The Minnesota Children’s Museum’s focus, like many children’s museums, is all about play. However, the Museum provides a unique approach to play in museums through their PlayLENS. This framework guides adults in supporting their child’s play with a clear call to action. The Museum’s Successful People Play movement seeks to show that successful adults know […]
In an interview with exhibit and program designers at the Boston Children’s Museum, Margaret Middleton explores some of the common questions museum professionals might have about creating successful “multigenerational social learning experiences” that engage both children and adults. Middleton, Margaret. “Bring the Family: Children’s Museum Wisdom for the Rest of the Museum Community.” WestMuse Blog. Western Museums […]
Have you ever wondered if children are learning in children’s museums or just being entertained? Researchers from Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia and Harvard University’s Project Zero teamed up to study the question. Their results: “YES, children are really learning”. Nancy Haas, Project Explore Manager at Please Touch Museum, details findings from the multi-phase research project including thoughts […]
This article describes “a range of front-end research studies intended to develop more specific knowledge concerning parent beliefs about how and what their children might learn from a museum visit, and how parents might be involved in that learning…the team then developed and user-tested prototype signage for the new exhibit spaces.” Swatz, Mallary I. and […]
The Adult Child Interaction Inventory (ACII) was the product of a three-year NSF-funded research project that aimed to better understand the non-verbal and verbal interactions between adults and preschool children in museums during STEM programs.
Resources and activities for museum and library professionals to help promote literacy, brain-building, kindergarten readiness, and STEM at their sites.
Check out The Discovery Museums special programming, Especially for Me, for families with children who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired, and children with autism. Their Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Friendly Afternoons have been a huge hit and result in increased visitation.
“Abstract: Research demonstrates that children have vast potential to expand their knowledge base with simple supports from adults and older children.
Project Explore, a collaboration between Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum and Harvard University’s Project Zero, describes their evaluation process and experience in trying to determine if “children [are] really learning in children’s museums or are they simply being entertained? If children are learning, what is it that they are learning? What engages and enhances children in the […]
Cathy Donnelly recounts a multi-year initiative from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to study what families do in museums and how they interact with each other and with exhibits during their visit. They came up with three ways to create family-friendly experiences: selecting objects, designing interactives, and writing labels. Fun for the Whole Family: New […]
Jenni Martin describes the creation and development of The Wonder Cabinet, an innovative exhibit for young children at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
“Young children are active learners. They learn while doing and they play while learning. Experiential exhibition environments can become catalysts and supports for this mode of engagement.”