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Discover your Inner Child at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum

Jun 20, 2009 by Lisa Newton

On Thursday, I was invited to see and cover a Natural History Museum of Los Angeles special event. It was an exhibition by, for, and dedicated to our children and nature:

A Sense of Wonder, A Sense of Place: Viewing Nature Through the Images and Words of Our Children.”

The Sense of Wonder exhibition and installation was the collaboration between the Children’s Nature Institute and the Blueberry Atelier Preschool Program. Its principle idea was to bring children, nature, photography, and writing together.

The Exhibit’s Form, Function, and Display

Amazing Photos and Poems

I was amazed at the photos and poems, all taken and written by preschool children.  The interactive word wall is out of this world fantastic.

The “Discovery Room,” is where groups of school children visiting the Museum first congregate and are oriented to their new surroundings. To keep the kids together– and moving in an organized fashion, each group is given a special name; Scorpion, Snake, Dragon, and so on.

Today the Natural History Museum was very busy with lots of visiting groups from different schools.

"What is this?"

Ms. Briana Burrows, the Program Manager at the Museum, graciously showed me the exhibit and answered my many questions.

About 50 students from the Blueberry Atelier Preschool Program participated in this project which took them over a year to put together. Although it was originally planned to be a one day exhibit specifically for the Museum’s Sustainable Sunday feature, A Sense of Wonder, A Sense of Place, it was extended for the entire week.

With activities continuing on all four walks of the Discovery Room, the children had plenty of fun and useful information to choose from:

One Wall

Using scores of pictures and environmentally sound solutions to today’s “green” issues, Blueberry Atelier was not only able to help their own students learn the importance of nature and the world around them, but those children in turn were able to take that message to other children.

Playing it forward:

Living Composition

As the world becomes a smaller and smaller place, we, as a society, need our children to understand their own individual connection to nature and appreciate the gifts that it provides us.

By learning from the Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit–A Sense of Wonder, A Sense of Place: Viewing Nature Through the Images and Words of Our ChildrenI experienced first hand a message that resonated that uses reason and creativity.

By Travelin’ Local, we preserve our resources by learning to appreciate our hometown and local environs, which in turn gives back to our own community. In no small part– as exemplified by these artistic and precocious kids—while Travelin’ Local, we get to think global but act local.

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Culture, Downtown, Family, Los Angeles, Recreation

6 Responses to “Discover your Inner Child at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum”

  1. David says:

    I thought the mission statement from the Children’s Nature Institute to be inspiring:

    “Over the past year, Blueberry Atelier Family Child Care and The Children’s Nature Institute (CNI) have been working in collaboration to offer unique, hands-on nature experiences for the parents and children of Blueberry. Once a month, CNI educators, Blueberry teachers, parents and children embarked on an exploration of Temescal Canyon. This canyon became a classroom without walls; filled with places that fed our spirits, imaginations and souls. Through these dynamic experiences, nature came alive in the hands, hearts and minds of the children.”

    Nothing affects and impresses children more that the opportunity for them to express their own creativity and voices at an early age.

    Excellent article.


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @David, I couldn’t agree more. I remember when my children were little and I’d take them on a hike. At first, they would grumble about it, but once we got there, they loved it.

    And I can’t think of a better place to hike with children than Temescal Canyon.


  2. Paisley says:

    This is wonderful. I know it’s for kids but I could spend hours there. The interactive wall is such a brilliant idea. “Think global, act local’ is a slogan. Again – just wonderful.

    Paisley’s last blog post..Women


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Paisley, I’m so sorry I missed your comment, Paisley. You’re so right. I love making sentences from words!!


  3. Kevin says:

    Children are so artistic at a young age and it’s great to get them involved. Certainly mixing creativity with the natural world is fantastic tool and will provide inspiration in many ways for the future.


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Kevin, I was surprised at the quality of the kids photos, considering they were preschoolers. But, with kids you never know what you’ll get, which is one reason they are so much fun.


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