Not many of us remember when we were two years old, but imagine if two mornings a week your day had started out in the Natural History Museum’s Q?rius Jr. Discovery Room space! And, what if those two mornings were spent exploring interesting things with somebody that you cared about – maybe a grandma or a parent, special caregiver or nanny? Wait, though, it gets even better. What if those opportunities for adventure took place in the Smithsonian museums and surrounding DC community? Last year, just such an experience got off the ground!
In September 2014, SEEC launched its brand new Smithsonian Early Explorer program where two mornings a week, children and their adults came together to learn about the world around them through hands-on experiences designed for active and growing toddlers. Activities took place in the discovery room space, SEEC’s art studio, museum galleries, surrounding community, and outdoors on the playground. In collaboration with Smithsonian Early Explorer facilitators, this small multi-generational learning community explored topics ranging from safari animals and the strength of bones, to dance traditions of Bollywood and shelters from around the world.
It is now one year later and we have learned a lot. The second SEE cohort will soon get together for another year of growing and learning together. Children and adults will share moments of curiosity, awe and wonder as we encounter the amazing and authentic artifacts, objects and masterpieces that make up the vast collections of our Smithsonian. Imaginations will be sparked and creativity encouraged. We are excited for what’s in store and look forward to reconnecting with returning families and welcoming new ones. For more information about the Smithsonian Early Explorer’s program visit seecstories.com/see