As an adult, we have been trained to follow directions. We were taught that in order for you to get the desired results, you must follow the directions and then you’ll have the desired outcome. But what if that was all taken away, and we were left to figure out something for ourselves? What if we did things our own way? What could we create? The Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul of has does just that!
Through a partnership with the Minnesota Children’s Museum, I was able to get a first look inside. The Museum has gone through a complete remodel inside that features 10 new exhibits. What drives all the exhibits is the Powerful Play concept. Powerful Play is a new way of looking at this as a parent. If focuses on three main concepts.
Captivating and Fun – Make sure your kids are having a good time
Activate & Challenging – Keep them moving and thinking
Self-Directed and Open Ended – Kids are taking the lead and exploring
There is no wrong way to do things. Rarely did exhibits have directions next to it. You had to figure it out own your now. As a parent, this can be infuriating. I kept looking at different things and asking, “Ok, What am I supposed to be doing here?” That is exactly what they want you to do. Because there is no wrong way. They want you to pull on a lever to see what you can make things do.
Minnesota Children’s Museum
My kids loved the powerful play concept. Both of my kid’s favorite exhibit was Our World. This was recycled from the before the remodel. They had a kid friendly version of a fire truck and Metro Transit train to drive. They also have a miniature hardware store, farmers market and post office. My son has so much fun turning all the wheels to get the post office boxes where it needed to be on the conveyer belt. My daughter spent her time serving all the parents’ lunch from the pretend café.
I loved all the Super Awesome Adventures on the ground level. They had a green screen setup with different props. You could climb a wall and look like you were floating in space. Take a green sheet and make your body disappear. Have a friend hold up a sign and make a comic book cartoon appear over your head. You could even pretend to be walking on the moon. The possibilities are endless.
They also have the Laser Room. They set this up as a game. The challenge was to see how fast you can break all the laser beams or you can play ninja mode and try and get through the room without touching them. Like a thief trying to steal the crown jewels or a superhero trying to rescue someone undetected. The play possibilities are endless. This is also where I secretly wished I would have left my kids at home so I could try this mode out myself. We had the kids try and break all the lasers. They had a blast.
The only thing we could not do was the Scramble. It is at the center of the museum and reaches to all 4 levels. It provides kids with the opportunity to climb a series of nets and other obstacles. On the second level, the kids can take a slide back down, or keep climbing. I heard from other moms that this slide goes fast. The kids are all smiles on the bottom. Everyone is welcome to play on the attraction, but you have to have socks. My son was in sandals so we could not do it.
There is so much to see and do in the new Minnesota Children’s Museum; I will defiantly be head back. This time I will make sure all my kids have a pair of socks with me. I will also be taking the Powerful Play concept home with me. As hard as it is to not tell my kids how to do things, I’ll be letting them the thing on their own more. And maybe reading directions a little less!
All summer long, make sure to let you kids have their own Powerful Play Experiences. Use the hashtag #PlayMoreMN online when you share your photos. And don’t be afraid to let your kids figure out some of the things by themselves. It’s how they learn.
Location and Tickets
Minnesota Children’s Museum
10 West Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Sunday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
Friday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m
Tickets are $12.95 for ages 1-101. The Third Sunday of the Month is always free thanks to Target.
To jump start your Play More summer, I’m giving away 2 free tickets to the Minnesota Children’s Museum. All you have to leave a comment on the blog with one of your favorite’s ways to Play Powerful with your kids. For an extra entry, make sure to like my Facebook Page too. The drawing will take place on July 5th.
*Thanks to the Minnesota Children’s Museum for providing admission and the tickets for the giveaway.