July 28th, 2011 by

Museums and Nature Centers: The importance of exposing the arts, science, nature and creative exploration

The last few Fridays, we delighted in some day trips to the museums in Grand Rapids and with the area Nature Center. The value in these explorations and exposure to art, nature, and creative expression is priceless. I’m convinced it will instill a life-long appreciation from a young age when these opportunities are used to our advantage.

Recently, we fit in a morning trip to the Grand Rapids Art Museum with some of our homeschool friends. GRAM is featuring an excellent John Audubon exhibit on the second floor – there is a kids’ scavenger hunt they provide that automatically helps engage the kids in studying each painting up close. Love it! My daughter took in a lot as we evaluated what it was like when they didn’t have cameras to take a picture of the birds they observed outside. After a quick lunch, we strolled down the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for the afternoon – always an awesome adventure. If you’ve never been to the GRCM, you don’t know what you are missing. Two floors of creative, imaginative, hands-on fun for kids of all ages, and they always have something new in store as well as the stand-by classic favorites.


The following Friday, we attended an amazing Geology Rocks! class at the Howard Christensen Nature Center. It was our second trip out there this month (see our trip for the JND here), and it was phenomenally amazing. The dedication and passion the volunteers have are beautiful, and the resources they have are great. We had one-on-one attention to the interests of my kids as they explored and discovered; it was a spectacular day of blissful education.



I always am amazed when I ask my children afterward what their favorite part of the day was. Not only is this giving them the opportunity to practice reflection and review, but it shows me how much they are taking in – it’s always more than I suspect they are at the time.

“Education is all a matter of building bridges.” -Ralph Ellison

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