A traditional museum has a special, almost hallowed, place in a community. It is entrusted by the community to serve as a repository for society’s knowledge, culture and history. In a very real way, a traditional museum preserves the past. A children’s museum is about the future. When a community makes the bold commitment to create a children’s museum, they are opening their hands to hold and nurture their future: those future leaders, dreamers, scientists, artists, teachers and helpers who are today’s children. A children’s museum thus becomes a place of possibilities and promise, the very heart of a community.
Children’s museums are for and about children, although about one-half of the visitors to most children’s museums are adults. The adult museum visitor plays a critical role in enhancing learning and play. Well-designed exhibits invite adults to be active partners in the museum experience. Adults encourage children when they encounter problems, make suggestions for new scripts or plans when the child has exhausted his repertoire, join the child as a playmate, observe the child in play, and talk about what the child has done. Adult-child interaction enriches the experience for both, and helps build strong emotional bonds. Perhaps most importantly, a children’s museum is a place that a community can be proud of because they helped build it. They helped shape its content and all share the feeling that they have done the very best for their children. If you are interested in helping, please call the administrative offices at 989.399.6626.