DIMENSIONS OF PLAY

What’s Possible in The Studio?

Sara Kerr, Director of Content and Communications

26 September 2017

Walking into The Studio, my children’s eyes light up – here is a space where experimenting and mess-making is not only accepted, but encouraged.

Connecting copper tape to batteries and illuminating mini light bulbs is more than fun – it allows kids to take safe risks, gain confidence, follow through on plans and learn the basics of electrical circuits. As parents and grandparents, you can help turn all this fun into learning by encouraging exploration and asking open-ended questions.

The Studio, our new maker space

Photography by Bruce Silcox

One of the hardest things for parents is to resist the urge to show our children “how to do it.” The first time my 9-year-old daughter made a circuit, I almost had to sit on my hands to keep from pointing out the “best pathway” for her copper tape. Instead, I asked her open-ended questions, such as “What would happen if your two lines touched?” I take that same advice when I help her older brother plot lines on a graph and ask him if simplifying the equation is possible vs. pointing out the slope and y-intercepts.

“I almost had to sit on my hands to keep from pointing out the ‘best pathway'”

Believe me when I say the years of playing my children have enjoyed at the museum, both as visitors and volunteers, has positive effects on their successes in school.

Learn more about how you can support how your children (and grandchildren) learn at the museum.

Tinkering with circuits

Thanks to the generosity of The Donaldson Foundation, the Tinker experience in The Studio features hands-on activities for children to explore electrical circuitry. These interactive activities in our maker space offer children open-ended play experiences in which they dream, design, and drive the discovery in making circuits come to life.

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