12 of the Best Virtual Museums for Kids
The digital world is vast and holds thousands of ways for parents and kids alike to explore. Virtual museums are an up-and-coming part of the online realm that offers hours of new knowledge and entertainment. With dozens of options, you and your children can dive into uncharted areas of interest and discover unfamiliar worlds.
What Is a Virtual Museum?
As the world transitions to all things virtual, museums are becoming an online hit. A virtual museum is a digital version of the exhibits and artworks of the traditional physical museum.
The internet can be a great host for virtual museums in different ways. A museum can be an augmented model that simulates the experience of going through the exhibits, reading about each piece and exploring. It can also simply be photos, videos, and excerpts that offer knowledge about the museum’s contents.
You can click your way through various digital museums. Your children can discover new things about art, history, animals and nature, science, technology, literature, culture, and so much more. A virtual visit saves money, too. Instead of traveling to your destination, you can enjoy it at home. Many of the digital shows will be free and just as engaging as they are in person.
Virtual museums foster an enlightening learning environment for any age group. Kids have a wide range of interests—some may love history and animals, while others engage with technology and art. No matter what they are into, museums have something that will pique their interest.
Whether your child wants to visit a virtual museum for a class assignment, as a part of their academic help, or simply for fun, the options are endless. Here are some of the best virtual museums to visit:
1. Boston Children’s Museum
In Massachusetts, the Boston Children’s Museum offers virtual tours of its different hands-on experiences. Your child can see the museum from a new perspective—one where they have the place to themselves.
2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met is taking its online tour options to new levels. With access to various features to explore different time periods, exhibits, locations, and inventions, your child will get an immersive experience in different fields. They can use the interactive map to navigate and then dive into the MetKids exclusive digital page.
3. National Museum of African American History & Culture
The NMAAHC is a branch of the Smithsonian that focuses on the life, history, and culture of African Americans. This museum offers new online displays and interactive activities. From centuries past to the present, your child can learn about important historical moments.
4. The Louvre
As one of the most famous museums in the world, The Louvre has opened its virtual doors. You and your family can go on engaging online tours of different exhibits throughout the museum, exploring galleries and antiques.
5. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian is drawing people in with its virtual tours. On top of its current online presentations, the museum is bringing past displays to the digital world. From dinosaur fossils to natural history, the whole family can engage with the Smithsonian.
6. National Museum of Korea
If you’re looking to reach the far corners of the world, the National Museum of Korea in South Korea has fascinating online showcases. From archeology to history to educational programs, this institution offers a well-rounded approach to learning about a different culture.
7. San Diego Zoo
If your kid is an animal lover, the San Diego Zoo’s live cams will be a hit. They’ll be able to watch koalas, hippos, tigers, and dozens of other animals from the comfort of home.
8. Getty Museum
Through Google Arts and Culture, you and your child can view different exhibits in the Getty Museum. Explore the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the 21st century through artwork, beautiful gardens, and stunning architecture.
9. Monterey Bay Aquarium
Similar to the San Diego Zoo, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has live cams for watching different animals. You and your child can see jellyfish, sharks, otters, and penguins. The aquarium has hundreds of animals that will keep you entertained for hours.
10. Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
The classic British author has his own museum with virtual displays for the whole family. Exploring this author’s world offers an escape into his stories and experiences.
NASA is offering multiple virtual tours and platforms for exploring all aspects of the organization. Investigate the Glenn Research Center or explore the spacecraft augmented reality (AR) app. No matter which activity you choose, your child can learn and have fun.
12. National Women’s History Museum
The National Women’s History Museum has transitioned several of its exhibits to the online realm. You and your child can learn about various historical moments in women’s history. For instance, you can see a presentation about the women of NASA and women in STEM.
The virtual museum trend will likely stick around for a while. These explorations offer new perspectives and access to learning like never before. When you and your child visit a virtual museum, you open yourselves up to a new world.
If you want to continue your child’s virtual education in the fall school year, visit K12.com to learn more about online schools!
Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist with an interest in IoT, IT productivity, and continued learning. She's a senior writer for MakeUseOf and a contributing writer for Innovate My School, Teachers with Apps, and others. To see more of her work, visit ProductivityBytes.com.