Betty Brinn Children’s Museum recently announced new educational resources for babies and toddlers in its popular feature exhibit, Pocket Park. The Museum has expanded Pocket Park to include new, sensory-rich and developmentally-significant activities that reflect milestones recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, as well as state standards for early learners.
The exhibit’s pretend urban park setting has been enhanced to introduce research-based features that support a child’s growth during the most critical phase of their development, from birth through age 5.
In addition to a pretend treehouse with a slide, gardening activities, a toy-filled sandbox, and pond, the exhibit now offers opportunities for role play in kid-sized venues, including a Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin primary care office that invites children to take a pretend baby for a wellness visit and learn about ways to stay safe and healthy.
Other new activities include a shoe store, public library and kindergarten classroom, a sailboat with fishing activities, a potting shed, a groundskeeper’s cottage and a designated space for infants.
Themed props, books and building materials, as well as inviting textures, sights and sounds, are presented in the Museum’s reimagined Pocket Park, providing opportunities for age-appropriate play and active adult/child engagement that supports the development of critical literacy, school-readiness and social skills.
“The Museum is committed to ensuring that all families in our community have access to resources that support early education and we are honored to partner with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to present exciting updates in Pocket Park that integrate research-based content, support healthy child development, and reflect our shared commitment to preparing children for academic and lifelong success,” said Fern Shupeck, executive director of the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum.
Throughout the newly-renovated exhibit, signage presented in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin reinforces important health and safety messages that contribute to a child’s overall wellness, and provides information for adults about ways to maximize a child’s learning and how to support the key stages of a young child’s growth, including the importance of building early literacy and school-readiness skills.
“Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has a vision that kids in the state will be the healthiest in the nation. To meet that vision, we know we need to provide more than the world-class medical care we deliver at the hospital,” said Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital.
“The exhibits and programming offered by Betty Brinn help support stronger and healthier families. We are proud to further that effort through the Pocket Park and can’t wait to see kids and families enjoying the new space.”
The exhibit is free with Museum admission. The Museum is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. Museum admission is $8 per person and $7 per senior (adults older than 55); children younger than 1 are free. More information is available at www.bbcmkids.org or by calling 414-390-KIDS (5437).