Creativity Jam: The Best Children’s Exhibits Nationally

SARA KERR

Director of Content and Communicationst

Drills. Sewing machines.
The curiosity cabinet.

Do you remember our Creativity Jam prototype exhibit in 2014?

A fabulous permanent version will return in our new museum in 2017.

For now, grab some couch pillows and play an inspired game of hot lava with your family after you read this excerpt from NPR‘s article about their top ten playlist.

It’s summer, and whether you’re 5 years old or 105 it’s time to play.

To inspire you, the NPR Ed Team called up leaders and designers at 10 of the nation’s best children’s museums and asked them one simple question:

What’s the one thing under your roof (or maybe out back) that kids and their grown-ups love to do/see/touch/play the most?

Here are their answers, our summer “playlist.” …

With a big renovation pending, museum leaders wanted to prototype a few new exhibit ideas last year, then use kids’ feedback to make them even better.

“Creativity Jam” includes a maker space with paints and power tools and a series of cabinets that kids can explore, full of strange artifacts: pipe-cleaning brushes, sea glass, a typewriter, old cameras, etc.

But what caught our attention was how beautifully the museum’s muralist, Jessica Sigafoos, brought to life a game we all played as kids: The Lava Jump.

“[T]he museum’s muralist, Jessica Sigafoos, brought to life a game we all played as kids: The Lava Jump.”

As you can see, instead of leaping from one sofa cushion to the next while Mom or Dad calls you to dinner (now, or there’ll be no dessert), here kids and parents work together, using a range of tools created by the museum’s prop shop to keep their feet out of the vivid flow below.

“Our shop built things that look like rocks — though safer than rocks — that you can jump from, as well as bean bags, wood planks, sand bags, rope,” says exhibit developer Michelle Blodgett. “It was fun to see grandmas and grandpas having fun, helping their grandkids across the lava.”

Cory Turner
Senior Editor, NPR Ed

Read the entire NPR article

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