Branching Out

Here at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota we are blessed with a beautiful outdoor prairie area; so, when the weather lets us, we like to be outside. And what better area of study in the outdoors than Nature Art. This Curious Kids Club session challenged kids with the question, “How can we create art […]

“I’m Like You, You’re Like Me”

All children have the right to grow up in a world where people understand and appreciate each other. Inspired by the book “I’m Like You, You’re Like Me”, by Cindy Gainer, this post provides insight on teaching children about understanding, appreciation and respect for others. Children are our future. Working alongside them, we can create […]

Beyond the Book

Children learn as they participate in meaningful experiences with both adults and children.  Reading with your child can spark a variety of playful opportunities. It’s very common for adults to ask children to tell them about what they’ve read. While asking questions is a valuable way to enhance comprehension skills; retelling stories is a method […]

Rising to Democracy

No matter how long I work with children or in what capacity we work together, I continue to be amazed by how they think. The children I see regularly have been coming to the museum for programming since they were toddlers. Now at 8, 9 and 10 years of age, they have a talent for […]

Teachable Moments

Teachable moments occur every day. They are not large milestones like learning addition or how to read. Rather, they lay the groundwork for deeper learning by connecting to the present. The child remains engaged because what he is learning directly relates to what he is seeing and doing. Teachable moments appear without much notice and […]

Minds in the Making

With our youngest citizens making is often mistaken for just playing, when in fact it’s an empowering and relevant learning process that positively impacts their lives. Dale Dougherty, publisher and editor of Make: Magazine states that “It doesn’t matter what you make, it’s the process of making that’s important.” When making is approached as a […]

Learning in Every Day Moments

As children observe the world around them, they are constantly absorbing new information. Daily life offers an abundance of opportunities for spontaneous learning experiences. Below are a few examples of daily occurrences you can use to teach the children in your life with no need for extra planning. In public places, take the opportunity to […]

Puffy Paint

The process of making and exploring Puffy Paint provides wonderful opportunities for tapping into children’s natural curiosity while enhancing their sense of wonder. Five ways to support a child’s sense of wonder: ONE – Before mixing the ingredients, allow time to explore the glue and shaving cream separately. Talk about what they feel like and what […]

Play Unplugged

As technology gives way to newer and greater forms of entertainment media, at the forefront of our minds should be how these advances affect the mind and body of those most vulnerable in our society: children. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ screen time guidelines, updated at the end of 2016, suggest that children under the […]

On Repeat

Does it ever feel like your child is stuck “on repeat”? He keeps doing the same activity over and over, whether it’s building a puzzle, singing a song, or drawing a tree. As an adult, you start getting bored and wonder: How is he still so excited and interested? It seems monotonous to an adult, […]