"Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how." -John Holt

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dover Childrens' Museum

Finally, we made it here with the P&S to capture it all. Usually, I'm forced to succumb to my camera phone. And what a good day for it... They opened a new section they had been working on since we last visited and oh boy-was it a hit! I admit it was very cool... a beaver dam (with a loft!) complete with stuffed twigs, branches, rocks and fish to horde- I mean- tote around & share with friends! They couldn't get enough of it. (Sadly no pics of the new sailboat no one was interested in... maybe next time!)The underside hideout was popular... It's a dream of mine to decorate a kid's room similar to this.Caden enjoyed the new exhibit too but the train track mural was enticing just the same!So much so that he actually came back to pose and "cheese". Wow.Very unusual; the art and manipulative's area was a magnet for us today (pun intended).Caden was a crafting fiend. So focused and cute I couldn't stand it! The boy loves glue.And chalk too.Gabe and Finn spent forEVER at this table building dozens of 3-D shapes. At one point a young volunteer came over and chatted with them and suggested a set of instructions to follow specific designs. Both boys ignored his intrusion and continued with their vision. Who needs directions when you're creating imaginatively!?!?!And since I was stuck here watching the big kids while some OTHER Mommies were upstairs with the littles, I was forced to entertain myself by taking pictures of the ginormous paper mache-esque heads that decorated the craft section. They were definitely "da guys" a.k.a "scary guys" as proclaimed by Munchie... I mean c'mon! I hope these weren't based on actual people!This one was the freakiest. I'm not sure I got the best angle though you get the idea...She was the most beguiling I think with the curls and all. But the three squawking orphaned goslings nesting in her wreath kinda turned me off.Moving on... apparently the submarine had new features that excited Gabriel SOOOO much that we had to make a deal that we would re-visit the museum in FIVE days so he could work the camera and buttons on the sub again. Look how serious he is about it... My under-the-sea boy was in love.This is the outside of the vessel... You can see Caden in the window if you squint.Last up, the usual stuff- the music wall. I love that thing.The trolley with Simone as the resident mail lady. (See messenger bag filled with letters.)And in conclusion, this freaky pic from the plastic peg board. That's Gabe's scream forever immortalized. It sounds just as it looks!

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"By nature people are learning animals. Birds fly; fish swim; humans think and learn. Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into learning by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do - and all we need to do - is to give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for, listen respectfully when they feel like talking, and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest."
John Holt
"In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it...and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself." -Grace Llewellyn
"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child."
George Bernard Shaw
Real, natural learning is in the living. It's in the observing, the questioning, the examining, the pondering, the analyzing, the watching, the reading, the DO-ing, the living, the breathing, the loving, the JOY. It's in the joy. ~Anne Ohman
"How could youth better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" -Henry D. Thoreau