Celebrate International Museum Day
Celebrate International Museum Day with the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum! Create your own Passport to Discovery as you decide where you want to explore. Will we visit Antarctica today? Have tea in Buckingham Palace? Explore a children’s museum in Africa? Look at the stars in Buenos Aires? Chart your own course for mystery and adventure. And while we are journeying, we take a trip closer to home to our very own Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum! Did you know that we will be celebrating our 25th birthday next year? Kids who played in our museum when we opened are now bringing their own kids — YOU — to come and learn through play.
Below are activities that all have an International Museum Day theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else! #IMD2020
Let’s Create a Passport To Discovery!
For this activity, you’ll need to gather your supplies (paper and markers or paints and your imaginations). We are going to create a passport to use with today’s activities.
- What do you love? What do you want to learn more about? Brainstorm a list. It could be legos or dance or Antarctica or play.
- Draw a grid on your paper or box. You can have as many or as few blocks as you like. Dr. Diane created nine boxes on her passport to discovery.
- Fill those blocks with pictures of things you want to discover today. They can be as simple or as detailed as you want.
- Leave a space for surprises — you always want to embark on a journey with an open mind. Learning something new and unexpected is part of the fun!
- Share your passports with us @discoverymuse
- Now, get your passport ready as you start exploring museums around the world!
- Let’s start with our very own Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum!
Around the World with Museums!
Let’s Start at Home, with a look at the Shenandoah Valley and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
Bright Ideas: How Does a Museum Start?
Passport to Discovery:
Let’s Go Explore!
Choose a destination and prepare for your virtual adventure! Here are some of the activities you might choose to complete at each museum (or continent):
- Build a model of your favorite exhibit using legos, clay, playdough, or other household supplies.
- Try one of the virtual activities on their website (if there are any).
- Draw a picture or write about one thing you discovered at that museum that you didn’t already know.
- Look up and cook a recipe from the area.
- Find and read a book with the same theme or setting as the museum.
- Write and illustrate your own comic book or postcard about the museum.
- Create a special stamp for your passport to show that you visited at least one museum from each continent!
- Share your discoveries with us @discoverymuse on social media!
Google Arts and Culture partnered with over 2,500 museums to bring you up-close and personal museum tours from around the world. This is a great place to begin your journey! We’ve selected some other ideas below to get help get you started on your passport to discovery!
- From Impalas to fierce lions and grazing zebras, viewers can head to Etosha National Park in Namibia, Africa for a true safari from afar. See animals in their natural habitats, how they flourish and take in the beauty and wonder of Africa.
- Play Africa (in South Africa) and Mindscapes Children’s Museum (in Nigeria) are children’s museums, very much like the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. What similarities and differences do you see?
- Take a virtual tour of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. What’s your favorite artifact?
- TECHNICALLY, this museum is not in Antarctica, but it has an amazing exhibit ABOUT Antarctica. Visit the Royal Museums Greenwich and dive deeper into the polar continent.
- The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust will let you discover the various British outposts in Antarctica, with artifacts, history, conservation stories, and videos!
- Visit Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum to view the terra cotta armies and participate in activities geared to immerse children in Chinese history.
- Visit the Sand Museum in Japan, which includes sand sculptures created by world artists and rotating exhibition themes. Then go out and create your own sand sculptures!
- Take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace. Visit the throne room, see the Queen’s corgis, attend a garden party, and check out all things royal.
- Ancient Greece meets modern Greece in this tour that lets you experience the Acropolis, the myths, and the ancient ruins alongside modern Greece through virtual tours and 360 video.
- Take a virtual tour of the British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition. Includes short video segments and activities sure to delight Muggles and Wizards alike.
- Your virtual tour of Colonial Williamsburg will take you back in time 300 years ago. Visit the Governor’s Palace and check out the art museum.
- Visit Washington DC — explore everything from the Spy Museum to the Smithsonian collections!
- Visit Mexico’s Museum of Modern Art, where you can explore the works of artists like Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siquerios, Jose Clemente Orozco, and more.
- Explore the virtual collections of museums from across Canada here!
- Tour the Planetarium Galileo Galilei in Buenos Aires. From a 360 tour of the planetarium to interactive activities and gorgeous photos, this museum has something for every star-gazer!
- Visit the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru!
For Fun: Search the global map and explore your choice among all of the activities and exhibits listed for International Museum Day 2020. Can you find the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum?
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- Now that you’ve viewed all of these different museums, can you make your very own museum exhibit? Do you want to create an exhibit where you learn by touching and exploring? Do you want to create an art exhibit? It’s up to you. Use the materials you have around the house (shoe box, clay, LEGOs, paints, recycled materials) to create your museum. Share the results with us! We want to see your discovery in action!
- Take the Getty Museum Art Challenge. Explore the works of art, then recreate them with your family using random objects from around the house Post them on social media. Be sure to tag both the Getty Museum and @discoverymuse as we want to see your creativity shine!
Museum-Themed Read Alouds
- Storytime at the Met, focusing on You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman & Robin Preiss Glasser
- How the Sphinx Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland.
Book Ideas for Older Readers
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet
Called the Da Vinci Code for kids, Blue Balliet combines an art quest mystery centering around Dutch master artist Vermeer. When an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears, Petra and Calder are caught in an international art scandal. It will take their knowledge of the artist plus their clue-solving ability to crack this case. This is a series! [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
This classic, which is more than 50 years old, may read more like fantasy or historical fiction than realistic fiction to modern audiences, but it is still a great family adventure. When Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City., and brings her younger brother, Jamie, along to manage the money. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie get caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue may bev an early work of Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Or is it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue.
- The Night at the Museum series (2006 and beyond)
- Check out this link to the real exhibits featured in The Night at the Museum
- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1995)
- Sesame Street Special: Don’t Eat the Pictures (1983)
- Muppets Most Wanted (2014)