What WOOD We Do Without Home Depot? - DuPage Children's Museum

What WOOD We Do Without Home Depot?

April 7, 2016

DuPage Children’s Museum is packed full of exhibits that seek to ignite the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration in art, math and science. We endeavor to create environments for all children to reach their potential through play. Our philosophy stems from the power of play as a basis for constructing knowledge.

One such exhibit, the Moser Construction House, is a long-standing, hands-on exhibit where children create wood projects that stir the imagination and fire their creativity. Named after local philanthropist James Moser, this exhibit allows children to use real saws, hammers, nails, and screws to create their wood projects fired by their own inventiveness.

We are constantly in need of consistent sources of stud lumber to make this exhibit work. This would not be possible without the generous help of several local Home Depot stores in the area, plus our excellent volunteers from the Kiwanis Club. Local stores have stepped up to donate large weekly supplies of wood for the Construction House. Since the reopening of the Museum in September of 2015, almost all wood used has come from local Home Depot stores.

The process starts at the store where employees pull stacks of lumber from the shelves that are bent or damaged and cannot be sold at full price. This wood, called cull lumber, is normally heavily discounted by the retailer. However, because of Home Depot’s commitment to the community, they have authorized us to pick up some of this wood for use at the Museum.

The long studs that you see in the lumberyard are transported by Museum vans to our workshop where it is cut down into child-sized portions by volunteers from the Kiwanis Club, led by long-time volunteer Jim Rose. Large plastic bins transport the five-inch rectangles to the museum floor where youngsters transform the two-by-four pieces into works of art.

DuPage Children’s Museum would like to thank the following people for their generosity:

  • Tim Ruth and Chris Oleksyn at the Naperville Home Depot #1918
  • Brendan Hollandsworth and Jason Lowden at Bolingbrook Home Depot #1939
  • Norbert Bielski and John Ortega at the Woodridge Home Depot #1942
  • Jim Rose, Walt Kelly, Mort Mortenson, John Bergensen of the Naperville Evening Kiwanis Club

Stay tuned! Next week Alix, the Museum’s Early Learning Specialist, will discuss the theory behind the Construction House and the developmental benefits of woodworking with young children. In the meantime, do you have any stories to share about your experiences in the Construction House? We would love to hear them! Feel free to share your memories here, on Facebook, or Twitter.