Case Summary

The Association Of Children’s Museums has articulated a series of short messages highlighting the ways children’s museums impact children, families and communities. These messages are directly quoted below:

Children’s museums help children develop essential foundational skills. In the past ten years, neuroscience has confirmed what the social sciences have long contended, that the first years of life are essential to future learning. Grounded in well-established pedagogy, children’s museums are leading a movement that combines specific learning objectives with play in informal learning environments that are developmentally appropriate for infants, toddlers and children.

Children’s museums respect childhood. Helping to balance widespread cultural influences that compress childhood, children’s museums produce programs and exhibits that transcend age, IQ and experience, and empower children to set their own pace.

Children’s museums light a creative spark for discovery and lifelong learning. Research from the University of Illinois finds that children feel bored as much as 50 percent of the time while at school or doing their homework. At children’s museums, kids become excited about what they are learning while they are playing. As multidisciplinary institutions, children’s museums are defining how to teach the arts, humanities, sciences, mathematics and culture across generations.