The Seven Powers of Play

Children learn through play.
What exactly are they learning?

At Minnesota Children’s Museum, we have identified seven skills we believe children need to thrive, now and throughout their lives.

The seven powers of play are crucial to the growth and development of children. They give children the tools they need to interact positively with others, manage their emotions and make sense of the world around them. The powers of play make for healthy minds and bodies.

At the Museum, we create experiences designed to cultivate the powers of play. We purposely try to draw out these skills in our visitors, young and old. Our goal in any exhibit or program is to nourish the development of one or more of the seven powers of play in any way.

The Seven Powers of Play

  1. Creative Thinking – To consider and experiment with alternatives freely and without fear in any situation.
  2. Critical Thinking – To discern knowledge, information and interests in order to solve a problem, prove a point or decide what to believe.
  3. (Self)-Control – To interface with and within a bustling society with the ability to manage one’s own attention, emotions and behaviors.
  4. Confidence – To genuinely believe in own abilities to experience success and satisfaction in not only what one can do, but also what one is willing to try.
  5. Collaboration – To engage with others positively and productively in pursuit of a common goal.
  6. Communication – To take language and literacy (the tools of communication) and use them to exchange information with power and precision.
  7. Coordination – To recognize, use and appreciate the physical marvels of the human body.
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