Letter from the Director – February 2013

Dear Friends,

In this month’s Newsletter, you’ll see there is plenty of activity at CMEE in February, starting tomorrow with “Pizza and Pajama Night” and followed by our “Get Creative” and storytelling workshops, and winter vacation week programming.

In January, we were very happy to welcome our new Education Coordinator, Vanessa Geppert to the Museum. You can get to know more about her in the newsletter.

As CMEE continues to plan updates to our exhibitions, we’ve been discussing the challenge of making play at the Museum safe while also providing kids with the opportunities to take risks and test their abilities. While wanting to protect our children from any harm, we see their exhilaration and sense of accomplishment when they are able to successfully navigate what Psychology Professor Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter calls “risky play.” According to her, risk taking is a natural part of play and she has identified six categories for it:

  • Play at great heights where there is a danger of injury from falling
  • Play with high speed
  • Play with dangerous tools like a hammer or axe
  • Play near danger such as a cliff or fire
  • Rough-and-tumble play
  • Play where children can get lost or disappear

To what extent do you think risk taking should be incorporated into play at CMEE? Is there particular type of risky play that your children like to do? We’re eager to hear from you on CMEE’s Facebook page where you can also find a link to Sandseter’s article in Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood.

We hope to see you soon at CMEE!


Stephen Long
Executive Director