A year ago this April we opened the Children’s Museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the first children’s museum on a military installation. Our intention for the Museum is to support military-connected children and youth by providing military families a space for community building, decompression, and bonding through play.
Play is essential to a child’s mental, social, and emotional development. When children play together, they learn how to share, compromise, wait their turn, and handle conflict, which in turn deepens their understanding of their emotions and how to express them.
When caregivers intentionally make space in their routine to play with their children, it communicates to the child that they are being paid attention to and provides an alternate avenue for children to express emotions that might otherwise be difficult to convey.
At the Children’s Museum at JBLM, we are working intentionally to ensure that all military children and families have a space to escape the stressors of military life, reconnect with loved ones, learn about resources on and off base, and build confidence through play.
This month at the Children’s Museum at JBLM we are hosting activity sessions every Saturday for our Resiliency Challenge, designed to help school-age children of service members understand and navigate emotions related to military life. Our intention is that the Resiliency Challenge will bolster military children’s confidence in their ability to cope with stress and provide military caregivers an additional space to provide parental support.
We also have several prompts in the Studio at the Children’s Museum at JBLM to guide children in creative activities related to the strains of military life.
The Resiliency Challenge will culminate in a showcase of artworks created during activity sessions, which will be on display in the Program Room at the Museum from April 29 – May 2.
We will also be hosting activities for Kids Fest on April 30! Join us in front of the Museum for bubble and chalk experiences and in the Museum lobby for book making activities.
Over the last year our Museum has grown to become more than the playscapes it holds! We offer a variety of programming that supports children experiencing special needs, early learners, and military-connected children and youth. Hover over the boxes below to learn more about our current programs.