I love visiting the museum, especially on rainy days. As an adult, I can now see the larger impact it had on me as a child. While it’s an excellent place for children to learn about art, history, and the world around them, it can impact much more.
“Children who visited a museum during kindergarten had higher achievement scores in reading, mathematics and science in third grade than children who did not.”Deanne W. Swan
If you want to visit your local museum with your kids, many have kid areas, activities, and events. Most have a website with a calendar so you can plan your visit. If they don’t have a site, then most will have a phone number so you can call for more information. If you don’t know about any nearby museums, you can try locating them here. If you don’t have a local museum, or you don’t want to make the drive, many museums now offer virtual museum tours and experiences. I know I’m not rowing a boat to the Louvre any time soon, but I would like to see the exhibits anyway. So if you’re wondering, “What are the best virtual museums I can explore during Covid?” stick around for some suggestions!
Top 5 Online Museums
Let’s check out 5 Museums from around the world that you can visit online!
The Louvre has many options available for online interactions with their exhibits. With detailed virtual tours, you can almost imagine what it’s like to walk down the hallways. They’ve even have online concerts. While podcasts are available, they are in French, which may limit accessibility. For people with smartphones, their Mona Lisa VR experience is a unique delight.
All of this is incredible, but sadly the main part of their site isn’t safe for kids. Fortunately, they do have a kid-safe companion site. With videos breaking down the history of each available exhibit, kids can learn about the museum and the artwork. It’s a small selection but still excellent.
The National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art, NGA, is a massive collection of viewable art. They have lectures, audio/visual tours and interviews, art lessons, and numerous workshops. While their collection of artwork is expansive, I also found myself enjoying numerous other aspects of their site as well. The inclusion of their program “Saving the Filmmaking Arts” came as an unexpected treat. The films change from week to week so it’s worth checking in frequently to see what new films are showing.
The Met Museum
The Met Museum is probably the most accessible site for families and kids. Their base site is tons of fun to browse with artwork and exhibits available in high def. They have audio tours as well as videos. Their virtual content doesn’t stop there. They also have virtual art classes, storytimes, workshops, and talks.
#MetKids is, as the site describes, made for, with, and by kids. They have an interactive map to find artwork in the style of “Where’s Waldo?” or a time machine if you’re searching for art from more specific times or locations. They also have videos. We even found origami instructions on an article about Japanese armor. Each article has an option to watch, discover, imagine, create, and more. Their online exhibit is incredible, but the ability to use it for offline activities made it a real standout for me.
The National Women’s History Museum
The National Women’s History Museum is bursting with resources to learn about the history of women and their impact on the world. Numerous biographies, articles, and even virtual field trips provide in depth information. Their virtual field trips are so popular that they are usually booked out. Some events are recorded and able to be viewed later, but not all. With current events how they are, their anti-racisms resources are also extremely valuable. The site is not specifically curated to children so be sure to go over any material personally before showing it to your kids.
The Smithsonian Museum has a massive archive of art, design, history, culture, science, and nature. They have articles over hundreds of subjects with some podcasts making the information even more accessible. They also have a collection of resources for #StopAsianHate, including virtual events.
Their kid friendly site also includes offline activities, helping limit screen time while still enjoying the arts and history. Although they are sometimes slow, their live zoo feeds are a delight. We watched the pandas while coloring a print-out from one of their coloring books.
Virtual museum tours are definitely worth checking out, but don’t forget about all the other great digital resources your child can benefit from. For instance, did you know that Troomi provides KidSmarttm apps that have been carefully selected to empower kids in their studies, talents, and interests? At Troomi, we recognize the educational and growth benefits of technology for kids which is why we’ve taken care to give your child plenty of safe apps they can use to explore, learn, and create, while limiting the ones that could be harmful. Click here to see if Troomi is right for you.