FAQs for Parents: Using This Website with Your Kids

Whether you live in Washington, D.C., or are simply enjoying a “virtual” visit, our website is a great way to introduce your children to the museum and topics in American history.

Where should I start?

Browse the areas of the site that appeal to you! Look for the kid-friendly symbol on the Kids page and throughout the web for suggestions.

Some ideas:

  • OurStory: Explore American history with your child through great books and fun family activities you can do at home.
  • Check out a list of things to do at home.
  • Read Fun Facts about objects in the museum's collection.
  • Search for events in the museum that are specifically geared towards children.
Do you have activities we can do at home?

Check out the list of online activities listed in the Kids section. Also take a look at the OurStory website with recommended reading and activity guides and the Spark!Lab Web site for hands-on science and invention activities to do at home.

My child is doing research on a project for school. Can I ask someone at the museum for help?

The museum does not have the resources to help with general historical research. We encourage you to make use of your local library or search reputable websites.

The museum's website is a rich resource for students working on school assignments. We encourage students to use exhibition websites and online collections to access information about primary sources relevant to their research. Use the search box at the top of the page to keyword search the whole site.

Can I use an image from your website for a school project?

We encourage users to download images from our website for non-commercial personal or classroom use, without written permission, within the meaning of the principles of “fair use.” Appropriate credit to the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution should appear with the image. Images on our site which are credited to another person or organization may not be used without that party’s permission. Please visit the Smithsonian Institution’s Terms of Use page for more information about allowable uses.

How can I get information about other Smithsonian Web resources?

Visit the “Explore and Learn” section of the Smithsonian Institution's main Web site for more online resources.

How can I find out about new activities to do with my kids?

Sign up for our monthly e-mail newsletter and be sure to check the "For Kids & Families" category to receive information on events and activities appropriate for kids.

Where can I find a list of books recommended by the museum?

Visit the OurStory Web site’s searchable database of books. The database includes nonfiction and historical fiction books appropriate for learners from Pre-K to adult. Some of the books are also featured within OurStory activities, which focus on specific subjects in American history.