What’s a Children’s Museum

A children’s museum is a place where kids can be kids. It’s a safe place to explore their world. The name “Exploratorium” reflects this purpose. Rather than a museum where we carefully preserve the old, children’s museums allow kids to:

  • Play as grown ups in environments just their size.

  • Create with a variety of materials from giant blue blocks to paint and clay.

  • Experiment with water or electricity.

  • Use their imaginations in limitless ways.

You can experience how many other Minnesota cities have accomplished this in St. PaulDuluthRochesterMankatoHutchinson and Grand Rapids. We look forward to adding St. Cloud to this list!

Something New! for Glen Palm and the St. Cloud Area

We are doing something new in central Minnesota! Opening a children’s museum is a large and complicated feat. It was begun several years ago with the dream of Glen Palm. 

Glen retired in 2013 from his position as chair of the Child and Family Studies department at St. Cloud State University where he spent his career teaching parenting education, supervising students, and writing about parent education and fatherhood. He is a longtime early childhood advocate in the St. Cloud Area. He originally founded Super Saturdays for dads and young children in District 742, a program that continues today. If you hear Glen joke that he “just got out of prison,” it is because of his important work with incarcerated fathers at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.

Through a children’s museum, Glen sees a chance to fill a need in the community for a safe place for children and families to practice 21st century skills such as creativity, problem solving, teamwork and resilience in a playful atmosphere. He also sees it as a community project that will unify people from diverse backgrounds throughout the St. Cloud area. Upon his retirement from SCSU, he set about tackling early tasks such as gathering a small team of dedicated volunteers, establishing a non-profit organization, orchestrating community studies, and outlining a business plan. The location search has taken some time, but now appears to be nearing completion.

With the finalization of a location will come a host of new challenges to be tackled. Glen and his growing team will approach each obstacle with the playful, creative spirit born in each of us in early childhood. The prospect of getting the whole community involved in creating a safe place for children to be children is exciting and energizing.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Great River Children’s Exploratorium blog! We will share news and updates about the progress of the museum, profile an important person involved in the project, and give you some background about the value of children’s museums. Thank you for checking us out.