Creative Play

Newark Museum
Project Period: 
Funding Amount:
Program Area:
Early Childhood
Geographic Area: 
Essex County, 

The Newark Museum is the largest art, science, and education museum in New Jersey, serving more than 300,000 children, adults, and families through exemplary exhibitions and innovative school and public programs onsite, offsite, and online.

This project continues the Foundation’s supports for the implementation, and evaluation, and expansion of Creative Play, a model for delivering weekend programs in art, science, and cultural education to low-income preschool children and their families. Bus trips bring the children and their families from Newark’s South Ward to the Museum for gallery tours followed by hands-on activities. Creative Play also offers community-based offsite programming in collaboration with local partners. To help families and young children engage with the Museum and its resources, Creative Play provides customized guides and maps to Museum galleries, games based on gallery tours, and Gallery Gear bags with “tools for looking,” such as flashlights and magnifying glasses. Creative Play also includes a Little Makers component, where children and their families can play with the same materials from which gallery objects are constructed and then take home the objects they have made. Children will be able to explore independently in this safe, set-off space that is tailored to their needs and available whenever the Museum is open. The project also supports an educational consultant, who trains staff, designs activities, and develops family-friendly resources for Creative Play, and supports a variety of marketing and promotional activities for the program.

Through the Creative Play programs and activities, the Newark Museum aims to reinforce basic early childhood learning skills, including vocabulary, literacy, and social skills. In addition, a major goal of the project is to encourage parents to regard the Museum as a valuable educational resource for themselves and their children. 

Learn more about the Newark Museum and its programs.