A Letter from Lisa: January Edition

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were full of friends and family, joy, and laughter.

Is there any happier sound in the world than a child’s giggle? Nothing entertains me more than hearing children playing in the museum, let out a good laugh (especially if I’m the reason for it). Playing a little “peek-a-boo”—occasionally hiding a simple object, instead of my face—is always good for a laugh or two.

Of course, “peek-a-boo” helps infants develop “object permanence,” the understanding that something exists even if they can’t see it. What’s surprising to me about the game is that we’re laughing, but there isn’t anything jokey or witty about our play. According to scientists like Dr. Robert Provine, laughter isn’t about humor; it’s about relationships between people.

So how do we promote laughter at Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum? This is a question that staff and I have discussed as part of our new strategic planning process. Instead of viewing laughter as merely the end result of amusement, we realize that laughter is a vital means for extending play, fostering social bonds, and promoting learning. All of which are essential to Explore & More’s mission.

If you have any suggestions about how we can inspire more laughter for families at Explore & More, at home, in school…wherever you think it belongs, please let us know! Feel free to share on our Facebook or Instagram. Your voice is important, and we want to make sure you are heard.

Lisa Chrapowicz
Senior Manager of Community & Strategic Initiatives