For the month of January, the Concord Free Public Library in Concord, MA transformed the Children’s Room into a pirate-themed Treasure Island for an extended program for children and their caregivers to take part in activities that engage the imagination and motor skills. Pirate PlayLand was part of a Mind in the Making grant, which […]
The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA has been successfully running an annual event called Ten Days of Play. Held during February vacation week for the past several years, this child-directed drop-in activity promotes open-ended, creative play with simple materials in a large open space. Families are greeted briefly by a facilitator, and then the fun […]
Lego® Saturdays at the Peabody Institute Library in Peabody, MA is an opportunity for families to come together at the library and get creative together with the Lego® collection on a monthly basis. The program is free, but requires families to pre-register as space is limited. The program is free-form and asynchronous. Participants can use […]
The Strong provides a resource for scholars looking for definitions of play through the Museum’s Elements of Play chart. “Play is difficult to define because it is complex. Many scholars find that describing play is easier than defining it. To help advance discourse around a definition of play, research undertaken at The Strong suggests that six […]
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 […]
Research Summary Adult caregivers seek out fun and enjoyable experiences for their family to experience together. In addition, research proves that a child’s play leads directly to positive social, cultural, and educational growth. Parent and adult involvement in a child’s play increases the efficacy of that play. However, parents are not always comfortable or don’t […]
The Children’s Play and Learning Resources page of The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) website includes numerous links (listed below) detailing the latest research on play, play based learning, why play is an important part of children’s learning and development, the role of play in the classroom, and ideas to share […]
This report, published by the Denver Art Museum, details the Museum’s process of creating new experiences for children and their caregivers by increasing the Museum’s relevance and providing opportunities for family participation.
Science museums often seek to create open-ended, interactive exhibits designed to support visitors in conducting scientific inquiry. Visitors, however, do not always have the skills or previous knowledge needed to perform in-depth investigations to answer certain scientific questions.
This book was written as a guide for museum educators who facilitate outreach programs in classroom settings using objects from their museum’s collection. Vayne explains that learning from objects can be fun, inspiring, and even challenging, and that authentic objects from museums can be more intriguing to students than replicas.
Abstract: “We describe a study of programs to deepen families’ scientific inquiry practices in a science museum setting. The programs incorporated research-based learning principles from formal and informal educational environments. In a randomized experimental design, two versions of the programs, called Inquiry Games, were compared to two control conditions. Inquiry behaviors were videotaped and compared […]
This study, conducted at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, explores parents’ perceptions of play and their role in children’s museums.
Sailors ate in set groups of 8 to 10 men, called messes. The messes ate on the deck without tables or chairs. Messmates grew very close since they spent off duty time together every day. The food was very basic: salted meat, ship’s biscuit, and rice or peas. Fellow messmates served it on tin plates. […]
Beverly Sheppard describes the learning bond as both the setting and the unique nature of learning that occurs in the midst of our intergenerational family experience. A Family Learning Roundtable Presentation by Beverly Sheppard June 14, 2005 Last week I received a birthday card from one of my sons that I decided was all about […]