Play encourages your child to push the limits of the world they know. Unstructured play, like interacting with exhibits and environments at Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr Children’s Museum, where there is no prescribed way to play, is particularly important in helping children foster essential skills for making their way through life: emotional coping, problem-solving and planning. Through creative play and chances to direct their own actions, children learn to solve problems, make decisions, express ideas, and recognize boundaries.
Play is a child’s context for learning. Here are just a few examples of how children learn and develop at the Museum:
Cognitive skills – like early math concepts (collecting, sorting, and counting) in Farm to Fork and the basic geometry of circles, spheres and globes using the BEAM in the Playing Together exhibit and science skills by testing sink and float and using the Erie Canal locks to investigate how water rushes, gushes and flows in Moving Water.
Physical abilities – like leaping from tree stump to tree stump, tiptoeing over the rope bridge, gliding down the slides or climbing up the giant hill in The Person Centered Services Community Treehouse, which is accessible to everyone, including guests in wheeled mobility devices. Families can run, move, crawl and see what it feels like to be a part of the sports teams that make Buffalo great in Playing Together.
Communications techniques and new vocabulary – like figuring out signals to let another child know they are ready for her to pull into the Delta Sonic Car Wash or encourage friends to generate energy to the Main Power Panel in the Lighting Buffalo’s Imagination exhibit.
Social skills – like learning to play with other children at exhibits like Building Buffalo where using play tools, siding, electrical wiring and plumbing to build a wood frame house has so many rewards.
Early literacy skills – like exploring the alphabet and engaging in storytelling as we have books galore on every floor of the museum.
Global awareness – like seeing firsthand how food is prepared in other cultures in the Cooking Galley and having a chance to role-play using special techniques, tools, and costumes in the Puerto Rico House in Being Good Neighbors.
And play is an important part of the relationship between a parent and a child, too. There are so many moments of fun, excitement, fascination, and laughter that happen between families when engaging with Explore & More’s interactive exhibits. These moments build wonderful memories and long-lasting trust and resilience. Join us for a day of play!
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
Director of Strategic & Community Initiatives