Thursday, December 26, 2019

Lots Of Kid Time

We went to the Cayton Children's Museum in the Santa Monica Mall.  It was crowded and noisy and I'd say that museum is a pretentious name for this indoor playground.

A recently refined definition of 'museum'  from the International Councils of Museums
"Museums are democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures. Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artefacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people.
Museums are not for profit. They are participatory and transparent, and work in active partnership with and for diverse communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of the world, aiming to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary wellbeing."
Well, that certainly sounds like a definition created by a committee.  I imagine that many of the great museums of the world wouldn't qualify as museums under that definition.  I think the intention is good, but I'd probably separate those things that have been traditionally considered the basic of a museum  "hold artifacts and specimens in trust for society" etc. as the broad definition.  Then I would have listed the aspirational democratic standards (not for profit, participatory, diverse, transparent, etc.) as qualifications for museums that want to be members of the International Council of Museums.

I didn't notice any artifacts and specimens in this museum, unless they were thinking of this as a museum of children's play spaces.  I didn't notice too much addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present.  OK, I don't want to belabor the point.

There were great net tunnels hanging from the ceiling with kids climbing through.  And other fun spaces to navigate, but it wasn't much more than a glorified playground.  I didn't see any conflicts between kids, they all seemed to have enough to keep them busy.  And there was a diverse array of people enjoying the play space.

I've got lots of pictures, but most have my grandkids in them and I don't post their images on the blog.  Here's a picture of my son and myself as rendered in some sort of electronic wall.  I'm on the left.

And the quietest room had low tables with water colors and papers.

Car seat rules make life much more difficult than it was when I was a kid.  Even when my kids were kids.  Some of us drove home and some of us took the bus which had a pretty direct route for us and the SF kids are very used to riding the bus and we had lots of fun.

The weather has been kind.  The two rainy periods this week were during the night.  It was another sunny day, though the temperature only got up into the low 50s.

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