As Long Island Children’s Museum began planning for its 25th birthday season, the choice of what exhibit should take up residence in its traveling exhibit gallery moved center stage. What would best represent the creativity, ingenuity and problem-solving the Museum inspires? What theme would have broad appeal to the inter-generational audience that LICM draws? What exhibit would highlight twenty-five years of relevance to families?
The answer was found in TINKERTOY®: Build Your Imagination,™, which will open to the public on Saturday, September 22 and be in residence through Sunday, January 6, 2019.
“We can’t think of a better exhibit choice as the Museum celebrates a milestone birthday than this one,” explains LICM President Suzanne LeBlanc. “The exhibit mirrors the Museum’s learning approach through its open-ended play qualities and focus on innovation and technological inquiry.”
The 1,500-square foot exhibit, targeted to children ages 3-10, was developed by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with GE and PLAYSKOOL®, the infant/preschool toy division of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS). Visitors to the exhibit will enjoy a variety of activities that promote imagination and collaboration:
The Welcome Gallery – The Welcome Gallery celebrates the TINKERTOY legacy through a retrospective of the toy’s history, and highlights GE technologies that improve communities around the globe every day.
Invent – Children are encouraged to think about where ideas come from, and to explore the emerging field of biomimicry – nature’s influence on design. Visitors can match real inventions with their natural inspiration and create a design of their own.
Collaborate – Dual-sided panels allow visitors to work independently or with a partner to create TINKERTOY designs.
Energize – Children can explore GE’s commitment to renewable energy as they use a kid-powered fan to test their own wind-powered TINKERTOY creations.
Change – A Rube Goldberg-like contraption illustrates the power of creative thinking and how simple mechanisms work. The activity lets children select and position words to build silly – but thought provoking sentences that serve as the springboard for innovation.
Process/Connect – TINKERTOY-inspired equipment lets children explore the concept of filtration, while a companion activity invites them to build ball tracks that illustrate how GE technologies help address the challenge of providing clean water. Finding the correct path through a graphic maze addresses children’s immediate question: “Where does the water go?”
Develop – Visitors will enjoy filling a life-size human form with TINKERTOY hubs, providing a great photo opportunity and revealing the elements of a healthy lifestyle – and emptying the piece is fun, too! A special rotating TINKERTOY hub array inspires children to consider the impact of their personal choices, highlighting one of our most important responsibilities: taking care of ourselves so that we can do anything!
Create – This open play area reserved for children age 3 and older features a spectacular assortment of TINKERTOY pieces – the perfect place to build their imagination. Pictures of remarkable TINKERTOY creations and special tips provide guidance and inspiration.
The Tinker Tank – A walk-in size replica of a TINKERTOY canister is the starting point for the exhibit’s challenging scavenger hunt, a must for those with an eye for detail and a nose for knowledge! The Tinker Tank contains a variety of educational materials that attest to the impact of unconventional ideas on some of the world’s greatest – and strangest – inventions, and serve as a reminder that “If at first you don’t succeed…”
Long Island Children’s Museum will kick off the celebration of its 25-year history with the Ultimate Birthday Bash on November 17-18 and present themed workshops, performances and special events over the next 25 weeks, culminating with its annual fundraiser Cupcakes & Cocktails in May 2019.
The TINKERTOY®: Build Your Imagination™ exhibit was developed by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with PLAYSKOOL® and GE. TINKERTOY is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. and is used with permission. © 2018 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.
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