The Akron Children’s Museum was founded by a small group of young parents who, after visiting numerous children’s museums throughout the U.S. and querying their peers, determined that such an institution was indeed needed, and could serve Akron and the surrounding region well with Akron-centric, unique experiences. Their plans were set in motion in 2012 and 2013, when the founding board commissioned feasibility and market studies. In 2014 ACM received its nonprofit status from the IRS, added new board members and began fundraising to realize the vision. In 2015, a partnership with The City of Akron was forged with ACM’s Holiday Pop-Up Site at Lock 3 -- and the rest will soon be history!
What is a children’s museum?
Children’s museums are places where children learn through play and exploration in environments created JUST FOR THEM.
Reflecting their diverse communities, children’s museums create playful, interactive learning experiences. In an increasingly complex world, children’s museums provide a place where kids and their families can experience learning and playing together.
More and more families visit children's museums each year for the unique, face-to-face fun, enlightenment and shared experiences not available at other attractions. Children’s museums also contribute to the local economy and, in ACM’s case, also support efforts to continue the renaissance of our downtown area through addition of more safe, inspired and accessible family activities.
Why are they so important today?
The value of free play – an activity providing the means to no specific or required ends that is self-chosen, self-directed, imaginative and fun – is an increasingly popular discussion, as experts review the impact of increased standardized testing on developing young minds.
In his observational research for Raising Can-do Kids, Richard Rende, Ph.D. notes the high levels of engagement in educational activities that children display at children’s museums, where they are able to individually explore their environment without strict adult instruction. “You don’t need to ‘make’ a kid do something they are wired to do, but unfortunately you can squelch those instincts with too much structure and critique,” he writes. For the full article, visit: