Exhibit Spotlight: Bring the Outdoors Inside

June 28, 2024

Exhibit Spotlight: Bring the Outdoors Inside

by Liz Holden Boatwright

Play is important for learning, and that’s particularly true for outdoor play. Time spent in nature is important for children’s emotional and physical development and can help children understand concepts such as where their drinking water originates, what species live in the local area, and how food is grown. But if you’re looking for things to do on a rainy day or when it’s too hot to go outside, your kids can continue to learn about nature and ecology, indoors. At the North Shore Children’s Museum, we offer several exhibits that let kids learn about the outdoors and make their next outdoor adventure even more fun and meaningful.

Our ocean room, sponsored by Zolotas Electric, features a fun, interactive sand table that lets kids learn and explore topography. The room also features touchscreen ocean games that allow kids to learn about the ocean while having fun. This room is designed to help familiarize the North Shore’s coastal ecology and history, and some time spent here can help enrich their next trip to the beach.

We also have a Bugs and Bees exhibit where kids can “build” bugs by connecting magnetic segments and where they can examine lifelike replicas with giant magnifying glasses. There are also booklets with facts about local wildlife and a tent and campfire area for pretend play. While playing in this room, kids can learn about ecology begin to identify the unique creatures that live in Peabody and the North Shore. The Bugs and Bees room is sponsored by the Essex County Greenbelt, which conserves properties and provides recreational space throughout the surrounding region. We hope that this room helps prepare kids with a knowledge of species to look out for and to help enrich their visits when they visit nearby Essex County Greenbelt properties.

As temperatures rise and school lets out for summer, time outdoors is a crucial way for kids to maintain their physical and mental health and to understand their world. And a visit to the NSCM can help to make that outdoor time even more fun and educational.