What a fun place! And, I visited without a child in tow! The mission of World Children’s Museum in Glens Falls, NY is: to inspire curiosity and foster understanding and appreciation of worldwide cultural diversity. I think it likely they do that well.
We were actually walking by this museum on our way to the Hyde Collection when we thought we’d just pop into the entrance and look into the gift shop. We didn’t have a child in tow, and didn’t want to make any parents uncomfortable. I am in early childhood education, but I don’t wear a sign to that effect and unfortunately, in today’s environment, other adults with children don’t always understand my exploration of all things “kid-friendly.”
It was early morning, and they had just opened. The woman at the desk was very welcoming, and after I introduced myself and shared my business card, she invited us to walk through the museum. It is a wonderful space for children and their families.
I saw items and activities that invite curiosity, yet demonstrate respect for both past practices and current ways of living by different cultures of the world’s peoples. According to the desk person, it’s the only children’s museum entirely focused on this mission. And, from those that I have been able to visit, I would agree. From their website, and what we were told, the exhibits change to match current events. For example, they will be mounting an exhibit for the Olympics this summer and fall.
What I also appreciated was that the large room (I’m guessing the building was once a showroom or store front of some kind) was nicely divided up into areas of the world with items to read, touch, look and try on. I wish it were closer so that I could bring a child now and again, and even my pre-service teachers that I work with in my day job!
The museum is considered part of the Lake George Area – so if you’re nearby, borrow a child and go learn!