Tips for Visiting Science Centers with Tweens:
- Every exhibit may not be age appropriate for tween audiences. Prevent boredom by planning your visit ahead of time. Most museum websites offer exhibit descriptions. Have kids decide what looks interesting online before arriving at the science center. Then guide them to their choices.
- Schedule your visit when the science museum is least busy, which is often weekdays after school tour hours. (If you're not sure when a museum is the busiest, call them first.)
- Bring friends. Sharing the experience is more fun for kids, and grownups learn a lot about their kids by watching the interactions!
- As soon as you arrive, check your coats. It's hard to have fun if you're lugging around a jacket or sweltering! Then decide on a meeting point with benches and in good view of a clock. Make everyone say out loud the name of the area (floor or level) and meeting time.
- Pay attention to your children's learning styles. Let them approach museum exhibits on their own terms. Some kids may want to focus on a particular science topic or area of the museum. Others may take a more open approach, trying out all the museum has to offer. Either way, encourage you child to enjoy the science.
- If your tweens are visiting a science center with younger kids, have the older kids act as mentors or explainers. Older kids can help their younger siblings and friends by reading exhibit text, helping with hands-on experiments, and modeling that science is fun!
- On the way home, ask the kids what exhibits they'd recommend to other kids, or what they'd like to come back to see, and why.
- Extend your visit when you are back home by utilizing the science center's website. Many sites have games and activities developed especially for kids.
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