Learn About Play's Impact on Your Child’s Development
Research tells us that play is essential part of learning and development in young children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children. Furthermore, research has shown that play develops children’s brains in a way that supports creative thinking:
- Open-ended, child-directed free play in the early years stimulates a child’s brain development for creative problem solving
- Preschoolers who spend more time in role-play have a higher measure of creativity
- Play is a safe harbor to work through complex thoughts and emotions
Learn About Curiosity-Cranking, Brain-Filling Play at the Museum
Children begin to make sense of their world and encounter endless learning possibilities through play. At the Museum, we embrace and support playful learning by engaging children and adults in playful learning experiences throughout our child-focused culture.
Unique play-and-learn opportunities can be experienced in all Minnesota Children's Museum's environments - in the St. Paul "flagship" location, our new Rochester satellite museum, "Smart Play Spots" in libraries and community centers around the Twin Cities and in Storyland tours around state.
In all Museum experiences, fish can fly, a turtle can teach and tots can be rockstars. Messes can be math, a slippery snake can inspire creative problem solving and learning can happen while laughing. At the Museum, development happens daily, and the learning is encountered in countless (sometimes subtle) ways. Here, lessons are lurking behind bullfrogs, knowledge knows how to hide in habitat and life skills are skilled at sneaking their way in when fun is going down. Here play is powerful and wonder is world changing.
Become an ant on the anthill at the Museum and it's not all just creepy, crawly fun. Children get to experience life in a society where existence relies on teamwork. It's just one of the many ways kids can play and learn something that later benefits them in the anthill of life. Check out this related play-at-home idea.
Explore the world of water at the Museum and it's not all just a splashy playtime. Children get a hands-on learning experience that teaches them about water's mighty force in shaping our world. Time spent sloshing around and opening the floodgates can fuel a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime. Check out this related play-at-home idea.
When kids dress up in Our World, they can become whatever they want. Playing at the Museum helps them imagine what they can become and gives them hands-on experiences that teach them about the many occupations in our community and the possibilities that await them in adulthood. Check out this related play-at-home idea.
At the Museum, self-discovery is always happening. At the Rooftop ArtPark, plus the many open-ended art programs we offer, kids are learning how to express themselves creatively. A skill that makes for some fridge-worthy pieces, but also arms them with skills they can use throughout their lives. Check out this related play-at-home idea.
Small children meet big adventures in the Habitot gallery,a space created especially for the Museum's youngest learners. Large motor skills are honed as kids traverse across a rolling prarie, march across a creaky bridge and roll around springy lilypads.
Are you curious about what your child takes away from a typical two or three-hour trip to the Museum? Check out just a few of the life skills your child is developing in our galleries and programs:
|Play Opportunities at Minnesota Children’s Museum||Skills Your Child is Building:|
|Creating a shape collage in the Curiosity Center||Logical and mathematical thinking|
|Writing and addressing letters in the Our World gallery||Verbal/linguistic communication|
|Burrowing through the Ant Hill in Earth World||Empathy and imagination through role-playing|
|Jumping on pogo sticks during Big Fun!||Large motor|
|Taking turns playing in the World Works factory||Cooperation|
|Walking along the wavy Prairie in Habitot||Cause and effect concepts|
Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, K. et al American Academy of Pediatrics. (January, 2007)(119)(1). The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds.
Bronson, P. & Merryman, A. (July 19, 2010). Newsweek.The creativity crisis.