king-tutSure to be the GOLDEN ticket of the year, the King Tut exhibit arrived yesterday at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) and runs through January 9, 2011. For families, the DAM’s highly anticipated Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs exhibit is even more attractive as admission is free for children 5 and under (and discounted for ages 6 – 17). But how do you get the attention of those easily distracted youngsters?  Enter in DAM’s adult and family programming.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak media preview last week, and I found it fascinating and colorful with exciting glimpses inside the Egyptian world of King Tut and other Great Pharaohs — some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, from the 4th Dynasty into the Late Period (about 2,600 B.C. to 660 B.C.). The artifacts are from a variety of temples and royal and private tombs, and many of these items have never before visited the United States prior to this exhibition tour. Read more about my media preview here.

About a month ago, I posted the details about the DAM’s family programming on King Tut. (Read more about it here: http://www.king-tut.org.uk/life-of-king-tut/education-of-king-tut.htm ) The program is designed to engage visitors of all ages, such as In Just for Fun Egypt, located in Duncan Pavilion, kids can try on costumes to become Egyptian royalty or design an Egyptian collar. It’s also a place for families to relax and take a time out from the crowds.. For more on children’s and family programs at the DAM, visit www.denverartmuseum.org/kids.

To make a museum trip more interesting to kids, I also suggest pre-educating the kids. Make it a game to learn about King Tut
before heading to the museum. Get the kids attention with little snippets of details prior to your visit to the museum. 

Here are some sample questions:

• How old was Tut when he became King? (King at age 10 and ruled until he died at 19.)
• How many U.S. cities will the King Tut exhibit travel? (four cities)
• Why were mummies often buried with objects? (People believed those objects would be needed in the next life.)

Or ask your kids questions that make them think, such as:

• If you could interview King Tut today, what would ask him?
• If you were to be mummified and buried with objects that had special meaning in your life, what objects would scientists find when they discover your tomb in 1,000 years?

To get the inside information on King Tut and the Great Pharoahs, check out these websites:

Life of King Tut http://www.king-tut.org.uk/index.htm
King Tut on the Move http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/newsforyou/pdfs/newsforyou003.pdf

Finally, go the library. Make it a scavenger hunt to find as much information as possible on King Tut and the Egyptian cultures. Look at the picture books, especially with young children. Allow them to check out one book (or as many as you wish!) to take home and learn about the boy king Tut.

What other suggestions do you have to make your children’s museum experience more enjoyable?

Read more about King Tut exhibit