Curiosity, persistence, and the thirst to ask questions and learn why, are the most important tools with which we can send a child into the world. When Theo was a baby he was captivated by the light radiating from the Museum’s large light table. He would crawl over, pull to a stand and bang on the table. Something about the light table sparked enough curiosity in him to employ his newly developing physical skills to seek an answer to his questions.
So while on the surface one might see a baby hitting a table, the amount of learning happening here was significant. Exhibits and experiences in the Museum are intentionally designed for children of all ages and abilities to engage with them time and time again as they grow and develop.
This year, as my own family changes and grows, I find myself experiencing the world of child development and the Museum very differently than before. As I share stories of food battles and items being flushed down toilets with my colleagues, we find much humor in what happens to the Early Learning Specialist when she has a little one in her life.
My little guy, Theo, is literally growing up in this Museum. Learning to crawl, taking his first steps, to being off and running: all have happened while engaging in this space. As Theo’s brain makes new connections, the natural born scientist inside of him is awakened and so is his ability to learn new, more advanced things. Watching his development is amazing and brings me so much joy, but it is how his curiosity and desire to learn continue to grow that fills my heart. And now, when I see him in the exhibit space, and I see that spark, I know that his repeated experiences at the Museum are laying the foundation for a lifetime of curiosity and engaged learning. Creating environments and experiences that support this growth is what we do best here at the Museum. Children and play grow together.
Many of you have had the opportunity to experience the wonders of learning through play. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, DuPage Children’s Museum relies on the generosity of the community to extend the benefits of learning through play to ALL children, like Theo. Your contribution will help welcome more visitors, create new exhibits, continue our education and outreach, and provide children unique and authentic, hands-on learning experiences. Please help us keep the play growing and consider a gift to DuPage Children’s Museum today.
Early Learning Specialist
Alix Tonsgard is the Early Learning Specialist at DuPage Children’s Museum. She holds an MS in Child Development from the Erikson Institute. Acting as the Museum’s advocate for early childhood development and learning, she ensures that the latest research in Early Childhood Education is represented in all Museum exhibits, professional development initiatives, and public programs.