Our world is shrinking, so to speak. It’s now possible to send communication to the other side of the world in an instant, and perhaps even more impressive, to physically travel to the other side of the world in a matter of hours. Our ancestors could have never imagined the heights to which humanity would soar. With interaction between societies becoming ever more frequent, it becomes ever more important to study human society in all its forms—past and present. That’s why anthropology, the study of human cultures and civilizations, is more important now than ever before. Last week, we ran a detailed article about why children should be interested about anthropology. This week, with the help of BYU’s Department of Anthropology, we’ll share some tips for how to actually get our kids excited.
Tip #1: Take Your Kids to a Local Dig
You can take your kids to a local field school dig. Your older kids can even volunteer! There’s nothing like seeing an actual dig, helping to sift out the relics, and relating it to people who were here long ago. Contact the department (801.422.3058) to find out when the next local one is, and to arrange a guide!
All of BYU’s Anthropology majors are required to attend a faculty-supervised field school. They conduct digs to learn more about ancient civilizations, sometimes right here in our own backyard! There are digs in Goshen and on the shores of Utah Lake.
Tip #2: Visit the Museum of Peoples and Cultures
The Museum of Peoples and Cultures, on the campus of Brigham Young University, cares for the anthropological, archaeological, and ethnographic artifacts in the school’s possession. There may be no better way to inspire a child than to take him or her to this vast collection of exhibits.
Currently, the museum has a couple of special exhibits, including one focused on the archaeology of the historic Provo Tabernacle (now the Provo City Center Temple), and a detailed exploration of the fine textiles of the ancient Andes.
Tip #3: Arrange for an Anthropologist to Visit Your Child’s School
If you have a child going into fourth grade this year, contact their school principal or teacher! They can put in a request to BYU’s Anthropology department for a school visit by faculty member Mike Searcy, who brings a unique and exciting perspective on anthropology, as well as several actual relics, to classrooms. Your kids will love it!
Tip #4: Check out a Culture Case
For only a small fee (which is waived for educators), you can borrow a Culture Case from BYU’s Department of Anthropology. These cases include artifacts, replicas, CDs, books, and other teaching tools to help children learn more about various cultures.
These detailed and informative cases are available for regions such as the Great Basin, the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, Polynesia, Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, and many more!
Tip #5: Go to the Utah Lake Festival
The annual Utah Lake Festival in Provo is a great place to take children who are excited about anthropology. The Museum of Peoples and Cultures will have a booth and various activities available for children and families. Contact Utah Lake Commission Executive Assistant Noelia Deaton (801.851.2900, firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!