For many of us who have a love and passion for history, having children can really put an end to our enjoyment of historical outings and holidays. The thought of taking an unpredictable and perhaps screaming infant around sites can cause many to put their own interests on hold and swap historical sites for soft play, trips to the park and baby groups. However, once the children are past the infant stage, taking children to historical sites and museums becomes one of those things that parents must do for their children to help make them useful members of society. It enriches their lives, educates them, fosters a desire to learn, an understanding of the past and creates a love of history that can last a lifetime. Besides, you’re really fed up with the soft play centres with their deafening noises and dubious smells, and you really want to start enjoying your own interests again.
Taking children to sites can be done, although it can be hard work and you will definitely miss the days when you could just go somewhere with a minimum of planning and preparations. But it is rewarding and well worth doing and will give you, and them, many happy memories (you’ll hopefully forget the times they threw up in the National Trust gift shop, or had a very public tantrum because they weren’t allowed to climb the castle walls).
These are my top tips for taking children around historical sites, museums and on historical holidays – something I do a considerable amount of. Some of these are obvious, others you may not have thought of. I hope they help!
Blists Hill Victorian Town, one of the Iron Bridge Gorge Museums in Shropshire, England.
Costumed characters at the Roman Baths in Bath, England.
Dressing Up in the Salisbury Museum, Salisbury in England.
Gruesomeness in Mdina, Malta.
Teddy in Pompeii, Italy.
Finally, I asked my children what their advice would be to get children interested and well behaved around historical sites. They both said the same thing – bribery. And that is definitely what I would recommend if all else fails.
Knights, Salt and Segways, Family-Friendly Malta
A rich and varied history created by the influence of so many nations on one island makes Malta one of Europe’s most historically rich outposts. This ‘Jewel of the Mediterranean’ has been occupied since the earliest days of civilisation, and with a fascinating mixture of cultural legacies and architectural styles there really is something here for everyone. Last year, Sarah took her family for a week’s holiday on the island to see what this historically diverse island could offer families … Continue Reading >>
I hope these tips have been of some use. If you know of any more, contact us – we would love to add your tip here!
Read more contributions by Sarah on Archaeology Travel >>