Stories from the Floor
Stories from the Floor is a way for our Discovery Guides to share their memorable experiences interacting with our visitors.
Community Outreach Guide
During the map collage project in Art Studio 10, a girl who was about 3 years-old was really enjoying cutting up the map pieces into little bits. I sat beside her and we both worked on our projects. Utilizing the open-ended practices of the Museum, I said to her, “I notice you really like to cut these up into smaller bits,” to which she exclaimed, “I’m cutting coupons!” I said, “Oh, what are you going to do with all these coupons?” She replied, “Buy things!” I asked what she would buy with her coupons and she said, “Everything!” Her mother found this quite amusing and said they cut out coupons together every Sunday night. Her mom then helped her make an envelope out of paper to put all of her coupons inside. Then multiple kids around us started cutting coupons as well.
Summer Discovery Guide
I led an impromptu Imaginary Sailing Adventure-type game in Lookout Cove with several friends, ranging from ages 4 – 8 years-old. We fought sharks, turned into mermaids, learned how to walk again and encountered several storms. One friend warned us about approaching whales, while another described a fearsome giant shark with crabs for eyes and a smaller shark for a mouth. Our adventures led us to the Crow’s Nest, Shipwreck, Bonnie Boat, and all over Lookout Cove! Eventually, as I was bidding my new friends goodbye, they led me to meet some mermaids who turned out to be their moms. It was a great example of child-directed imaginary play.
Visitor Experience Assistant
I was in Art Studio 10 the other day, talking to a boy and his older sister about the pirate ships they were creating. The young girl, around 7 years old, was telling me about this “swirly thing in the ocean” that the captain had to be able to get across. I asked her if there was a monster in the middle of that whirlpool and she declared, “Yes! A dragon.” She went on describing this sea dragon and afterwards she said that the captain had to find a way to make the dragon laugh in order to cross the whirlpool. I asked how he would do that and she said he would turn his hat into a clown and the clown would make the monster laugh. We then made the clown out of pipe cleaners and used long green string as hair. She said that will make the monster laugh for sure. I loved hearing about how we had to make the monster laugh, though. It was a very creative alternative to defeating the monster before crossing a treacherous path.
On Friday, I met a 3 year old girl named Brianna in Imagination Playground. Brianna was trying to build a house, so I asked to join her. We both began to stack big rectangular pieces to make the walls of the home. Soon we started to attract other kids and we all worked on the home. After this structure was built, Brianna thought of an interesting game to play. She brought back three orange balls to the house we built and then began to toss them into the holes in the block walls. She was outside of the house while I was inside. We played a game in where we had to guess which hole the ball was going to come through. It was very intriguing to watch her thought process and to see how quickly she caught onto how to guess where I would throw the ball. In the end, we had a lot of fun and I enjoyed experiencing a new way to play in Imagination Playground.