Need Idea-Inspiring, Problem-Solving Help? — Get Thee to a Museum!

Our books this week took a kids eye view of growing an idea and solving a problem. But sometimes it’s not so easy and we need a little inspiration or a little help. We can turn to mothers, fathers, siblings, teachers, friends. But if they’re busy or just not coming up with what you need – try a MUSEUM!

Museums Inspire Ideas and Problem-solving

I am a big believer. Time and time again when my kids were little, a trip to the museum helped them grow.

There was the dinosaur phase. Books about dancing dinosaurs, stegosaurus toys, pterodactyl pajamas. But nothing compared to an outing to the Museum of Natural History to meet Sue, the T-Rex. There she stood, in all her glory, towering high above our heads, mouth gaping, sharp teeth bared. My kids looked back and forth from their little fingers to Sue’s enormous toes, they marched off the distance from Sue’s snout to the end of her lance-like tail. Thanks to Sue, the concept of scale became palpably real. Back home, the kids had an idea: Make a movie with their toy dinos and Small People dolls. Now the girls controlled the scale, using the camera lens to make their subjects look bigger and smaller.

There was the dollhouse phase. The Museum of Science and Industry’s fairy castle shimmered in gold and silver. But it was the Art Institute’s miniature rooms that were most fascinating. Tiny replicas of rooms from times along ago – British mahogany-walled reading rooms, French blue wallpapered dressing rooms, Japanese low tables behind sliding doors, colonial American stone hearths. Back home, the girls made houses of their own, primarily out of paper. Low tables and tall ceilings, elaborate staircases and colorful wall tapestries. Their creativity sparked by the museum’s miniature rooms, the design possibilities were endless.

Plan your visit to a museum near you

There are thousands of museums across our country welcoming us with open doors. Inside, you can walk around whimsical paintings and sculptures; or walk through an oversized human heart; you can walk into a replica slave cabin; or play a game of chance with a gene mutation slot machine. So next time you’re looking for an idea or itching to do some problem-solving…get thee to a museum!

Share your favorite museum exhibits!

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