The Playscape Gallery--a family favorite for more than 20 years--is currently closed for renovation. A temporary space for families with children ages 5 and under, Mr. Bear's Playhouse, is open during this time.
Re-Envisioning Playscape—The Answers to Your Questions
What will the museum offer for young children while a new experience is being built?
The museum knows that Playscape is one of its most popular and important galleries, and is committed to offering early learning experiences while the new gallery is being built, including a temporary experience that will be called Mr. Bear’s Playhouse. Many of the most popular elements of Playscape will be in Mr. Bear’s Playhouse, including the sand table and parts of Babyscape. Other appropriate interactive elements will be added from the museum’s traveling exhibit, Bob the Builder™—Project: Build It. Limitations with the building’s structure prohibit the inclusion of a water table in Mr. Bear’s Playhouse, but an expansive water play area will be part of the new early learning experience.
What will the new permanent gallery be like?
The design of the new early learning gallery will incorporate four experiential areas for young children and their families to explore.
Children will connect to the outdoor environment in three hands-on spaces, including a water table (The Creek), a climber (The Pond), and a sand table (The Sandbox). Each of the spaces will include opportunities for children to experiment, investigate, explore, and role play.
The Invented World will feature blocks, balls, simple machines, and other interactive elements that encourage manipulation and motor skill development as precursors to science, math, and engineering concepts.
The Art and Music Studios will allow young children to practice a variety of arts, from drawing and sculpting to making music.
Babyscape will be an area primarily for infants and toddlers who are developing their understanding of the world through visual, aural, and sensory motor stimulation. It will include areas for climbing, walking, grasping, crawling, and practicing fine and gross motor skills.
The new gallery will also offer a nursing area, two family restrooms, and a diaper changing station.