nnmprv:

Melbourne Museum by Denton Corker Marshall. Children’s area.

Photos by Wojtek Gurak.

I just checked out the Spring ‘13 edition of Wisconsin Magazine of History, and happily stumbled across a story by Wendy Strauch-Nelson called “The Kindergartners of Oshkosh.” PERFECT! 

The article gives the background of the founding of the first normal school kindergarten in the United States right here in Wisconsin, and is a short, and interesting read. What interested me the most was a section in the middle highlighting the Gifts and Occupations developed by Friedrich Froebel.  For those interested, froebelgifts.com offers a comprehensive explanation of the gifts which they call “arguably the first educational toys”.

Froebel’s gifts were also very influential to Frank Lloyd Wright when he was a small fry.

picture credits: shopwright.org, froebelgifts.com, oakbrookesser.com, wisconsinhistory.org, redhentoys

Some great photos from the Misaki Kawai exhibition “Love from Mt. Pom Pom” that was at the Children’s Museum of the Arts—New York (CMANY). Her work is fun for small fries and adults!

Probably cats, too!

I love that small fries are encouraged to comb and interact with it!

brianbelott:

Misaki Kawai—- “Love from Mt. Pom Pom”——

a current installation at The Children’s Museum

Massive fuzzy pink dog that is stuck between the pillars of the Museum

Children are encouraged to comb———

fun!——fun!——Fun!!!!——-FUN!!!!!!!

Short and interesting piece about American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) diorama artist Fred F. Scherer who recently passed away. 

"But with the Industrial Revolution underway, and the crowding of city centers, ‘the only way to really to connect people with the wonder of nature would be to recreate it inside the museum — and the diorama was the medium of choice.’"

Think of how many adults and small fries must have seen his work over the last eight decades!

Collection of Toys confiscated from small fries by their teachers.
I am going to go to The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood as soon as I can!
mediahascookies:

The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood in London currently has an exhibit called Confiscation Cabinets.
The exhibit consists of toys confiscated by teachers in 150 different schools over the past 30 years. This looks amazing.
The exhibit runs from Nov 9th - Jun 1, 2014, so if you are in London during that time, be sure to check it out. If travel is not in your future, Slate put together a little display showcasing some of the toys. 

Collection of Toys confiscated from small fries by their teachers.

I am going to go to The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood as soon as I can!

mediahascookies:

The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood in London currently has an exhibit called Confiscation Cabinets.

The exhibit consists of toys confiscated by teachers in 150 different schools over the past 30 years. This looks amazing.

The exhibit runs from Nov 9th - Jun 1, 2014, so if you are in London during that time, be sure to check it out. If travel is not in your future, Slate put together a little display showcasing some of the toys

Buzzfeed.com just posted a lovely compilation of educational spaces for small fries.

Congratulations to my good friends at the Madison Children’s Museum for making #22 for the Wildernest!

The Magic Bean children’s museum is something I came across during my time interning at the Madison Children’s Museum.

From the exhibits design firm Jack Rouse’s website 

"Located near Chaoyang Park in Beijing, the Magic Bean House children’s museum has quickly become a popular destination for families with younger children, and hopefully will serve as an inspiration for the development of more children’s museums in China in the coming years. With colorful environments themed around classic fairytales and Chinese proverbs, the museum features a number of exhibit areas specifically designed to engage and educate young children up to eight years old."

 

Unfortunately this museum has apparently closed since I initially tried to contact them. What a shame seeing as the exhibits looked welcoming, interesting, and above all SUNNY!

On a related note there seems to be mixed feelings about Children’s Museums in China. Many Chinese parents like this one have become smitten with children’s museums while visiting the U.S., and are on the look out for something similar in China. (It’s worth a google translate if you don’t read Chinese charaters!)

A commonly visited location seems to be the children’s section of the China Science and Technology Museum, but as you can see in the article posted above, parents used to the hands on approach of children’s museums in the US are surprised to find myriad “DO NOT TOUCH” and “DO NOT ENTER” signs within the children’s museum. 

While it is to be expected that some things in museums are off limits (especially ones housing collections), it seems like a glaring flaw to design a children’s area to be simply observed and not interacted with by little visitors.

Hopefully next time I am in China I will get a chance to visit some children’s museums and provide first hand information! Has anybody brought their small fries to a museum in China before?

 

 

dancer68844:

Hanging out with baby Ella at the children’s museum.

Luke as a construction worker, lol.

Some neat looking exhibits at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

Children’s museums are known for their exciting, interactive exhibits for small fries, but did you know that many of them house collections as well?

I like children’s museum collections a lot because they tend to have a lot of toys and miniatures in them. Which are my favorite artifacts! 

The items above are all from Boston Children’s Museum’s collections (including their extensive Japanese collections). Visit their website to view some more from their extensive collection. Show the kiddos, too!

I am going to be starting graduate school this fall in the beautiful, Windy City (WHICH IS FULL OF MUSEUMS!!!) with the aim of focusing on what we can find out about children from an archaeological perspective.

I’m so excited to be going back to school to find out about more cool things. I promise I’ll relay the coolest of the cool right here!