Wednesday, February 4, 2015

DCM at Fox Valley Mall Opens Friday!

DCM@ the Mall, Mini Museum Opening February 6th

Join us for the opening of
February 6th from Noon – 8 p.m.

DuPage Children’s Museum will be open seven days a week. It will be staffed by employees and DCM volunteers. The new location offers free parking and will be a Pay As You Will admission. 
Visitors will experience DCM on a smaller scale. It will include the well-known and favorite “Neighborhoods” right in our backyard!
Exhibits Include
Ramps & Rollers
Unit Blocks
Creativity Studio
Young Explorers

A Special Thanks to Scott Samson
a DCM member and General Manager of Westfield Fox Valley Mall

Shower us with your Support…

Friday, January 30, 2015


As you’ve likely heard, a burst pipe flooded DuPage Children’s Museum on January 8th, causing severe damage to all three floors. We are working hard to come back stronger and better than ever, but we need your help. 

We are partnering with local restaurants to raise money for the Museum. #eatout4DCM starts February 5th and runs for several weeks. When you #eatout4DCM, the restaurant will donate a percentage of your check to the Museum.

Click here for the website that lists all dates, restaurants, and details. To make your meal count, don’t forget to bring the flyer or show it on your phone!

#eatout4DCM kicks off Thursday, February 5th at Giordano’s. Check your social media for updates along the way.

Thank you for your support as we work to reopen DCM this spring!


Susan Stellmacher
Director of Development

P.S. If you would like to make a personal contribution, click here. We need you now more than ever!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Algebra at DuPage Children's Museum?! Part II.

Math Connections can be made at home or at the Museum! Young children who engage in pattern play, mathematical situations, models of quantitative relationships, and activities that encourage awareness of change are practicing skills that lend to algebraic learning. 

In this second post in a two-part blog, we focus on the development of algebraic reasoning. Author, Educator, and Curriculum Developer Jennifer Taylor-Cox offers insight regarding the central ideas of algebra and illustrates how they can be applied through daily experiences.

Central Idea #3: Models of quantitative relationships
"'Explore models of quantitative relationships in a real-life context"

Throughout Math Connections, children can push individual or sets of beads or manipulatives together to represent different values.

Try this: As you play with manipulatives, narrate the child's actions. You might say, You pushed 5 red beads and 2 white beads; that's 7 beads! Ask questions like, What other ways can you make 7?
Think about this: What kind of items can you use at home to emphasize quantitative relationships? Collect 5 cereal pieces in one bowl and 2 crackers in another; that equals 7! Use snacks to determine other ways to get to 7.

Central Idea #4: Change
"'The understanding that most things change over time, that such changes can be described mathematically, and that changes are predictable'"

In Math Connections, children can explore change related to size, shape, and measurement.
Try this: Encourage children to use words like bigger/smaller, shorter/taller to describe objects, structures, or creationsYou might ask, How many blocks tall is your tower?
Think about this: How can you incorporate math words into your daily routine? When driving and observing you might ask, Which building is taller? How long do you think it will take us to get to the store? 

While at home or during your next visit, facilitate play and learning by engaging in these challenges! What a fun way to lay the groundwork for future mathematics learning!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Extreme Temperatures Cause Pipe to Burst at DuPage Children's Museum

DuPage Children's Museum staff arrived at work last Friday morning to be greeted with water spilling from the building. It was soon discovered that a pipe had burst before 7 a.m. and caused water to flood into each level of the Museum. Media outlets have been covering the devastating news of the flooding and water damage that occurred.

Currently, Museum staff and consultants are working diligently to repair any damage to the building. We are also taking this opportunity to do some extra cleaning and maintenance. Given the damage, this process is likely to take several weeks--we want to be sure that the Museum will be safe and ready for an April 2015 reopening featuring a you-wouldn't-want-to-miss-it kind of party. Check the website frequently for updates and information about this one-of-a-kind celebration!

As always, the Museum is grateful for the kind words and support received from members, visitors, and the community at large. Your patience is appreciated as we prepare to reopen the Museum with exhibits and programs that are even better than ever!

The damage is extensive--when you get into a remediation project like this, expenses often surface that can be staggering. If you would like to consider a donation designated for the clean-up and repair effort, please contact Susan Stellmacher at or 630.637.8000.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Algebra at DuPage Children's Museum?!

Algebra in the early years establishes the necessary groundwork for ongoing and future mathematics learning. -Jennifer Taylor-Cox

In February, the travelling exhibit  XOXO will move out of the upper level and 
Math Connections will move back in! You will certainly find some new features, however; the introduction and exploration of algebra concepts will be back! But what does algebra look like at DuPage Children's Museum?

In the article "Algebra in the Early Years? Yes!" author Jennifer Taylor-Cox describes the central ideas of algebra and illustrates ways they can be applied to young children's activities and experiences. These concepts, "enhance children's natural interest in mathematics and their disposition to use it to make sense of their physical and social worlds."

The central ideas of algebra described in the article are also the core concepts of many exhibits and activities found in DCM's Math Connections neighborhood. Take a look at some of the algebraic connections present in DCM's Math Connections Neighborhood using insight from Taylor-Cox's article.

Central Idea #1: Patterns
"'Recognizing, describing, extending, and translating patterns'"
In Math Connections, children can explore symmetry, create patterns with shape and color or create 2-D or 3-D patterns.

Try this: Encourage children to point to each color or shape as they "read" patterns throughout the neighborhood. For example: red, blue, red, blue, red, blue. 

Central Idea #2: Mathematical Situations and Structures
"'Experiences with mathematical situations and structures through representations and analyses of equality'"
Encourage children to explore representations and the concept of equality in Math Connections. 

Try this: As you explore the neighborhood, use words like equal/not equal, same/different, more/less, balanced/unbalanced.

Return next week for central ideas #3 and #4, Algebra at DuPage Children's Museum, Part II

Friday, January 2, 2015

Puzzle Learning

Have you ever tried to put together a jigsaw puzzle? Puzzle play, at any age is not only entertaining, it can also provide a variety of learning opportunities.

Puzzles exercise memory. Notice how a child delights in remembering how to put together a familiar puzzle. At times, children will talk about how pieces fit together. Verbalizing to themselves or a play partner is a way to aid memory skills.  

Puzzles help develop fine muscle movements. The control of fine muscle movements develop slowly and are dependent upon a lot of practice. Fine muscle coordination aids in activities such as writing, self-dressing, using a keyboard, and more.

Puzzles help eye-hand coordination. Children look for visual cues such as patterns and colors to help match pieces together. This process strengthens coordination by using eyes and hands simultaneously, as well as thoughts with actions.

Puzzles increase mathematical awareness and problem-solving skills. A puzzle can teach a child how parts fit together to form a whole. In addition, problem-solving skills can be supported when an adult gives directions such as, "All the red pieces go here," or "This piece is curved." The opportunity to practice a skill over and over again enhances problem-solving abilities. The problem solver also gains a sense of intrinsic reward when they complete a puzzle.

As children grow and gain competency, you may notice that they begin to concentrate more deeply—often they move on to complete increasingly complex puzzles.They quickly learn to rotate and slide pieces right into the fitting location! While engaging in tactile puzzle play, children reap the learning benefits of manipulating pieces, critically thinking about placing those pieces, and developing problem-solving skills. 

Practice your own problem-solving skills by looking for puzzle play opportunities at the Museum during your next visit!