The Design Committee has been working feverishly to design exhibits that appeal to children and their parents. All exhibits will provide a safe, fun, and engaging space for kids of all abilities to explore over and over. While designing exhibits, the committee closely followed the State of Maine's Early Learning Guidelines:
- Personal and Social Development
- Approaches to Learning
- Creative Arts
- Early Language and Literacy
- Health and Physical Education
- Social Studies
Children are fascinated by the natural world and it’s a good thing, too, since in Maine we have so much of it! The Nature Room will enable kids to knowledgeably explore the outdoors by applying what they learn here to the actual environment beyond the Play Museum walls. It will contain rotating, interactive exhibits (identification of animal tracks, for example) with displays of natural items such as plants and pelts.
Who hasn’t built a blanket fort (or two or twenty) in their time? Envision a room with wall anchors, cloth, and clips dedicated to just this type of construction! Or, if kids want to work on a smaller scale, block play will enable budding young architects to hone their skills!
Imagine the excitement that modern technology will inspire! Kids will be able to manipulate virtual 2-D visuals through an interactive floor projector, and SMART Boards are all the rage in schools — at least the ones that value innovation. With ours, children can write and draw digitally just like their teachers, and we will be able to save their work for later projection and display!
Balancing technology with social interaction is extremely important. We all know how social media is replacing face-to-face communication, but the Play Museum values both! In the Gathering Room, children will have access to art supplies, varied programming with a focus on science and discovery, and hands-on learning. It will also be the primary space available for party rental, providing yet another way to celebrate gathering with one another!
A small room with a big magnetic wall. A rotating exhibit that might be a giant Scrabble wall one season, and an interactive gear wall the next.
The Play Village
What an experience the Play Village will provide! It is sure to become an instant favorite, with a miniature town sized just right for little entrepreneurs. Complete with an upper and lower level, kids can become tellers at the Bank; cashiers at the Grocery Store; veterinarians, dentists, and doctors at the Clinic; mechanics at the Auto Shop; wait staff and cooks at the Diner; and fashion designers at the Costume Shop. The Center Stage will enable kids and visiting theatre-folk alike to perform for a seated audience, with scenery created on the chalkboard backdrop. There will even be a Town Park with a climbing wall!
Join the ranks of local inventor Chester Greenwood and get those neurons firing with the ability to create in the Invention Room! Young engineers will be inspired by the ability to build and test their inventions, all the while learning about trial and error, math, and even physics!
Honor the past, present, and future in our Train Room. The Narrow Gauge Railroad was an important part of our history in this area; kids are still fascinated by train tracks and railroad crossings; and the monorail and Bullet Train are dream modes of transportation. Here, kids can become the other kind of engineer and build their own tracks for others to follow.
For moms who need a quiet place to feed their infants, or calm an upset child, the Quiet Room provides privacy and security. Small manipulatives, like blocks and puzzles, as well as books for early readers, will keep young siblings entertained while little ones are cared for.
Who’s afraid of the dark? After experiencing our Dark Room, hopefully no one! This scientifically-based and interactive experience focuses on the concept of light and its absence. Rotating activities and exhibits will include constellations and space, blacklights, and shadow puppets, all teaching kids what darkness really means — and it’s not monsters.
Infant and Toddler Room
A room designed for our smallest visitors. There will be developmentally appropriate toys and activities just for infants and toddlers in this space.