Monday, September 13, 2010

What's New at DuPage Children's Museum?

We are pleased to welcome our visitors back! After a two-week refresh and cleaning of the Museum, we are open! A Play Facilitator was overheard saying, "Boy, does this place smell clean!" Cleaning and sanitizing takes priority all year round but especially during our annual shutdown. You can read more about our daily and yearly cleaning procedures here and in a 2008 article in Hand to Hand Journal for the Association of Children's Museums (ACM).

A major change during our shutdown was the refreshing of our Interact with Art Gallery, The Play's the Thing, now called The Play's the Thing: Act II. The main purpose of our gallery is to help our young visitors and their adult partners realize that there are many creative ways to interpret the world and that their own interpretations have validity. Like its predecessor, The Play's the Thing: Act II offers opportunities for pretend play, performance, puppetry and set design. Pretend play is a wonderful way to facilitate development of imagination. When children role-play, they often practice taking on the perspective of others.

You will notice that the Main Stage was moved to the other side of the exhibit. A plain back-drop was added so children can manipulate their own props with Velcro®. You will also see a Play Note that prompts the visitor with a performance idea.

The Tower has been transformed into a Rocket, which, along with the Space Station, Space Mural and Saturn Bench, children can use to expand their performance ideas into outer space. For more information about The Play's the Thing: Act II read an article in the Daily Herald newspaper here.

Stay tuned! The Family Resource Center's focus is Stepping into Science. In our next post we'll look at some of those resources and the exploration of science through play.

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