As your child’s first teacher, you probably have figured out that children learn best by doing. Visiting where a famous author lived or worked is an excellent way to help your child connect with the context of books they will read in the future.
- Ask yourself if it fits your child’s interests.
- Verify the hours by phone or email a few days in advance. Websites are not always correct, especially places with limited staffing.
- Determine if the child-friendliness of the place matches your child’s abilities.
- Watch Author Adventures YouTube videos through https://safeshare.tv or on its own for short previews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTknT6AT2IO42uLmr9Qd-IA
- If possible, go to your local library and check out books your child can read about the author before or after the trip.
- Use the “Personalize It” image on author pages for ideas for maker projects that don’t require special equipment or screens. (The American Association of Pediatricians recommends no more than an hour of screen time a day for children under nine years old.)
Look for the “Personalize It” image on author pages that looks like this:
- Post photos on social media sites to share your off-the-beaten-path experience.
- If possible, make a donation to help keep the landmark going.
A Few More Details:
Discuss with your child in advance questions they can ask tour guides. Be sure your child has a way to take notes or draw what they see or shoot photos so they can participate in preserving the memory of the experience. It’s helpful for them to have some type of tool for expression in their hands while they are walking through.
Remember that historical landmarks have a range of child-friendliness. Some require more walking than others. Some are filled with delicate objects. Some have attractive gift shops. Some have more interactive exhibits than others. Some require group reservations and some are self-guided. Select wisely.