Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Providence Children's Museum

On Labor Day we took the kids to Providence Children's Museum. Both the kids & the adults had a great time. Outside in the "garden" area is this music making station made out of left over construction material, it is really cool. I told Derek & Pete that I wanted one in our yard.
Inside there is two floors of interesting exhibits; a construction area, a ship, a grocery store, a life size light-bright and of course everyone's favorite ....the water tables.We arrived just as they were opening the doors so we had the whole place to ourselves for a good portion of the morning and it was well worth all the running around & nagging that it took for us to arrive in Providence for 9am:)
Upstairs is an area just for children 4 and under with a cave, treehouse & slide, wooden bridge, make believe stream, puppets & books. Oh and a bouncer at the door! He asked how old Ian was and when I said 3 I received the look of doubt...the "there's no way that kid is any younger than 5 look" that we receive often(especially when a sign reads "3 and under are free") So the boys entered the secluded spot and had some fun while Eeva-Liisa had a "life's not fair moment" and pouted in the corner just outside the forbidden gates. Life is so hard at 5! A trip to the gift shop with Nanook and everything was right in the world again for little Ms. Eeva-Liisa.
Another exhibit that I really enjoyed was the "Play Power". It is a series of clear tubes that small balls and scarfs get sucked through and shot out at random places. It was created to celebrate the power of children's play and to show the museum's conviction that children's self-directed, free play is essential to their healthy development. I'm a huge believer in creative free play! It is truely the foundation for academic success. I picked up a few brochures and some handouts about the topic before we left the museum and I would just like to share some tibits from them.........
 What can you do to help your child play?
~Reduce screen time,
~lessen time spent in adult-organized activities,
~choose simple toys: a good toy is 10% toy and 90% child,
~encourage outdoor adventure: sticks, mud, water, rocks are all raw materials of play, and last but not least....
~bring back the art of real work: cooking, raking, cleaning, washing-all inspire children to play and imitate.
Here's a few websites that looked interesting too:
But my favorite quote was....
"What's the smartest thing a young child can do with a computer or TV?"
Play with the box it came in!
Take Care ~ Angela

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