Visiting Port Discovery can be tons of fun for kids – and kids at heart – of all ages! Here are some of the exhibits and experiences that we highly recommend for learners ages 7 to 10, plus some tips for getting the most out of a visit to the Museum!
Tips for Visiting with Children Ages 7-10
- If it’s appropriate, wait for your child come to you for help. As children get older, they can be and want to be more independent. As they go through exhibits and try to solve puzzles or make crafts, let them try to work it out before you step in.
- Encourage your child to interact with their peers. Port Discovery is a place for community and interaction where your children can meet others from around Maryland and beyond! Group play can build cooperation skills.
- It’s also okay to let your child play alone. Older children sometimes like to play by themselves. If your child doesn’t seem interested in joining in play with other kids, let them play independently! They will get a lot of good out of that, too.
- If you have a younger child as well, encourage your older child to help the younger one play! Older children like to help adults or like to help out. This can give your older child a sense of purpose and also help teach them patience, empathy and compassion! It can also help them learn by teaching their younger sibling a skill or concept.
- Ask specific questions about the museum exhibits, both what they like and don't like. Ask for their honest opinion. This helps to reinforce constructive communication skills.
- Give older children opportunities to role-model for younger children who are playing in the same area. Children love to feel grown up and helpful. This is one of the ways to let your child feel important.
- Introduce fun challenges to supplement your child’s experience. Example: How fast can you climb up and down in the SkyClimber? How quickly can you solve the puzzle in Adventure Expedition?
- Acknowledge and thank your child if they are doing something helpful on their own or if they modified their behavior when asked. Positive reinforcement is really valuable for children (and adults!) as they grow and learn about the world around them. It helps children feel loved and supported and nurtures healthy character development in children.
Tips for Caregivers
- Play with your children. Port Discovery is for you, too! Solve puzzles, play and create with your children. Children enjoy playing with adults, so enjoy the time with them!
- Meet other caregivers. As your child meets new friends and playmates, you can also meet other caregivers! Share parenting tips, stories and advice or just enjoy each other’s company.
Exhibits and Experiences Children Ages 7- 10 Will Enjoy
- Adventure Expeditions- Travel back in time to 1920’s ancient Egypt in Adventure Expeditions! As you explore the pharaoh’s lost tomb, you’ll learn about the unique history of the Egypt civilization while you solve puzzles and decipher hieroglyphics.
- Kick It Up- Hop, jump, skip and play in our unique, indoor stadium designed for multiple games and sports! Visit Kick It Up! and take part in a variety of activities from drop-in soccer to backyard games that encourage you to get active, practice taking turns and teamwork, and learn about one another.
- PD Presents- Engage children in visual arts and theater in the PD Presents theater! Educators and performers from the Museum and community introduce children to the performing arts through interactive plays, theater workshops, musical performances, dance and more in this kid-sized theater.
- The Port- Become the captain of an imaginative adventure on a life-sized cargo ship in The Port! Sail, navigate and be a ship engineer as you explore the seas and discover how products make their way around the world. Work together to move, stack and explore what’s inside of shipping containers.
- The SkyClimber- Children (and kids at heart) will be inspired to dream and to test their courage as they climb their way up and around the four-story SkyClimber up into the clouds. Then either slide down an ultra-fun (and ultra-swirly!) four-story slide, or climb down towards the ground.
- Studio Workshop- Visit the BGE Studio Workshop to experience hands-on, creative exploration of visual arts of all kinds. Choose from a variety of art-based projects all designed to promote creative freedom and exploration while enhancing fine motor, social and creativity skills.
- Tiny’s Diner- Pretend play rules supreme in Tiny’s Diner, a 50’s-style diner that’s filled with imaginative fun. Watch as learners play together and prepare pretend meals, take turns operating the cash register, serve up food and drinks, and clean up!
What is your child's favorite exhibit? Tweet us @portdiscovery and let us know!