Education & Development

  • Supporting a Child’s Emotional Development through Pretend Play

    Supporting a Child’s Emotional Development through Pretend Play Pretend City’s Play-Based Mission supports Health Emotional Development Pretend City Children’s Museum exists to support healthy child development through play-based learning. In our blog, we cite various scholarly articles that reveal the essential correlation between play and emotional learning.   According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Play is not frivolous; it enhances brain structure and function and promotes learning.” Play is fundamentally important for learning 21st-century skills, such as problem-solving, collaborating and creativity which are critical for adult success.  Emotional development is related to school readiness and adult success. Without the integration of age-appropriate play children, children are at risk for emotional issues such as tantrums, physical outbursts, social delays, and deregulation. Through fun parent-child play opportunities at the Museum, Pretend City educates caring adults and the community at large, about the critical importance of Play in healthy child development.  How does Play help Children Develop? Children need to develop various skills to optimize their development and manage toxic stress and negative emotions. Research demonstrates that developmentally appropriate play with parents and peers is a singular opportunity to promote the social-emotional, cognitive and self-regulation skills that build a prosocial brain.  When children properly develop their emotional competence, they are more likely to sustain learning. […]

    Continue reading
  • 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 […]

    Continue reading
  • Help Bring Music to Pretend City!

    Imagine your little one strumming on a guitar, banging on the drums and shaking the tambourine. Not only are they having a blast, but they are also learning while they play. Pretend City wants to provide that experience for you and your family where you can shake, rattle, and roll together! Our new music pop-up exhibit will feature a variety of large-scale percussion and stringed instruments for you and your little one. Music stimulates and awakens different parts of the brain, immersing the child in language and helping them develop memory while movement helps to develop their coordination. Music is a natural way for all children to express themselves and a great way to explore how sounds work. A wealth of scientific research over the last decade is proving that music education is a powerful tool for attaining children’s full intellectual, social, and creative potential. Research indicates the brain of a musician works differently than that of a non-musician due to an increase in neural activity. USC neuroscientists at The Brain and Creativity Institute confirm that music instruction accelerates brain development in young children. The areas of the brain most impacted are responsible for processing sound, language development, speech perception, […]

    Continue reading
  • Communicating With a Child on The Spectrum

    Communicating with a Child on the Autism Spectrum We all know and love a child on the spectrum, whether you are their parent, grandparent, relative, friend, or even neighbor. With that love is the desire to build a strong relationship with the child, but do we know how? Every month, we will highlight a different topic catered towards understanding and connecting with a child on the spectrum. This month, we are providing a few basic tips on communication between you and the little one! Communication is a vital piece in developing a better relationship with children on the spectrum. Proper communication allows you to understand their current emotions and respond appropriately. This month’s theme is all about helping you communicate at home, at the playground, and even in Pretend City! Our exhibits are ideal for practicing your communication skills in our self-contained and supportive spaces! We reached out to one of our community partners, the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, for a few tips on enhancing your communication with a child on the spectrum. Michelle L. Wahlquist, MS, CC-SLP, their Lead Speech-Language Pathologist is here to help! Communication Tips: Provide Face-to-Face Directions “Make sure you have [the] child’s undivided attention before you give a direction,” said […]

    Continue reading
  • A Taste of Italy with Pretend City

    Ciao! Pretend City would like to welcome our little visitors to our brand new Italian restaurant, La Trattoria Italiano! La Trattoria Italiano is a fully interactive restaurant exhibit where your child can immerse themselves in Italian cuisine and all that it’s got to offer. Come as a patron and watch your little tot play restaurant server by taking your order and sending it to “la cucina,” or the kitchen. The kitchen is fully stocked with assorted spices and ingredients for your child to play chef and get creative. What will they cook up? The menu offers a variety of authentic Italian cuisine with food your child can get messy with to create delectable dishes! Enjoy a delicious plate of spaghetti and meatballs or a nice afternoon Gelato! This meaningful play will teach children how to identify shapes and colors while learning about the food they put into their bodies. This exhibit displays rich Italian culture with images of Italian cities along the walls and popular food and art. Your child will also learn first-hand the responsibilities that come with a restaurant job from taking patrons’ orders as a server to cleaning up afterward as a busser. Utilizing different roles in […]

    Continue reading
1 2 3 4
Top