This post comes to you from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. We’ve had the opportunity to visit their space and participate in various workshops they offered prior to the pandemic and can’t recommend their family programing enough. We look forward to being able to go back one day and hope you will too!
When Covid closed our museums and our city, the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) had to develop a new plan for its weekend family workshops. It was imperative to keep the essence of programs the same: forming relationships, connecting with Smithsonian objects, and learning through play.
Fostering relationships is at the core of our work at SEEC. Young children learn better in a social context with trusted adults and peers. Moving to a digital platform makes this challenging, but not impossible. SEEC’s family workshops are limited to six families so that everyone has a chance to get to know each other and participate fully. Families will sign up for a four-week session on a topic, which allows for the deepening of relationships over time. In addition to the virtual classes, families will receive a video with activities in between each session to help continue discoveries.
While families are unable to physically visit the objects and artwork of the Smithsonian, SEEC’s virtual classes allow children to experience these objects in closer detail and at their own pace while at home. SEEC believes objects are powerful learning tools as they often bridge the gap between the familiar and the unfamiliar, opening up windows to new worlds. The virtual weekend classes will use objects to share stories and help children practice critical thinking skills.
Learning happens through action and SEEC’s virtual classes will be action packed and fun! The classes will encourage all types of active learning including dramatic play, movement games, singing, storytelling, sensory experiences, and more. Children will be laughing, playing, and exploring as they learn about all the Smithsonian has to offer.
SEEC has missed its family workshop participants over the last six months and are so excited to reconnect in this fashion! To learn more, please visit our website.