Educators, children’s experts and scientists alike consistently point out the importance of engaging the minds of kids so they set the tone for a life full of learning.
We can accomplish those goals many ways, including by reading, using computers and tablets for brain exercises and myriad forms of hands-on learning. It is the latter of those methods that children and their families encounter when they enter the St. George Children’s Museum.
The museum, at the corner of 100 South and Main Street in St. George, opened about six months ago with a goal of drawing about 30,000 visitors for the year. But Thursday afternoon, in half the time, the 100,000th visitor crossed the threshold. That number in that amount of time serves as a testament to the demand for such activities for young children and their families in the region.
Clearly, the children’s museum is filling a need in Southern Utah.
The facility features themed rooms in which kids can learn about a variety of things, many of which feature hands-on activities meant to teach motor and cognitive skills. And the museum is adding more and more as funds allow. For example, a future project will involve the elevator and stairs to provide a lesson about the Earth’s seas.
The museum does offer memberships, which provides exclusive access to the facility from 2 to 8 p.m. Mondays. Everyone is welcome from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. There is no entrance fee, with the museum operating on donations. The suggested donation is $3 per person who enters.
Those funds are badly needed. While the museum has been a hit, it’s also taken a beating, which is to be expected given its young clientele. Exhibits get broken and have to be repaired or replaced. A lack of funds means a lack of maintenance, which means there likely will be fewer kids visiting because of a perceived poor quality of exhibits.
While maintenance is a struggle, the facility is filling a niche. It fits in well with the family atmosphere of downtown with the carousel and water features, including the splash pad.
Clearly, the addition of a children’s museum was positive for the city and its residents. Congratulations to the organizers for putting together a facility that is providing entertainment — with educational lessons to boot — for area children.