Spring Break Idea: Make Your Own Museum
Can’t make it to a museum this spring break? You can still have a museum experience by encouraging the kids make a museum of their very own.
I’ve asked my good friend, Clare Brown, an exhibit designer whose recent work can be viewed in the First Ladies exhibit at the National Museum of American History, to share some tips for kids who want to create a museum of their very own. Here’s what she had to say…
1) Make a collection of objects – a museum is different from a book because it has REAL objects!
2) Make sure there is a story that you can tell either about or using those objects. Do a little internet research about your objects, maybe find some new images or new stories about your objects.
3) Write labels about your objects to identify them and/or tell a story about them.
4) Make it look pretty! Display them so that people can see them easily, lift them on to blocks so that they look important, place different objects next to each other to highlight relationships and/or differences in the objects.
5) Entice people to move from object to object using attractive colors, or images to get people to move through your space.
6) optional: make it interactive! Get people to learn through doing.
7) optional: Make a reference book where people can “learn more” after they have finished looking at your exhibit.
Extra credit: Another thing to think about, but this is on a higher plane of thought… the difference between resonance and wonder. Resonance refers to making objects mean something to visitors. Wonder refers to creating a space where visitors experience awe just by looking at objects. It’s kind of a neat thing to think about as both are valid approaches in exhibit design.
And for more serious museum planners out there, they’ll want to consider the following:
1) security – keeping objects safe
2) conservation – protecting objects in a good environment for them
3) accessibility – making the space and information accessible to all kinds of people
I want to thank Clare for offering all of these fantastic ideas and tips. Now go out there and give a try.
Send us a picture of your child’s museum and we’ll feature it here on Classic Play.