notebooks, pencils, and magnifying glasses to help you explore the exhibits and record your memories!
During your visit:
- Talk to staff: Check in with the staff at the front desk to find out if there are any special activities to take part in. At the Chilliwack Museum we always have Discovery Hunts geared to two different age ranges, as well as our hands-on Discovery Bins available daily. These are fun for kids and adults!
- Make comparisons: compare what you see in the exhibits to present day life in Chilliwack, what is the same and what is different? Does anyone in your group have memories they can share of a different time in Chilliwack’s history?
- Play some Games! Ask someone in your group to tell a story about an object in an exhibit; Play I Spy to encourage everyone to look a little closer at what they see; Try ‘Tell me How or Why’ find an object and see if you can find out how it was made or why it was made.
- Don’t forget to explore the site! Look closely at the architecture of the building, what is the same or different about buildings today?
After the visit:
- Talk about your visit – What was your favourite part? If you were to share one thing about the museum with someone else what would it be?
- Is there anything you are still wondering about? Pursue topics that interest your group further by looking online (our online collections can be accessed here) or by visiting the archives.
- Give us your feedback as to what you’d like to see or do at the museum in the future!
- Follow us on social media to keep up with our events and activities or check the Events Calendar.
- Use your museum experience to create your own museum exhibit at home. Start a collection of favourite objects at home and put them together into an exhibit to share with friends and family!
I hope this gives you some inspiration for your next visit to the museum. We’re looking forward to welcoming groups of all ages to the museum as we gear up for our summer programming!