Monday, July 15, 2013

New in Play Power!

The most recent addition to our Play Power exhibit is an intriguing tabletop activity that invites visitors to use colorful metal chains to create imaginative designs on magnetic easels.  Adults and kids of all ages have been delighted as they “draw” lines and squiggles, form shapes and letters, make patterns and figures – then wipe it clean and start again!

We’re committed to providing a range of activities that promote different types of play and to keeping fresh by frequently changing elements of our exhibits.  This new station enhances the existing Play Power activities with additional opportunities for creativity, artistic expression and tactile exploration.  Visitors can create designs with varying degrees of detail, perfect for engaging older kids and grown-ups.  In the words of a kid tester, it’s “supremely awesome!”

Exhibit intern Cory's chicken creation.
Says Exhibits Director Robin Meisner:
“Visitors sometimes ask where ideas for new exhibits and activities – like this one – come from.  While we develop, design and fabricate our exhibits in-house, we draw on a variety of sources for inspiration, ranging from conversations with visitors and colleagues to our own memories from childhood to other playful environments (including museums).  We first encountered a version of this new activity at Boston’s Museum of Science in an exhibit on making models and loved the way it allows visitors to “draw” and create without consumable materials.

As one of our labels in Water Ways says, “Kids learn from each other.  Other people’s good ideas inspire new ways of thinking.”  We think this applies to people of all ages.”
We’ve certainly witnessed a lot of interesting thinking and designing since the new activity debuted last week…
Museum director Janice O'Donnell created a summer scene...
...alongside artistic grandson Finn.
The table was buzzing with activity, attracting curious onlookers.
Finn's finished masterpiece – his recreation of the well-known painting "American Gothic!"

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