The Bruce Museum will debut Imagination Playground blocks at its annual Fall Family Day on Sunday, October 14. Made of a lightweight foam that is non-toxic and microbe resistant, the bright blue blocks come in a variety of shapes that can be creatively lined up, stacked, and connected, inspiring children to design their own imaginary objects and places.
Taking place from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on October 14, the Bruce Museum’s Fall Family Day “Block Party” is free for Bruce members and for visitors with Museum admission. Children ages 2 and up can play with the new Imagination Playground blocks and create art centered on engineering. The afternoon will also include engineering programs presented by The Children’s Museum in West Hartford. The sessions are best for children ages 7 and older and will be offered on a first-come basis, as space is limited.
The Museum’s new Imagination Playground blocks will also come into play at Design Time, a new program for children ages 2 and up and their caregivers. Design Time is a drop-in program that invites young children to develop spatial reasoning and to get creative with concepts relating to current Museum exhibitions, including ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection.
The first Design Time program is scheduled for Thursday, November 1, 1:00-2:00 pm and is free for Museum members and visitors with Museum admission. A second Design Time is set for Thursday, November 15, 1:00-2:00 pm.
With their uniform color, abstract shapes, and infinite configurations, Imagination Playground blocks encourage spatial learning, social development, movement, and above all, fun. The blocks invite children to engage in open-ended free play while also helping them to begin to develop problem-solving skills and complex thinking.
“With Imagination Playground, kids literally make their own open-ended fun,” says Megan Brown, Manager of Youth & Family Programs. “There’s no right or wrong way to play with them.
“Imagination Playground blocks are designed to encourage instant sharing and collaboration,” Brown adds. “That’s also why they’re only available in one color, which facilitates more imaginative play, without any distraction or competition that might arise from having multi-colored toys.”
Blocks play an important part in a wide variety of curricula developed by some of the world’s most noted educators and have long been regarded as valuable learning tools. Imaginational Playground blocks can also help children develop spatial relationships, including the concepts of interior and exterior, open and closed, and near and far. Imagination Playground’s large blue blocks can provide an introduction to symbolization and visual discrimination, two important pre-reading skills.
“As a Museum devoted to art, science and natural history, the Bruce has something for everyone, and now, with our new Imagination Playground blocks, children and their families have another new opportunity to explore, learn, and create while enjoying all that the Museum has to offer,” says Megan Brown.
For more information about the Bruce Museum’s programs for youth and families, including a calendar of scheduled programs and special events, please visit brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376.