Parent ResourcesPower of Play Blog
Cosmic Junkyard: Blast Off Into Fun & Learning
A Cosmic Junkyard has landed in the Imaginopolis gallery, and it’s providing out of this world fun for kids of all ages! Visitors can play, build and create their own stories in this new experience using materials that look like cosmic debris while surrounded by the sights and sounds of space. Highlights include:
- Solar Panel – A giant, orange solar panel greets guests as they enter the gallery. Visitors can crawl through a black hole in the center of the panel to enter this space adventure.
- Space Satellite – Kids use tubes, hoses and panels to build onto a large satellite situated in the middle of the room.
- The Bridge – Visitors climb into a broken space hatch and take control of the console, exploring and pressing buttons and switches.
- Com Room – In this area, kids connect tubes and plugs that light up a tunnel. They also discover a decoder they can use to uncover alien messages throughout the exhibit.
- Captain’s Log – Visitors can share their space adventures with others by writing or drawing their stories. These are hung on nearby hooks to inspire others.
What They’re Learning
This new experience isn’t just fun – although there’s plenty of that! It also empowers kids to build important skills:
- Creative Thinking: Kids open their minds to see possibilities and shape and construct an imaginary world in this fantastical space.
- Communication: Visitors interact with others and share and discuss their ideas, stories and experiences.
- Control: Kids take in their surroundings, adjust to an ever-changing environment, and use large-scale props in a responsible way.
- Coordination: Visitors physically explore the space and navigate the room with large props and pieces.
How You Can Support the Play
As a parent, you can make sure your child gets the most out of play in this experience by:
- Giving your child some time and space to explore and take in this exhibit
- Joining your child’s adventure, but resist the urge to take over
- Noticing your child showing control – adapting to a new situation, coping with surprises and staying focused
The Cosmic Junkyard will be here until November. Your young explorers will love to create their own galactic adventure in this new experience.
Changing experiences are funded in part with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.
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