On Saturday, Feb. 29, the Montshire Museum of Science will open the doors to Wonder Woods, a new exhibition space specially designed to ignite the curiosity and support the development of the Museum’s youngest visitors — children ages 5 and under. Wonder Woods offers science learning experiences informed by the latest research on early childhood development, set in a fun and whimsical environment that encourages curiosity, imagination, exploration and discovery.
A permanent, 600-square-foot, multi-level learning space, designed specifically for the needs of children from birth through age five, Wonder Woods provides developmentally appropriate experiences for preschoolers, toddlers and infants, as well as a comfortable, safe, and inviting space for parents and caregivers to engage with their children in problem-solving, science exploration and imaginative play.
Wonder Woods is designed to foster an early love and interest in STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as it aims to help children become confident lifelong learners who are willing to take risks and ready to meet challenges as they grow.
Through exciting and engaging hands-on experiences, the exhibition meets the needs of three developmental stages: infants, toddlers, nd preschoolers, with additional emphasis on the important role adult caregivers play in the learning process. These interactive experiences address the many factors that contribute to a child’s whole development, including cognitive, communication, social-emotional, sensory and physical.
Wonder Woods is aesthetically inspired by the natural beauty of New England and the unique location of the Montshire — situated between mountain ranges, along the Connecticut River, with more than 100 acres of trails and forest. Its lessons and experiences are rooted in the breathtaking and awe-inspiring moments of natural discovery.
The Montshire has a long history of engaging parents and young children in diverse science learning experiences. The Museum’s efforts include programs that encourage the innate curiosity of young children, such as Books and Beyond and the Montshire's summer preschool camps, as well as various collaborations and grant-supported projects that focus on early childhood education.
Montshire members are invited to a special member preview of Wonder Woods Feb. 29, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., one hour before the new exhibition is open to the public. For more information, visit montshire.org.