Friday, September 20, 2013

Movement in Play

Whether we have a consistent routine that focuses on physical activity or not, many of us know that there are benefits to involving movement or exercise in our daily routine.  Without a daily routine in mind, young children naturally move about—rolling, skipping, running, jumping, even creeping on the floor throughout the day.  

In the book Big Body Play, Frances Carlson demonstrates the benefits that accompany movement and play. She explains that play results in wonderful benefits across physical, social-emotional, and cognitive domains. 

Physical, social-emotional, and cognitive learning can be incorporated into everyday play experiences without much adjustment. By moving about with your child while engaging in smiling, you are allowing face-to-face and verbal interaction learning to slip into play!
Turn songs and rhymes into big body experiences by incorporating new movements!  

The Eensy Weensy Spider
The eensy weensy spider crawled up the water spout.
(Children crawl across the floor.)
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
(Children roll back across the floor in the opposite direction.)
Up came the sun and dried out all the rain.
(Children wave arms and legs back and forth vigorously while lying on their backs.)
And the eensy weensy spider crawled up the spout again.
(Children crawl across the floor.)

Movement in play experiences are encouraged at DCM.  Take a crawl through the bridge near AirWorks and the Moser Construction House.  This bridge replicates many of the bridges seen in downtown Naperville! Join our Early Learning Specialist Mollie Willis—on select Tuesdays, Mollie takes a slide out on the Museum floor to engage children in movement, play, and to answer parent/caregiver questions on early learning.   

Also! Don't forget to join us for the WORLDWIDE DAY OF PLAY, September 21, 2013! This Saturday! Go to the DCM homepage for a list of incredibly fun events!

Carlson, F. (2011). Big Body Play: Why Boisterous, Vigorous, and Very Active Physical Play is Essential to Children’s Development and Learning.  National Association for the Education of Young Children: Washington, DC.

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

Monday, September 16, 2013

Texture Time in the Creativity Studio

Following DCM’s  annual deep cleaning extravaganza, the Creativity Studio has re-opened with a special theme—Texture Time! In this drop-in program, children are encouraged to feel and create art with textures, foil, crayons, and their hands.  Not only does this create an opportunity for brilliant works of art, but it is also an experience rich in sensory exploration! 

Why sensory experience and why textures? 

Sensory activities, including creatively working with textures, can provide meaningful connections for learning.  Angie Dorrell, NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accreditation validator and former commissioner, shares, “Many of our favorite memories involve multiple senses. When thinking about my grandma, for example, I remember the smell of the flowers in her garden; I can see her wearing her favorite outfit; I remember how her gooseberry pie tasted and even how the sofa felt."

The same sensory concepts can come into play as we learn—engaging sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing can deepen the experience, making it more memorable. Learning professionals indicate that sensory play is brain building play! Neurological pathways engaged in sensory stimulating activities can develop sensorial pathways and lead to brain development and function. 

The Creativity Studio has a full schedule of drop-in activities every day!  Our themes change weekly.  Look for upcoming programs that engage the senses! Play Dough Playground, September 16-22; and Shaving Cream & Trains, September 23-29!  The Studio is open 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and                   1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. daily.  Check our calendar to view a weekly schedule of alternating math-, science-, and art-focused activities in the Museum’s Creativity Studio.

School Library Journal
Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers & Families: Behavior & Development

Friday, September 6, 2013

Closed for Cleaning & Repair

It is that time of year again…DuPage Children’s Museum is closed for annual maintenance and repair.  This is no small task!  We are doing more than checking our seat cushions for coins!  

We drag almost every exhibit from its comfortable space and embark on a deep cleaning of the ENTIRE Museum! All of the mats in WaterWays are removed, sprayed down, and cleaned.  Each block in Math Connections is scrubbed. Walls are painted, the smallest spaces are dusted and sanitized, the books are even wiped down—one by one.

And EVERYONE is included! Play facilitators; visitor services, maintenance, and IT staff, administrators; office staff; and volunteers alike: all join in on the endeavor.  This kind of work definitely takes a group effort! Enjoy some of our snapshots from a week of cleaning and…yes, FUN!

All smiles while cleaning light fixtures.  Thank you DuKane!

Time for some much needed updating. Thank you Jay!

Piles upon piles--all sanitized for your enjoyment!

Fuchsia, day glow orange, green?  Thank you volunteers!

Wiping down books.  Thank you staff!

Looking forward to BIG, new interactive exhibits in November. Thanks Exhibits team!
We are sure to pass any white glove test! Join us when we re-open on September 11, 2013! Our S.M.A.R.T.Café re-opens September 16, 2013!