What does your child say that really gets on your nerves?
You know, the words that pound your ears like a teenager playing the drums?
If you’re raising a toddler, it’s undoubtedly “no” or “mine” or “uh, oh” – and it’s always trailed by an exclamation point. (Inevitably!)
If you have preschoolers or elementary-aged kids, it’s likely followed by a question mark instead.
The endless “why?” Or worse, “why not?”
Maybe it’s not a word at all. If you’re the parent of a preteen, like I am, what you really dread is the eye roll.
Talk about aggravating.
But whatever the age or stage of our kids, there are two words we all dislike hearing. These two words have the power to instantly annoy any parent.
What are they?
This pesky phrase can turn up almost anywhere – home, school, church, a friend’s house, the grocery store.
Even *gasp* Grandma’s house.
But one place it never, ever visits is a children’s museum.
Children’s museums are designed for fun. From the kid-scaled exhibits to the colorful designs, these museums ooze energy and creativity.
Which makes boredom very, very uncomfortable.
So uncomfortable that it stays away.
Let’s look at three reasons why.
Boredom doesn’t want to work.
It refuses to participate. Only sit around and watch.
But Children’s museums are busy places. They’re loaded with ways for kids to explore. To interact with exhibits and other people.
Consider a maker’s workshop. Kids get to design real stuff using the same tools and materials that professionals use.
Or think of a live garden, where children can test the soil, plant seeds, and learn how to control pests organically.
Kids are naturally curious. They love to invent and experiment.
Boredom says that’s too much work.
We’re not talking about a neat freak here.
Boredom just doesn’t want to clean up after itself.
Experts say that kids learn in lots of ways, including watching, reading, and listening. But one of the best ways they learn is by doing.
And doing stuff can get messy.
That’s why boredom hangs out at traditional museums instead. Where visitors can’t touch the exhibits. Because careless play could topple dinosaur bones. Sticky fingerprints would ruin artifacts or artwork.
At a children’s museum, visitors can touch everything.
Little kids sift objects in a giant sandbox to learn about sand science. Big kids make waves, rapids, and waterways in a water exhibit to study the physics of water.
I guarantee boredom isn’t going to get sandy or wet.
Here’s the worst reason of all.
Boredom yawns at the wonders of childhood. The whimsy. The adventure. The play.
It only cares about one thing.
The mindless kind.
But we care about more than entertainment. We care about learning. We want our children to imagine and create. To pursue new interests.
To be inspired today. And for the rest of their lives.
Kids can’t wait to explore their world, to learn how and why it works. And children’s museums are centers for this kind of child-directed learning.
Where learning is inherently fun.
A place boredom won’t ever appreciate.