Friday, October 30, 2015

Mother Goose in ThinkSpace

The “geometry gallery” in ThinkSpace features changing displays of natural and handcrafted objects that provide strong visual representations of spatial thinking, highlighting shapes in everyday life and the designed environment. Discover the newest installation: scenes from favorite Mother Goose rhymes hand-carved from blocks of wood, complemented by colorful images from picture book illustrations.

The pieces are selections from Hey Diddle Diddle!, a larger display created by Dan Elkins and George Alexandre and previously exhibited in the Museum’s atrium walkway and lobby. Elkins and Alexandre were members of The Splinter Group, a local association of retired craftspeople who were active woodcarvers; Dan Elkins also created the circus carvings in the Museum’s stairwell.

“These wood carvings are a great example of spatial thinking because they involve working from 2-D images or illustrations of nursery rhymes and creating 3-D representations,” said Exhibits Director Robin Meisner. “And carving itself involves taking a simple block of wood, envisioning the final product and using a variety of tools to transform that block into a sculpted piece.”

The carvings will be on display for the next few months – take a peek to see Jack jump over a candlestick, a cow jump over the moon, and more!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

THE LAND: A Film and Conversation About Risk and Adventure Play

Providence Children’s Museum and Providence Children’s Film Festival proudly partner to present the Providence premiere of “The Land” – a powerful 2015 documentary short film about the nature of play and risk – at the Museum on Thursday, October 22 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM.

The film is set in The Land, a Welsh adventure playground where children climb trees, light fires and use hammers and nails.  It’s a playspace rooted in the belief that kids are empowered and understand their own capabilities and limits when they learn to manage risks on their own.  The film has attracted national attention after being featured in a number of recent articles including “The Overprotected Kid” a provocative piece in The Atlantic by Hanna Rosin that provides a look at adventure playgrounds and how “a preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery – without making it safer.”

Credit Hanna Rosin
Following the screening, join a lively conversation about the film, adventure play and the benefits of risk to kids’ physical and emotional development.  Discuss ways to foster healthy risk-taking in kids’ play, and how to provide kids with opportunities for adventure play with panelists Erin Davis, “The Land” filmmaker; Michele Meek, filmmaker and educator; and Janice O’Donnell, Providence PlayCorps director and former Children's Museum director.

The screening and conversation are part of the Museum’s commitment to advocate for and raise awareness about the critical importance of self-directed play for children’s healthy growth and development.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited – click here to RSVP.

See the trailer, and click here to learn more about the film:

Also check out these recent articles about adventure play and the importance of risk to children's development:
  • Where The Wild Things Play  Adventure playgrounds may look like junk piles but offer kids tremendous opportunities for free, unstructured play. (NPR)