Spend the day at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry!
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But, for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers
Research shows that unstructured, self-directed play is essential for little ones’ cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. When children are given the time and freedom to steer their course of play, the benefits are numerous. At the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML), children have access to nine hands-on interactives that promote child-driven play from fighting fires on the antique 1939 GM Fire Truck to creating their own masterpieces in the Art Room.
In the two-story Medieval Castle, children dress up and take their imaginations back to a world filled with armor, nobility and adventure. Through this dramatic play, children enhance their language and vocabulary development as well as their creative expression. As children engage with new friends during their play, they communicate and modify their story lines to involve others. “You be the knight, and I’m a dragon. Chase me!” a child says as he and his friend run off in giggles.
In the Publix Market, a child-size grocery store complete with working cash registers and a deli counter, children recreate shopping experiences that closely mirror real-life scenarios. By acting out familiar scenes, children are able to better understand and process the world around them. Children also hone their math skills as they weigh the amount of fruit they want to purchase or count currency to pay their grocery bills.
Through play, observation skills are sharpened as children activate the water cycle model in Water Wise. Little ones explore cause and effect and how hydroelectric dams work as they release water to power the city and its suburbs. Children also use problem-solving skills to manipulate a model of the local Pinopolis Lock or navigate canoes down raging rapids.
Little scientists explore physical science concepts of force and motion and the effects of gravity as they send golf balls sailing down ramps, loops and chutes in Raceways. Patience and repetition is practiced as children try over and over to launch a ball into a moving bucket.
Manipulation of play dough in the Art Room allows young children to develop fine motor skills that are necessary for holding pencils and operating scissors, while older children explore artists’ works and create their own artwork inspired by the artists’ techniques.
Throughout CML, children engage with new friends as they practice social skills such as taking turns, recognizing others’ feelings and self-regulation during their play. Life and school-success skills such as flexibility adaptability, initiative, critical thinking, and collaboration are fostered during play. Learning is disguised as play at CML; how do you play?
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage young children’s potential by inviting families of all backgrounds to explore environments and experiences that spark imagination and stimulate curiosity through the power of PLAY. If you’re interested in how to play – whether at the Children’s Museum or at home, visit exploreCML.org for ideas on how to spark imagination and stimulate curiosity!