Play is on the decline. It’s a fact. There are probably a number of reasons for this, but in short, kids aren’t always able to just be kids anymore. Here in MN, our Children’s Museum is working to change that, to encourage more play and show that kids can still learn through play.
I’ve been invited to be a Play Advocate for the MN Children’s Museum and I’m really excited about it. I’m passionate about play through learning, it’s one of the biggest reasons we chose Montessori for Ollie. He goes to school and plays, but he’s learning while he does it. We’ve been taking Ollie to the Children’s Museum since he was just shy of a year old and I love their approach to learning. Everything is hands on and fun, with practical application. One of his favorite spots has always been this little town that has a store with shopping carts, play food and cash registers. He loves to “shop” and he loves to play cashier.
Last night we had an opportunity to attend a special event for Play Advocates after the museum closed for the day. We enjoyed time in the new Forces at Play exhibit which uses various elements such as water and air to power things. We also had a chance to hear about the big changes coming the museum soon. They are undergoing a major renovation to expand and bring more exhibits and foster even more play through learning. It’s all very exciting, the bummer is that this weekend they’ll be shutting down the museum for four months while they finish up the construction. Thankfully there is a Pop-Up Children’s Museum down at the Mall of America, so I think we’ll be spending some time there this winter!
I’m really glad to be part of this program, not only to spread the word about the importance of play, but to also learn more ways we can encourage play through learning at home. Kids are only kids for so long. I want Ollie to have his childhood as long as he possibly can.