Pretend City Blog

  • Igniting Potential

    “The more we give to a cause, the more precious the cause becomes.” – Lucy Wheelock 24 hours. 12 Organizations. 1 Cause. September 12, 2018. In past years, Pretend City held 24 hour giving days once a year. Remember, #iheartoc? Together, we celebrated our mini city, early child education, and what it means to be part of a vibrant, unique, and fun educational community. We have the opportunity this year to build on the success of past giving days through a re-envisioned campaign collaborating with 11 other nonprofits that help Orange County’s youth. Igniting Potential, A Giving Day to Support the Youth of Orange County, is taking action to help shape Pretend City’s future. When we all give, even the smallest gifts add up to make a significant difference. When we come together, we inspire generosity. This year, we look forward to Igniting Potential on September 12, and we invite everyone – parents, grandparents, volunteers, board members, staff, and community leaders, to support the museum by making a gift and sharing what Pretend City means to you. Collectively, we believe in the importance of collaboration, diversity, accomplishment, and a sense of belonging. As we focus on these values, it is […]

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  • Dream it, Draw it, Build it

    Our summer exhibit is here! Join Pretend City all summer long for our new summer exhibit Dream it. Draw it. Build it! This new exhibit draws inspiration from big dreamers, drawers, and builders in the community and provides children a hands-on experience. “An interactive hands-on experience is vital for children,” said Sandra Bolton, Executive Director of Pretend City Children’s Museum. “The Dream it, Draw it, Build it exhibit will encourage children to explore all aspects of architecture and design by visualizing a concept and making that concept a reality. We are very fortunate to have this exhibit design sponsored by Ware Malcomb.” Dream it. Draw it. Build it. Exhibit Components: Zone 1: Inspiration/ Process/ Methodology Children can bring their dreams to life with a dress-up corner and inspiration wall! Zone 2: Drawing/ Planning/ Thinking Kids experiment with drafting tools and explore brainstorming processes during the initial stages of design. Zone 3: Applying/ Building/ Materiality Three free play activities are available for kids to collaborate and experiment and they can take their sketches they created in the previous zones and bring them to life! Daily themes will carry out through the summer and provide unique and fun activities designated for each day. […]

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  • Research at Pretend City

    Partnership with UCI My name is Ashley and I am a PhD student from UC Irvine currently studying Social Development. I, along with undergraduate research assistants, have been conducting a series of studies at Pretend City Children’s Museum for the past two years. We are investigating how children understand conflicts between individuals. A perfect example of this type of conflict is illustrated in the famous Dr. Suess story, The Zax. It begins: “One day, making tracks In the prairie of Prax, Came a North-Going Zax And a South-Going Zax. And it happened that both of them came to a place Where they bumped. There they stood. Foot to foot. Face to face. The story ends with the Zax stuck in their same position, refusing to budge.” In our study, we show infants and children a puppet show that is a lot like the Zax—one puppet wants to cross from left to right across the stage, and one wants to cross from right to left across the stage. However, in our puppet show the conflict is resolved—one of the puppets politely bows down and moves out of the way allowing the other puppet to reach its goal. Then, we present the […]

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  • Pretend City is a Finalist!

    Pretend City Children’s Museum named National Medal for Museum and Library Service Finalist #ShareYourStory on social media of how Pretend City has touched your life! The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in recognition of exceptional service to the community and for making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. We are honored to share that Pretend City Children’s Museum was named a finalist for the 2018 National Medal award.   This year’s finalists include public libraries and library systems; a statewide digital library; art, science, and children’s museums; and many other types of institutions that exemplify the great diversity of libraries and museums across the country.   This honor recognizes the contributions of our Good to Go programs and workshops, developmental screenings, and outreach to our underserved community. We are grateful for your continued support, and are honored to be recognized as a 2018 finalist.  “The 29 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored […]

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  • Gear up for our newest addition to Pretend City – The Rigamajig!

    We build better brains. That’s our mission. It’s at the core of every exhibit, educational program, and even in our dance parties. We are continuously creating innovative ways to inspire the youngest generation of movers, shakers, and doers in the community. We asked you to help bring the Rigamajig to Pretend City, and help you did! Now, are you ready to tinker and create? What is a Rigamajig you ask? The Rigamajig is an interactive building kit with specialized wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, and bolts that are all interchangeable and connectable. Picture a large-scale Lego set with pulleys, strings, wheels and builder boards. The possibilities of creations are as endless as your imagination. The Rigamajig aligns perfectly with Pretend City because it not only supports learning through play, but also enhances your child’s confidence and social skills. The set encourages children and grownups to play together and kids to make friends. Watch this quick video by KaBOOM!, creator of the Rigamajig, to see what it’s all about! “The Rigamajig is the exact type of activity that Pretend City is encouraging to address the vulnerabilities in social skills that have been identified in recent data relating to Kindergarten readiness (See […]

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Upcoming Events
  1. Talk Like a Pirate Day & Pirate Party!

    Wednesday, September 19 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  2. Young Storyteller’s Pirate Workshop – Be Who You Arrgh!

    Wednesday, September 19 @ 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm
  3. Author Days featuring Angie Flores

    Thursday, September 20 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
  4. The Music Room – New Interactive Musical Exhibit

    Friday, September 21 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  5. Musical Sensations, “The BeatBuds” and Orange County School of Arts Performing at Pretend City

    Friday, September 21 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm