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The Importance of Play During a Pandemic
By Hardin Engelhardt | VP, Learning, Marbles Kids Museum
Play is how children learn best. Play is even more important during the current COVID-19 crisis because play builds resilience, mitigates stress and anxiety, and strengthens family bonds and relationships.
Learning is social, occurring in the context of relationships and interactions. Learning is about much more than content and skills. The shift to remote learning calls for activities and interactions that supplement content, provide active skill development and spark social engagement with others. Marbles has answered this call with daily play-based learning in the at-home environment.
While the museum is closed, Marbles is providing impactful play experiences and learning opportunities online, connecting kids and families with fun and playful learning activities.
Marbles Daily Dose of Play videos offer simple, hands-on activities that engage families together in learning and laughter. These up-beat videos also keep kids and families connected to their favorite Marbles team members and the familiar exhibits they love to explore with us. You can access Marbles Daily Dose of Play on the Marbles website, social media platforms, and YouTube channel.
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Today is an especially challenging time to be a parent. Marbles is supporting parents by sharing daily Playful Parenting Tips to help parents maintain a playful mindset and approach parenthood with creativity and positivity. Our simple suggestions are designed to help parents worry less and connect more. You’ll find our Playful Parenting Tips on our website and social media platforms.
Marbles is also making other popular resources available online to support play and learning at home. Marbles Play-to-Go activities help parents replicate tried-and-true Marbles programs that spark curiosity and joy. Printable play posters and other materials are also available on our website.
Marbles Corner Store is open for online ordering, curbside pick-up, and delivery of hands-on, play-based educational resources to supplement and build on remote learning, curated by Marbles learning experts.
In addition to providing meaningful play-based learning experiences to kids and families, Marbles also plays a critical role in our community as a convener, partner, and advocate for the importance of early childhood learning and play.While we are closed, Marbles continues to work alongside our community partners to meet the needs of all children and families. As a member of the leadership team of WAKE Up and Read, along with WakeEd Partnership, Marbles is working to provide books and play-based learning resources to families being served by the WCPSS meal sites. Marbles is also serving as a critical overflow storage and sorting site for the Interfaith Food Shuttle.
Marbles can’t wait for the day we can safely reopen our doors and welcome the community back to the museum. We are eager to rekindle in-person play and learning experiences and make memories together at Marbles. We relish our role as an inclusive, accessible and happy place where children and families build connections that strengthen us as individuals and a community.