Online, the Flint Children’s Museum proudly declares its mission is to “inspire a love for learning and awaken imagination through exploration and hands-on play.” One could loosely interpret that to mean the center is a creative, fun and educational space for the young and old. Or, just plain fun!
For 38 years, the museum has been providing the youth of this area with inspiring, hands-on ways to explore the world around them. Situated on the campus of Kettering University, the Flint Children’s Museum is a must-see when touring places in and around Genesee County. It has many activities dedicated to children ages 2-10, and every few months, new adventures rotate in to keep it all fresh and exciting.
Kimberly Roddy, Executive Director at the Museum, works with a team of people to keep this nonprofit children’s museum running year after year. “Our changing exhibit area, known as the Discovery Zone, features a new exhibit every four months,” she says. “We had the Great Sticker Experiment recently, where we gave children stickers and let them stick them wherever they wanted inside the Discovery Zone. We painted the room white, had white carpet, a white grand piano and white furniture too. We ended up with over 78,000 stickers decorating the room, not to mention thousands of happy children!”
Currently, the Best Friends Animal Hospital exhibit is open and is being enjoyed by all. “Children pretend to be veterinarians, using stethoscopes, doctoring up their pets with bandages, checking out x-rays of swallowed pennies, broken bones and lots more,” Roddy says.
“EVERYONE I TALK TO LOVES
THE FLINT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM –
IT TRULY IS AN AMAZING PLACE
FOR CHILDREN IN OUR COMMUNITY!”
– KIMBERLY RODDY –
Flint Children’s Museum is the ultimate educational play space. When school is out and the days are long, visiting the Museum can be a great outdoors experience as well. The Museum has many fun summertime activities to engage a young child’s mind and imagination. “In the summer, we have Sproutside, our Certified Outdoor Classroom. Less than 50 percent of children’s museums have outdoor areas, so we are fortunate and make the most of it,” Roddy says. “From May through September, kids can explore nature, paint on the outdoor art wall, play with the Big Blue Blocks, ride bikes, eat raw fruits and vegetables from the children’s garden and splash around at the water table.”
Roddy continues, “There is also a wide variety of facilitated activities out there every day for different developmental ages, from painting rocks for the rock garden to making Oobleck and other messy activities. Visitors can play with the substance Oobleck, which is a non-Newtonian fluid. That means it acts like a liquid when a small amount of force is used. But when more force is applied, the Oobleck acts like a solid. It is a pressure-dependent substance that is irresistible to kids and adults alike.
In June the museum holds its annual FUNdraiser to help support all the wonderful things it offers the community. “It’s a big party to support our mission, which is inspiring a love for learning through hands-on play and exploration. We have a new theme every year,” Roddy says.
According to Roddy, friends of the museum can help support the cause through a variety of ways. “The museum is funded through earned income and charitable gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations, as well as state grant funding through the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.” The community can support this cultural institution by:
1. Visiting with their children and families
2. Encouraging family and friends to visit
3. Volunteering their time and talents
4. Making charitable financial contributions
The Museum is jam packed with fun things to see and do. The Fractions Pizza Parlor and Smart Mart provide imaginative and collaborative play centers that are a favorite of all ages. There are exhibits, field trips and rooms to rent for personalized birthday parties, or rent out the whole museum for special events by calling 810-767-KIDS (5437). The list goes on and on. Truly, the Flint Children’s Museum is the ultimate fun and educational play space.