Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by an anonymous Wonder Friend. an anonymous Wonder Friend Wonders, “what can you find in a museum” Thanks for WONDERing with us, an anonymous Wonder Friend!

Do you enjoy field trips? If so, today’s Wonder of the Day is right up your alley. It covers amazing places where kids can take in amazing sights and take part in hands-on learning. What are we talking about? Museums, of course!

What comes to mind when you think of the word “museum”? Do you picture paintings hanging on a wall? Quiet halls filled full of relics from the past? Or do you think of airplanes suspended from the ceiling? Perhaps science experiments come to mind. All of these things and more are possible in museums.

Some people have limited experience with museums. They may have only been to one or two types of museums in their entire lives. Is that you? If so, here’s what you’ve been missing!

There are many different types of museums around the world. Each one might display certain types of exhibits based on subject matter. Many go by names that don’t have the word “museum” in them at all.

Let’s take a look at some popular types of museums. If you love art, there’s no shortage of art museums around the world. One of the most famous is the Louvre in Paris, France. It’s the home of the Mona Lisa. Many other famous art museums can be found in New York City. In addition to paintings, they usually contain all sorts of art, from sculptures to fabric art.

Many cities now have children’s museums. What do they display there? Children from the past? We hope not! These usually feature many hands-on activities. These give kids a chance to explore their imaginations by interacting with exhibits on a personal level.

If you love animals and nature, then you’ll love natural museums. They might contain exhibits about various creatures and hands-on activities. These let kids interact with nature in ways they might not experience at home or school.

Science and space museums take children on a trip all around and even beyond Earth. Do you WONDER about the world around you or what’s “out there”? If so, you’ll want to find a science or space museum to tour.

Depending on where you live, there may be a wide variety of specialty museums available to tour. What do these feature? It depends! You can find museums dedicated to trains, automobiles, ships, airplanes, dinosaurs, and more!

And, of course, there are good old-fashioned history museums. For example, no trip to Washington, DC, is complete without a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It can be so neat to see original documents that shaped history!

Museums are probably easier to find than you might imagine. Did you realize there are more than 17,000 of them in the United States alone? How many of those are within an hour of your home? Now that’s something to WONDER about!

Not all museums are buildings, either. Have you ever been to a zoo or botanical gardens? These are museums with living exhibits that are right out in the open instead of hanging on a wall or sitting behind glass. What other types of open air museums can you think of?

Do you think you might want to work in a museum someday? It can be a fun career to work alongside historical items, helping to preserve them and showing the public how important they are. Perhaps you could be a docent, who takes people on tours around a museum. If you want to be in charge, you could be the person responsible for managing a museum’s entire collection. We call these people curators! There are many fun and interesting careers related to museums.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.4

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will have you tickling the ivories!