Top 5 Museums for Families with Young Kids: Supplemental Education
It’s important for young children to get excited about science, hands-on experiences, art, and other non-core subjects at a young age. Families who have the time to take their children to a museum or discovery center are more likely to find that their children remain interested in educational exploration throughout their childhood and young adulthood. However, young children have a much shorter attention span than their high school counterparts and so the museum or outside experience should be fun and engaging. Many young children are geared towards kinesthetic learning meaning that they need to touch and feel things in order to learn from them (READ: “Study Tips from an Orange County Tutor”).
1. The Discovery Cube
Located conveniently in Orange County, The Discovery Cube offers many adventures for young children including a rocket lab, Lego adventure, interactive exhibits, 4D theater, and a planetary research station. Attending the Discovery Cube, which is part of the Discovery Science Foundation, is a fabulous way for young kids to have fun while learning. Most children who visit the Center view it as an exciting adventure and don’t even think of it as an educational activity.
2. The Kidspace Children’s Museum
Located in Pasadena, The Kidspace Children’s Museum offers many exciting exhibits for children including a physics forest, nature exchange, imagination workshop, and several other learning opportunities. One of the most exciting events at the Kidspace Children’s Museum is the upcoming 2015 butterfly season. Parents and teachers of young children will know how much young kids love to see butterflies floating around, whether in a museum environment or outdoors. The 2015 butterfly season also includes a Caterpillar Adoption Day where children who are more interested in caterpillars, arachnids, and other bugs can enjoy an interactive experience.
3. The Pretend City Children’s Museum
Conveniently located right here in Irvine, the Pretend City Children’s Museum is a great place for local residents to spend a day learning about fun experiences such as the imagination playground. The imagination playground is an oversized soft foam playground where children can learn valuable social skills such as sharing, collaboration, creativity, and tolerance of other children they are not familiar with. Children can also visit the art studio in which they can create pallets of every color while the amphitheater offers storytellers, musical performances, and drama geared towards a younger audience. The greatest thing about such a museum is that children don’t even know they’re learning; they think they’re just having fun!
4. Ocean Institute
The Ocean Institute, located in Dana Point, is a hands-on marine science museum which provides a great way for students to explore our local oceanic environment. Many schools take yearly field trips to the Ocean Institute; however, students who have a chance to go with their families on weekends have the chance to experience things that they are personally interested in. Visitors learn about general ocean facts, science, local California history, and sea creatures. Most fun of all, students can go aboard a full-size genuine tall ship where they can feel what it would have been like to be a sailor on the open seas. Some lucky students might get to observe migrating whales during certain times of the year.
5. Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens, located in Carlsbad is an easy drive for families living in both South Orange County and San Diego County. In addition to a special children’s garden, the various gardens offer a great way for younger children to feel as though they are exploring forests from around the world. The Botanical Gardens include both natural California landscaping, a desert scape, a jungle-like environment with waterfalls, and forests representing other parts of the world. Although young children should be supervised for both their safety and the safety of the botanical species, children can have a fabulous time exploring and learning about nature from all over the world. This is also a nice experience for parents to either enjoy the serenity of the peaceful gardens or take photographs of the beautiful plants and flowers.
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