As an adult, we see our kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews playing every day. You might think, “I wish I just got to play all day.” What we don’t always realize is that when kids play, they are working. They are using every part of their brain to learn knew movements and words, and that sounds like a lot of work to me. Although kids aren’t working at a job to pay bills or to pay for excursions, they are working to learn what adults know now.
The Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum (MMCM) recognizes that play time is work for children. That’s why we say kids can “Play and Learn” and “Grow and Learn,” or PAL and GAL for short, at the museum. Each time they step foot in the museum, they are using STEM concepts to play. They are engineering LEGO structures, problem solving how to divert the water in the water table, adding or subtracting how many pickles can go up the conveyor belt in the farm, and designing beautiful pieces of art in the Art Mart. There are hardly any instructions in the museum and that allows kids the freedom to try everything. They create hypotheses like scientists would asking, “How many balls can I fit on the conveyor belt?” or “What happens if I pull the lever in the racecar?” Then they test it out.
Educators & Field Trips
MMCM tries to provide as much hands-on education as possible. This school year is the first completely in-person year since 2020 for a lot of school districts. The museum is starting to see field trip requests come in and Jessie Teeter, Director of Exhibits and Education, is so excited. Did you know that the museum offers extension lessons that you can request to be paired with a trip to the museum? We can also bring them to you! All of the lessons offered incorporate Next Generation Science Standards and some even use the galleries in the museum as part of the lesson! Each lesson can be tailored to fit different age groups, anywhere from preschool to 4th grade. Teaching science to preschoolers may seem daunting, but in fact it is so easy. Kids understand so many science concepts in what they do every day. “Making science fun and interesting for young kids is what I hope to do,” says Teeter.
Parents & Visiting the Museum
MMCM is making STEM accessible to the community in a fun and safe environment throughout the whole year. Current hours of operation are Sunday 12pm-4pm, Tuesday – Friday 10am-4pm, and Saturday 10am-5pm. For more information about the museum or the programs offered go to their website at michildrensmuseum.org or call them at 989-399-6626.
MMCM has two FREE events coming up in December. Their Holiday Hooray party on December 3rd from 10am-4pm and their New Year’s Eve Countdown Blast on December 31st from 10am-4pm.
MMCM is also offering Toddler Time for children 2-5 years old every Wednesday from 1-1:30pm.
**The Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum is a participant in the STEM Passport App. Download app to learn more about the organization and other upcoming events
Learn more: https://bit.ly/STEMpassport2022