From Discovery Museum to discovery...at home?

Alli Leake
March 31, 2020
a small boy stands with pieces of styrofoam clinging to his clothes all over his body

Although the Discovery Museum is temporarily closed and so many things feel uncertain these days, I'd like to share with you a few things that I know for sure.

The spark of discovery can happen anywhere.
As a museum educator, my very favorite thing to hear visitors say is, “We can do this at home!” Although all of us at the Museum miss you and can’t wait to see you again, we know that you and your children already have everything it takes to keep asking questions, observing your world, imagining, creating, and playing together wherever you are! We would love to see all the wonderful things you’re up to. You can share photos with us on Facebook, and be entered to win free admission passes for a future visit! Look for the Discovery-at-Home Photo Challenge on our Facebook page.

Parents and caregivers everywhere are doing their best, and that’s enough.
As if the to-do list wasn’t long enough already, now we’re all trying to juggle new and different roles. The community places that we used to go for fun and support, like Discovery Museum, aren’t open. BUT, Discovery Museum and many other organizations are still here to provide inspiration, if and when you want it. Our staff has created at-home versions of some of your favorite Discovery Museum programs and activities, and compiled a list of great resources from other organizations. This new, Discovery at Home page on our website will continue to be updated with new resources. It’ll be here for you to dip into when, and if, you’re looking for fun, interactive ideas as you settle into a new routine at home. We know times of transition aren’t easy, so we hope you take only what excites you from these resources and leave the rest. We’re all doing our best, and our best is enough. You are enough!

Kids can do incredible things. They will lead the way!
No matter how old your children are, they are probably sensing that something’s up these days. You might be seeing more tantrums or more clinginess. Now, more than ever, it’s important to tune in to children’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Learning doesn’t happen because of a great lesson plan. It happens because of great relationships. Just like when you’re at the Museum, there is no “wrong” way to learn. Following kids’ interests and building on their curiosities is the path to real, lifelong learning--and having fun along the way!

Alli Leake photo
Alli Leake

The early years are truly a special time. Not only do brain researchers tell us that an enormous amount of learning happens in the first five years of life, but I love how you can actually see this learning happening in the faces of young children. Giggles, wonderment, and puzzled expressions are all part of our early learning philosophy at the museum. As the Director of Early Childhood Education, I work to create new exhibit spaces, family programs, and community collaborations that inspire playful learning for our youngest visitors and their caregivers. We are here to learn and grow alongside visitors of all abilities and backgrounds, and it gives me great joy to help create an inclusive museum experience for all.

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