Why Kids Should Play in the Museum

A drawing of four boys at a table, wearing toy helmets and wings.

A grade 3 class is enjoying one of the Museum’s temporary exhibitions called Kids Celebrate! They are in their school uniforms.

The exhibition focuses on 12 special times of the year. From Christmas to Diwali to Carnival, each is a day or a period of time celebrated by kids and families in Canada. For each of the celebrations, there is a station with activities.

Kids are expert learners

The kids are playing. As kids do. Kids are experts at finding ways to have fun.

And they are experts at learning. Albert Einstein said that “play is the highest form of research”. He was right. Research shows that play and learning go hand in hand.

A fantastic image

At a little round table in the Hanukkah section, there are four boys spinning dreidels. A dreidel is a wooden top that has been used by Jewish kids and families to have fun for hundreds of years. On top of their uniforms, the boys have added bits from the Halloween section of the exhibit. Three are in toy helmets. One wears a green army helmet. Another is in a black firefighter’s helmet. The third: a red one, worn backwards. He also wears a set of fairy wings. The boy in the green army helmet wears a set of butterfly wings. A Monarch butterfly, to be precise. It is a fantastic image.

It’s not clear if any of these kids knew what a dreidel was before today. But it’s clear that they know the game or at least that they’ve made up a game to play with the wooden toy.

A great place to learn

Kids can find ways to play almost anywhere. And if they are playing in a place where they can learn, they will learn.

Parents know that not every situation is appropriate for playing. You don’t want your kids playing during their older sister’s graduation ceremony, or at a classical music concert, or in the middle of the Trans-Canada highway. But the Museum will always be a great place to play and a great place to learn.

A boy stands at a table. On the other side of the table, a Museum staff member wearing the hat of a customs official listens attentively as the boy talks.

Class Trips

Book a Visit for your Class or Group.

Teachers, bring your kids to the Museum for one of our experiential on-site programs. There are programs available for all grades!

See programs and costing →
A Museum staff member stands in front of a display holding old luggage, pointing at one of the suitcases. They are looking into the camera of a tablet, set up on a tri-pod.

Remote Learning

Virtual Field Trips

Classes from anywhere in Canada and of all grade levels can learn about the reality and experience of immigrating to Canada, in sessions led by our Heritage Interpreters.

See programs and costing →
A group of teenaged students looks at a Museum staff member who gives a tour.


Financial Support for Schools and Students

Bursaries of $200 to $1000 are available through the Ruth Goldbloom Educational Bursary Fund to help the costs of transportation and/or accommodation for Canadian youth visiting the Museum.

Learn how to access a bursary →