Traveling with children provides a unique opportunity for their education. They can learn so much more through first hand experience than by books alone or in a classroom setting. During our travels, we always try to find a way for the kids to learn something new by experiencing it for themselves. For your visit to Amsterdam with children, I have put together to a list of educational opportunities to take advantage of while there. I think these ideas provide a range of learning options that will entertain as well as educate them.
5 Ways to Educate Children in Amsterdam:
1. Anne Frank House – One of the best educational experiences for my kids during our recent trip to Amsterdam was a visit to the Anne Frank House. It is definitely an emotional experience, so kids need to be older and able to understand what they are seeing. K (11) said that even though it was sad, it was one of the best museums he has toured. I think Anne Frank’s age makes her more relatable to children and provides a unique way to teach children about WWII, the Holocaust and life in Europe at that time.
To prepare for our trip, we watched Youtube videos on Anne Frank and discussed some of the history surrounding her story. I considered reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl with the kids prior to our visit but didn’t have time. However, the kids think it’s better to read it after the visit. Either way, the diary will help tie the entire experience together.
Walking into the first section of the Anne Frank Museum, we watched a video showing Anne Franks life before and during the war. Each floor provided a unique look into the life of Anne Frank, her family and the other occupants and workers of the building in which she hid. The warehouse workers were not aware that the Jewish family was hiding in the attic, only the four helpers were entrusted with the secret.
We walked through the warehouse, offices, storeroom and the landing with the movable bookcase which concealed the door to the annex where the families hid. Throughout the museum, quotes from Anne Frank’s diary, photographs, family objects and videos are displayed for visitors. Lucy was intrigued with all the quotations throughout and made it her mission to read each one to us. Some provoked questions from Lucy that we tried, with difficulty, to answer.
Later we passed into the hiding place and visited the rooms of the eight inhabitants. Many features of the annex have been preserved including the growth lines from Anne and her sister Margot on the wall in Otto, Edith and Margot Frank’s room.
After exploring the annex, we walked through a passageway to the front of the house. Here we watched the story of Hanneli Goslar, friend of Anne Frank, as she recounts her conversation with Anne before her death in the concentration camp. Next was a video of Otto Frank, the only survivor of the eight inhabitants. Finally, we saw the diary which also included passages from the books she read and short stories she composed.