Oklahoma City family fun lets your kids learn in different ways.
I love routines and schedules, lists and predictability. Fall Break, though, has never felt so welcome.
My sons are in fourth grade and pre-K, still the early years, but I think they'll only get more complicated from here.
I see that they need a few days to sleep in, play freely and not worry about homework or missing lunchboxes. The internet conversation led by parents everywhere in the global comments section preaches on teaching responsibility and independence, the supposed factors for success; it doesn't stop and that's fine because we do. Taking a break is part of what's good for them too.
Seeing their city and all that it has to offer can have its place in that break from routine. Click here for ideas to enjoy fall fun this year.
While my sons snore, I flip through my phone's camera roll and see all that we've done together. In the past week, I've visited two museums with a baby and a toddler. We saw the new "Sacred Words: The Saint John's Bible and the Art of Illumination" exhibition at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and "The Mystery of the Mayan Medallion" at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum in Norman.
If you're considering a museum visit with small children this weekend to see either of these new arrivals to Oklahoma City, here are three tips to keep small children happy and engaged:
- Communicate with staff: Let the front desk staff know you're visiting with small children and ask if there are any resources especially for
- their age group. I haven't met a museum guide yet who wasn't happy to meet my children, point us in the direction of hands-on activities and the best place to start our tour. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art's front desk is the place to ask for backpacks that guide younger kids through each exhibit with information that matches the art's themes and "try this"- style things to do.
- Go for the five senses: My children's favorite part of the new "Mystery of the Mayan Medallion" area was smelling the spices that were common to ancient civilizations like achiote and cacao. Sam Noble has something children can interact with in each separate area. When children start to zone out and pay less attention to the obvious visual we've come to see, I start looking around for a different way to draw them back into the content. Is there something we can touch, hear, taste or smell?
- Ask a question: You know you're going to talk through the exhibit with your children. You can read the museums signs aloud and make the content relevant for them. Asking questions, though, is where I see my sons connect the dots. Think through what you're seeing together to come up with one question you want to ask a member of the staff. "How did the artist get the gold on that page?" and "Where did Mayan people get seeds to plant?" were the two we came up with to get expert answers on during our museum visits. Chihuly's glass always prompts questions like "Are any of those actually jellyfish?" and "Is that glass really heavy or really light?" or "How do all of those glass pieces stick together?" I see them thinking it through. Having that ability to phrase your question in a way an adult can understand is good practice for social skills too.
Museums are just one way to have a fun afternoon together. Whether you're staying in for Fall Break or headed out for some of Oklahoma City's local things to do, I hope you enjoy this time as much as we are!