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In October, Omaha Children's Museum opened our latest exhibit – Imagination: Celebrating 40 Years of Play!

It's hard to believe that Omaha Children's Museum has been a staple of Omaha families for 4 decades already!

As we were planning this exhibit, we had a lot of fun looking back at the most popular items of past exhibits and finding ways to incorporate them into our new exhibit. In doing this, we also wanted to highlight how important the learning that occurs through the work of play really is.

As you travel through Imagination: Celebrating 40 Years of Play!, you'll find helpful tips next to each exhibit piece. These tips, based on Ellen Galinsky’s Mind in the Making, focus on the seven essential life skills every child needs:

  1. Focus and Self Control
  2. Perspective Taking
  3. Communicating
  4. Making Connections
  5. Critical Thinking
  6. Taking on Challenges
  7. Self-Directed/Engaged Learning

Why focus on these? Studies have shown that the development of these executive functions is a better indicator of success later in life than even IQ scores!

So, while your little ones are completing the obstacle course, consider how you can further encourage them to take on other challenges.

The basketball court and soccer field are wonderful ways to develop communication skills through teamwork.

Make connections by climbing into our combine, pushing buttons, and trying to make things move; children can discover all sorts of new things about the world around them.

Or maybe you want to work on perspective taking in our Cow Café or Dentist Office.

All these experiences are fantastic for helping develop those key skills that will be needed later in life while having fun when they're little!


Imagination: Celebrating 40 Years of Play runs from 10/15/16 - 4/16/2017. Learn more at the Omaha Children's Museum website and be sure to check it out before it's gone!

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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