By Melissa Heintz
Public Affairs Specialist, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to hibernate! The National Museum of Play, part of The Strong in Rochester, NY, is making sure kids are moving through the winter months. Throughout the holiday break in December the museum had a week of fun of Let’s Move!-themed activities that encouraged kids to stay active. More than 30,000 guests visited the museum during the period. Kids worked up a sweat and learned about being healthy with activities through interactive exhibits at the museum.
When guests arrived at the museum they were given an activity guide to help them navigate their way through a variety of physical challenges throughout the interactive exhibits. Challenges ranged from climbing a rock wall to learning about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, all while learning fun facts about health and nutrition. One activity reminded guests that jumping rope can burn more than 750 calories per hour and required a session of skipping rope with Sister Bear in the Berenstain Bears exhibit. The museum also distributed “Love Your Veggies” crossword puzzles and coloring sheets about organic farming.
Throughout the year, the museum supports healthy lifestyles for children and families in the local community and beyond. The National Museum of Play shares tips and suggestions about being active and suggestions through social media and maintains a Let’s Move! website encouraging families to lead healthy and active lifestyles. It wouldn’t be the National Museum of Play if you couldn’t hop, skip, jump, and climb throughout the museum!
The museum also offers a special Let’s Move! day for school groups to prepare for the summer, where students visit a variety of heart-healthy stations in the museum and learn to develop healthful habits. Students stretch their understanding of anatomy with yoga for kids, strengthen their cooperation skills with playground games, develop an understanding of nutrition by planning a healthy menu, and more.
Want to get active this winter? You can still be active without going outside. Click here for a list of participating Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens in your area.