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Grassroots Wisdom Book

Museum in a Box

During the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, when most children were learning from home and museums were closed, the idea of the "museum in a box" served as a clever substitute in many homes. Although students globally are back in classrooms and museums in many places have reopened, there are still those for whom these options are either unsafe or unavailable, and even for those for whom it is possible, a museum in a box provides fun learning opportunities for children of all ages.

The concept behind these tiny museums is for children to research a topic of interest to them (e.g., birds, plants, dinosaurs, you name it!) and to create a mini museum, complete with exhibit "artifacts" and interpretive writing. These museums can be created in boxes of any size, from shoe boxes to refrigerator boxes, and are only limited by a child's imagination. No internet access? Just think of the possibilities for experiential, Internet-free research, even in your own surroundings! What might you learn by observing local plants, insects, animals, and people?

A couple of online sites offer instructions and kits to guide researchers through the creation of their own tiny museums. See, for example, Micro DIY's site for a great how-to guide and examples of museums other children have created. The British company Museum in a Box also offers ideas, as well as collections and boxes for purchase, if you're needing a bit of a boost.

Richard Morgan's January 9, 2021 New York Times article, "Got a Box? Make a Museum" provides more information and ideas. What micro museum might you make?



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