From Jan. 20 to April 25, 2017, families can take an overseas adventure without ever leaving their hometown as Kohl Children’s Museum hosts its latest temporary exhibit, “Children’s China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius,” opening just in time for Chinese New Year. The West meets the East in this immersive exhibit that transports families to a country where a quickly changing modern lifestyle intersects with ancient values. “Children’s China” integrates the time-honored teachings of Confucius with a focus on the importance of education and family values.
This interactive exhibit, designed for children as young as toddlers, explores what life is like for children in China today through six different immersive environments:
- The Great Achievement Hall: Guests can explore many cultural elements that originated in China, including Chinese musical instruments, the Chinese zodiacal calendar, and the art of folding paper lanterns.
- The Home: Visitors will learn how families celebrate the Chinese New Year.
- The Market: As food is an important component of Chinese culture, children will shop in a traditional Chinese neighborhood market filled with a variety of fish, fruits and vegetables.
- The School: Children will celebrate the annual holiday National Teachers’ Day while learning to write “Thank you, teacher” in Chinese characters on a touchscreen notepad.
- The Park: The entire family will find the fun in exercise by using playful equipment that encourages fitness for all ages.
- The Panda Reserve: Visitors will take on the role of a researcher at the panda reserve and discover how the people of China are caring for this endangered species.
A key focus of the exhibit will be the story of Confucius, the inspirational teacher and moral leader still considered to be a hero to children in China today. Confucius’ beliefs about the importance of family, education and traditions have been at the center of Chinese culture for more than 2,500 years and served as a foundation for the development of “Children’s China.”
During the exhibit’s three-month stay, the Museum will also host two Chinese citizens as docents four days a week to help families explore the interactives and answer questions about Chinese life. The docents will also demonstrate zither and ocarina music and lead daily Chinese dragon parades through the Museum.
“Children’s China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius” is part of the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series, funded by The Freeman Foundation and administered by Association of Children’s Museums. Created by The Magic House in St. Louis in partnership with the Confucius Institute at Webster University and Character Plus, “Children’s China” is a nationally traveling exhibit designed to increase understanding of the Chinese culture.