By Sally Miskavige, Grand Forks Children’s Museum Board Member
In our free time, board members, volunteers and I travel to various Children’s Museums around the country to get inspiration, see what the children enjoy and to get a sense of ‘what works.’ This weekend Hillary Kempenich and my family and I traveled to Manitoba, Canada to enjoy the Children’s Museum in Winnipeg. What impressed us the most was the incredible range of experiences in both the permanent exhibits and the ‘visiting/temporary’ exhibits. Every activity is designed to be educational, hands-on, and most importantly, fun.
From the ‘Lasagna Lookout’ –a giant structure of lasagna with layers to climb through and different textiles representing the various ingredients, to ‘Splash Lab’ – where you will need a rain slicker to stay dry, with water play ‘encouraged’, to ‘Junction 9161’ – how trains have played an important role in Manitoba’s history…all designed to promote free play, socialization, entertainment, and education. Each exhibit includes ‘Partners in Play’ which promotes parent-child interaction. There was so much to see and do that we were all exhausted by the end of the day. Our experiences were unique, educational, and enjoyable.
Look for it in October!
One of the temporary exhibits was a maze made from 375 cardboard boxes of assorted sizes and colors. We were so impressed with the cardboard maze, that the Grand Forks Children’s Museum Board has decided to buy this maze for our upcoming event in October. The exhibit is called: A-MAZE-D: The Puzzling World of Dave Phillips! From the Manitoba Children’s Museum website: “This colourful and puzzling experience was designed especially for the Children’s Museum and promotes problem solving, creative thinking, and exploration. Bringing math, art, and science together has never been more “a-maze-ing”!” Experience this original creation at our October event!
We plan to return to the Manitoba Children’s Museum soon. It was fun, exciting, and the children were constantly on the move (slept well that night). We will bring these innovative ideas to our plans for the Grand Forks Children’s Museum. We hope that this is the beginning to a wonderful partnership with the Manitoba Children’s Museum. They sure are great!