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The Omaha Children's Museum is a wonderful place where kids can use their imaginations to become a firefighter, a scientist, an astronaut, and so much more!

But the magic of the museum doesn't end when you reach adulthood! As a parent, being involved in your child's play is enormously important. Not only will it give you fantastic ideas of ways to carry on learning through play at home, but it also enhances your child's experience at Omaha Children's Museum.

Play develops a child's imagination which is important for cognitive development. We tend to think of "imagination" as something we leave behind as we get older, but imagination is a key piece of learning creativity, problem-solving skills and empathy. So mom and dad, help your child develop these important skills by playing with them at the Museum!

The Creative Arts Center is a perfect place to start! Pick up a paintbrush and start creating your own imaginary world. Seeing you do this will encourage your child to use his or her imagination. Ask your little one open ended questions (for example, "Can you tell me about what you're creating?"). This allows your child to share his or her creative experience with you. It creates a dialogue that can lead to exciting new discoveries!

Once you've created your masterpieces, try exploring our Charlie Campbell Science Center and the incredibly popular Super Gravitron. Visit with your child about simple machines and the importance of the scientific method. Or perhaps your child is more fascinated by the colors of the balls. Work with him or her to sort the balls by colors. Or, take in one of our fantastic Science Shows. By increasing your knowledge and interest in the variety of topics covered, you encourage your child to explore new subjects as well!

Our Imagination Playground is a perfect opportunity to get involved in your child's play! Become a customer at their grocery store. Help them to design an award-winning cake in the bakery. Rescue a kitten who's stuck in a tree at our OCM Engine House No. 1. The Wiggle Room, with its padded floor, mirror walls, and bubble tubes, is the perfect place for parents to encourage children who are just beginning to discover the world on their own (developmental ages 0-3).

Looking for even more ideas of how to interact with your child? Each area of Omaha Children's Museum has a Nudgie Card that gives ideas of how to interact with your child in the space and then take that learning home with you! Look for them during your next visit to the museum or find them at the links below.

Hillary Saalfeld

Omaha Children's Museum

Hillary is the Manager of Learning Experiences at Omaha Children's Museum. Part of the job she enjoys most is having the chance to relive her favorite parts of childhood by creating exciting programming for all the museum guests! Hillary has a Bachelor's in History with minors in Theatre and English (which explains her flair for the dramatic) from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Master's in Museology with an emphasis in Museum Programming and Exhibit Design from the University of Washington i ...

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