New Delaware Children's Museum Will 'Build Imaginative Minds'
The Delaware Children’s Museum (DCM), the state’s first and only museum just for kids, opens its doors on April 24 on the Wilmington waterfront.
The Museum’s mission is to “build imaginative minds,” and its leaders have identified eight values to define that mission: creativity, fun, wonder, learning, stewardship, diversity, respect and cooperation.
Here’s a peek inside the new museum — and how we found these qualities to fit the museum’s attractions.
Creativity, Fun & Wonder
Families flock to museums for fun. When it comes to active play, DCM steps outside the box, literally, with a massive spherical structure called the Stratosphere. Kids can climb up high or access the upper level using a wheelchair. Toddlers who can’t keep up with their older siblings on the Stratosphere will feel at home in Training Wheels, an area just for tots, with an appropriately sized train, auto shop and car.
Learning & Stewardship
Hands-on exhibits that focus on concepts in math, science and technology pair fundamental information with lessons of responsibility and understanding. The Power of Me teaches how the human body works, along with ways to live healthily. Junior architects and engineers can sketch their own blueprints and play with blocks in Structures to learn how buildings are made. In Bank On It, kids can grasp lessons on saving and spending while making transactions at a pretend ATM or scribbling on an oversized check. A visit to the EcoHouse explores sustainable energy on an elementary level, and how individual eco-conscious decisions can make an impact on the world.
Diversity, Respect & Cooperation
“Children’s museums fill a crucial gap, inviting children and families to come together to learn, all at their own pace,” says Roberta M. Golinkoff, PhD, a Museum board member and University of Delaware education professor. DCM is designed for ages 1-12. A day at the museum for the little ones probably means role-playing and sensory exploration; older kids have the opportunity to gain deeper educational experiences.
The Museum will be open daily starting April 24. $12 admission, children younger than 12 months free. Memberships start at $120. For more info, visit www.delawarechildrensmuseum.org.
Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.