9.22.2014

Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum



Annnnnnd I'm back!

Miss me?

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus. I spent the summer living it up and enjoying some wonderful cultural experiences. I just didn't blog about them. Selfish, I know. Also, I'm feeling the tide shifting here on The Museum Scout. I think it's time for me to take this blog in a slightly different direction. I will continue to post about exhibits and events (case in point below), but I'm hoping to incorporate some other interests, too.

This week I'm sticking to my roots and talking about Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum. But first, I'd like to tell you a little side story.

For three years I lead a Montessori-based classroom of 3, 4, and 5 year olds. It was a totally awesome, and a totally overwhelming experience. Preschool is this incredibly important time in a person's life. Kids that age pick up a lot. They continue developing their personalities and pick up both good and bad habits. They are, in short, little sponges. I will tell you that I am not the strictest-Montessorian, but I do believe that Montessori-based early childhood education can be beneficial. In fact, many of my most favorite people went to Montessori schools as kids.

As a preschool teacher, I developed my own philosophy about education and about my role as a teacher. One of the things that was important to me was giving my students the freedom to make a mess. It was okay to make a physical mess with art supplies and of your clothes and with blocks provided you stayed in the block corner. It was equally okay to commit a social faux pax on occasion and say something you shouldn't or do something you shouldn't do. Messes were okay in our room, provided that we also took part in cleaning them up and apologizing, when necessary.

(A little PSA: Please don't send your kids to preschool in their fanciest clothes if you prefer their outfits don't get messy. They will. And if they don't, it means that your kids aren't having nearly as much fun at school as they should have. At the end of the day, on a good day, we were covered in paint and probably food, too. That's just what happens when you're encouraged to prepare your own snack, play, paint, and consume two meals at school.)

Which leads me back to the event this weekend at NCM. This Family Mess Fest thing is right up my alley because it is an event where messes are not only encouraged, but celebrated. And when you give kids the chance to make a mess, brilliance often emerges.

So if you're around this Saturday and you aren't watching college football (Oh, Wolverines, please get your act together), please head to NCM and support this wonderful Museum and its equally wonderful event. The more folks who show up, the more it encourages the Museum to develop and host more family-friendly events.

For more information on Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum, head here.

Photo courtesy of The New Children's Museum.