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Museums spark early learning fun

March 24, 2016 // by Kiersten Lampe

It's always worthwhile to make friends-with your neighbors, your coworkers, and even local businesses. MOCA Jacksonville recently began a friendship with Bay & Bee, a play space and shop that emphasizes child-led play and eco-friendly environments. Memberships at Bay & Bee give families access to the play space and a variety of classes for children up to 5 years old. Classes include lessons in yoga, music, dance, and art.

In February, MOCA Jacksonville led an art class at Bay & Bee's play space in Atlantic Beach. The youngsters heard about the life of Pablo Picasso and made an abstract collage inspired by his works using paper shapes, glue, and oil pastels.

Bay & Bee Yoga Class Partnership for Early Learning at MOCA Jacksonville
Two Boys Try Yoga in the Galleries at MOCA Jacksonville
Image courtesy of Kiersten Lampe.
A Girl Works on a Yoga Pose in the Galleries at MOCA Jacksonville
Image courtesy of Kiersten Lampe.

This month, a Bay & Bee class visited MOCA to stretch out with some yoga in our fifth floor Florida Blue Education Gallery. The children practiced traditional yoga poses and played with scarves while surrounded by the striking photographs from Allegory of Fortune: Photographs by Amanda Rosenblatt. Afterwards, the children experienced hands-on learning in the Art Explorium, where different interactive stations focus on basic visual art principles.

Bay & Bee Visitors Create a Cubist Artwork Inspired by Picasso
Image courtesy of Kiersten Lampe.
Early Learning in Museum Environments has Lasting Positive Effects on Development
Image courtesy of Kiersten Lampe. 

Exposing young children to museum environments has lasting positive effects on development. A 2012 study by the Smithsonian Institute focuses on the importance of early learning in museums and how museums can foster an educational environment for pre-kindergarten children. Art museums like MOCA Jacksonville provide exhibitions where young children can experience a positive learning atmosphere as well as gain exposure to art-related topics long before they enter school. Visits to museums at an early age also help establish a population of future museumgoers by building familiarity and comfort in museum settings. Children grow accustomed to making museum visits and learn to associate museums as fun places to attend on a day off or as places to go where they can learn and experience new topics.

The education team at MOCA Jacksonville recognizes the value in art programs catered to our youngest visitors. Stay tuned for future developments as we work on implementing more early learning programming for toddlers or pre-kindergartners and as we continue to partner with our new friends at Bay & Bee! 

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