Enjoy Museum At Home--The World's Largest Children's Museum Offers Family Engagement Ideas While Social Distancing During This Coronavirus Pandemic

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Since most people can't get to the museum, the museum is now coming to you. These unique video segments on The Children's Museum of Indianapolis website and social media give families ideas for physical fitness, at home science experiments, virtual tours of the museum, story time, and more.

Museum at Home is a program that allows families to visit without ever leaving their home so they can engage in family learning.

Museum at Home

Educators know the importance of having children learn with their parents. Not only are kids learning fun science with Museum at Home; but, they are making memories together as a family that will last a lifetime.

You temporarily can’t come to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, so the world's largest children's museum is coming to YOU!

Families across the country are searching for creative ways to spend quality time with their kids at home while following the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations for social distancing in public.

The Children's Museum's doors may be temporarily closed to the public; but, the museum is still working hard to provide fun, engaging content via social media and on its website for families forced to stay home as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The new program is called Museum at Home.

A timely topic includes Glitter Germs, a segment that teaches kids how to wash their hands more thoroughly. Other segments include Real Science videos with easy D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) experiments that families can do at home. "An important part of family learning is exploring the world together, particularly with the sciences, it is key to allow children to test and experiment and draw their own conclusions," said Jennifer Pace Robinson, vice president of family learning and experience development, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. "We have designed these activities so that there is not a ‘right’ answer, but instead, families can go through the key steps of the scientific process together. We encourage families to try them again and again! Children grow in confidence as they master skills."

Families may be forced to self-quarantine; but, they can keep active by working out with trained coaches from the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience® in special workout videos with professional coaches and players.

There are Facebook Live chats in which families engage live with museum experts on topics from science to art and theater. During Preschool Story Time, the audience listens to a story read by one of The Children’s Museum Preschool teachers. “Consistency, structure, and routine is important for young learner,” said Susan Michal, director, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Preschool. “It helps them feel safe, secure, and in control. They are able to detach for a few minutes and dive into a book or story. After the story, the adult should lead the child in a short discussion by asking questions like: What did you enjoy about the story? What happened in the story that was a problem and how was that problem fixed? Reading a book is not just physically reading a story, it is also about making personal connections.”

Museum at Home viewers will learn some history and little-known facts about The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the museum’s collection of more than 130,000 artifacts. Curate A Collection is a video series in which museum curators provide tips on how children can start their own collections at home and rediscover collections started by parents and grandparents. "Researching the subjects on postage stamps together can provide topics for discussion and reading about history and geography,” said Chris Carron, director of collections, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “A forgotten coin collection in a grandparent’s attic can resurface as an opportunity to share about their hobbies when they were young. Classifying sea shells or dinosaur toys by species can help children learn lessons about the animal kingdom and natural order.”

Videos from some of the interpretive experiences in the museum’s exhibits are featured—many of which include trained, costumed actor interpreters.
Museum in a Minute is like a virtual tour providing a quick walk-through of each exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Parents, grandparents and care providers might be surprised to learn the world’s largest museum has resources that can be used in traditional classrooms or for homeschooling. These Units of Study even provide standards-based curricula that cover a variety of topics and are written by trained educators. Anyone can use these study tools for free to learn more about dinosaurs, trains and transportation, science, archaeology, biotechnology, flight, art, racism and discrimination, food and fitness, health, and more!

While other virtual museum programs may offer a single subject on which they are focused, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis' Museum at Home and Units of Study offer families a wide variety of education, physical activity and family bonding opportunities to make what might have been a dull day into a memorable experience the entire family will enjoy.

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Kim Harms
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