We took Nathan to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. As soon as we got through the door, he took off like a rocket to try each fun hands-on learning station. We were there for four hours and I don't know if we saw half of it. Nathan wanted an Iron Man costume for Halloween, so we let him wear it here, since there was a big Superhero section that just opened up.
In addition to the activity centers, they have displayed old toys and games from every era. You can find all kinds of things you forgot you ever had, or remember some friend that had one of those, and you couldn't believe their luck.
Here Nathan is serving Mommy at the restaurant.
Of course, Iron Man can handle a few boulders.
The arcade was really neat. Newer video games were side by side with vintage ones and some reeeeeallly old ones. I found out that Kristan was a Q*bert champ and she showed Nathan the ropes on some other ones.
Another neat feature of the museum is that there are quotes on all the walls of things great thinkers had to say about play, and I was furiously scribbling them down in my notebook. Some of them might help with a research project I'll be working on.
1. "Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion, but by play." -Plato
2. "Play is our brain's favorite way of learning." -Diane Ackerman, American author
3. "It is a happy talent to know how to play." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. "Almost all creativity involves purposeful play." - Abraham Maslow, American psychologist
5. "A child loves his play, not because it's easy, but because it's hard." - Benjamin Spock
6. "We all need empty hours in our lives, or we will have no time to create or dream." - Robert Coles, The Overscheduled Child (2001)
7. "Play is training for the unexpected." -Marc Bekoff, American biologist
8. "Play is the only way the highest intellect can unfold." -Joseph Chilton Pierce, American scholar
9. "The opposite of play is not a present reality, or work; it is vacillation; or worse, it is depression." -Brian Sutton-Smith
10. "Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities." -Stuart Brown, American psychologist
Coverage in the Chronicle and new page on Commuting
22 hours ago