mother and daughter playing

KidsPlay Children’s Museum

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Logo —[Click on a donation amount to add a donation to your cart. Please be patient. Some campaign gifts may take a moment to load in your cart]—For nearly eight years, KidsPlay Children’s Museum has operated ever-expanding galleries filled with interactive exhibits that inspire wonder and delight. KidsPlay has improved the quality of life for many children and contributed to the economic redevelopment of Torrington as a center for arts, culture, and education.

Play is stress-reducing and brain-building. During these challenging times, children need open-ended play more than ever. To support families during social distancing, KidsPlay pivoted our work to promote playful learning using the Museum’s Learning Framework to develop activities and resources for home. With the support of the Foundation and the Northwest Corner Gives donors, the Museum will continue the “Virtual Museum” experience, add live online programs, and build playful learning resources for the growing Hispanic population.

The Museum’s digital engagement strategy helps caregivers navigate a more active role in their child’s education. The activities are designed to inspire exploration away from the screen using supplies generally available in homes. The activities often relate to KidsPlay’s exhibits. They are intended to strengthen the museum-to-home connection when the galleries reopen. This strategy creates a framework for rebuilding visitation when it is safe to foster creativity and joyful discovery at the Museum again. Some examples of ways we are currently providing playful learning opportunities:

STEM and Art at Home is a series of simple play-based activities or play prompts designed for families to explore learning concepts at home. The activities follow the Museums Learning Framework and, whenever possible, will relate to a Museum Exhibit.

Learning Resources Toolkit is a curated list of valuable articles and links to partner programs that support learning at home and help families discover new things. These activities keep children engaged in playful hands-on learning away from the screen or give a child an opportunity for a facilitated experience they might not otherwise get to participate in (author readings, animal experiences, etc.). The Museum thoughtfully promotes online events from local collaborators or other trusted sources to support caregivers. We ensure that we are sharing links that are appropriate, safe, free, and aligned with our mission.

Tales with Humphry is a daily storytime with KidsPlay’s longtime volunteer Humphry Rolleston. Each day the Museum shares a video of Humphry reading a beloved children’s book from his home in this unique social distancing storytime.

Social-Emotional Learning includes recorded interviews with community professionals discussing ways to support children during these challenging times.

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