Celebrating imagination

Learning Team 16 Mar 2024

This month our theme is IMAGINATION. We’ll dance like banana stuffed scarecrows, read books about eating fluffy clouds, and make wacky mobile monster mates during crafter-noon. As always, all these activities will run all day, every day, and are all included with Free Play tickets.

But why is imagination so important to nurture? MoPA Team Member, Kim, explains.

“Picture a world where anything is possible—a world where dragons roam, castles float among the clouds, and ordinary objects transform into magical treasures. This is the realm of imagination, a boundless playground where children explore, create, and dream without limits.

Imagination isn’t just child’s play; it’s a vital skill that lays the foundation for a lifetime of learning, innovation, and empathy. When children engage their imaginations, they’re not just escaping reality; they’re actively constructing new worlds, solving problems, and flexing their creative muscles.

In the realm of imagination, children become architects of their own destinies, navigating imaginary landscapes, and experimenting with endless possibilities. Whether they’re inventing fantastical stories, building elaborate forts, or crafting imaginary friends, imagination opens doors to exploration and self-discovery.

But imagination is more than just make-believe; it’s a powerful tool for developing essential life skills. Through imaginative play, children learn to think critically, solve problems, and adapt to new situations. They learn to see the world from different perspectives, fostering empathy and understanding for others.

Moreover, imagination is the birthplace of innovation and creativity—the driving forces behind progress and change. When children dare to dream, they become inventors, artists, and visionaries, shaping the world around them with their ideas and aspirations.

Nurturing imagination isn’t just about encouraging flights of fancy; it’s about fostering a sense of wonder and possibility in every aspect of life. Whether it’s through storytelling, art, or open-ended play, parents can cultivate a rich imaginative landscape where their children can explore, create, and thrive.

In a world that’s constantly evolving, imagination is the compass that guides us forward, inspiring us to dream big, reach for the stars, and imagine the impossible. So let’s celebrate the power of imagination and encourage our children to embrace the magic of their own imaginations, for it’s through their dreams that the future is born.”

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Hey Northsiders, guess what? MoPA is coming to Thomastown!

Over one million Melburnians have access to Thomastown in under 20-minutes, and so when this BEAUTIFUL building at 391 Settlement Road became available it was an absolute no-brainer that we secure it for Melbourne’s newest Children’s Museum.

We love love LOVE that this building is rich in heritage and artful history. It was originally a pottery studio, built in 1923, and home to potters from all over the world for more than 50-years. And now, this beautiful big building will be re-imagined as Melbourne’s newest Children’s Museum, jam-packed with immersive learning experiences, but also dance, theatre, storytelling, craft, art, and more, all designed to support the Early Years Learning Framework and Victorian Curriculum.

Tag your northside BFFs and start planning your playdates, excursions and parties. We expect to be ready to open in mid Spring of 2024 and will keep you posted with progress updates. xx 🌈🎨🧑‍🎨❤️
OK… So, this is happening (again!)

Details soon… 🌈🎨🔨🪚🧑‍🎨🖼️
“Our Earth” starts tomorrow at MoPA!!

Understanding ‘our place in this world’ is a lifelong journey for most. But SO many of the most important lessons are learned early in our lives, at home. To help facilitate the important conversations to have with children, MoPA’s educators have developed a range of new activities called “Our Earth” and this new series starts tomorrow at MoPA. All the new activities run all day, every day. Visit our fancy new website for more detail.

But ALSO, as a reminder of how easy it can be to make a difference, we’ve put together...

🌈 A BIG LIST OF SMALL THINGS (THAT ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE) ☀️…

1. Ride your bike or scooter
2. Plant some veggies
3. Buy second hand or swap with friends
4. Cook at home
5. Eat more vegetables and less meat
6. Organise a community clean up
7. Save water
8. Buy less packaged products
9. Recycle
10. Turn off the lights
11. Use a blanket instead of the heater
12. Clean with natural products
13. But the imperfect produce
14. Mend it instead of replacing it
15. Air dry your washed clothes
16. Compost organic waste
17. Refill water bottles
18. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
19. Carpool
20. Eat left overs instead of throwing them out
21. Use energy efficient lights
22. Use both sides of the paper
23. Plant a tree
24. Eat seasonal produce
25. Recycle batteries and buy rechargeable
26. Walk more
27. Make a bird feeder
28. Plant flowers for the bees
29. Buy less plastic toys
30. Up-cycle for craft projects
31. Donate old clothes and toys
32. Visit the library instead of buying a book
33. Plant native plants
34. Organise a toy trade with friends
35. Use reusable bags
36. Keep your cat indoors
37. Clean up your favourite park
38. Have a quick shower
39. Use cold water to wash clothes and dishes
40. Water your plants in the morning
41. Use a reusable coffee cup
42. Only run the dishwasher when full
43. Install slow-flow shower heads
44. Use reusable straws
45. Use Beeswax wrap
46. Avoid aerosol cans
47. Use fans instead of aircon
48. Turn off unnecessary electronics
49. Pack lunches in reusable containers
50. Be kind to creatures
What does yellow SMELL like? Ok, but what does it SOUND like? And how does it FEEL?

Asking children abstract questions about simple subject matter is SUCH a fun and fascinating way to unlock creative thinking. The resulting discussions will also probably be the cutest thing you’ll hear all week. 

Those that have explored the giant sensory colour wheel at MoPA Sandringham will remember that this exhibit is a huge abstract exploration of colour. And if you’ve perhaps just walked past it in the past, thinking that it sits smack bang in the centre of the Museum just because it’s beautiful - next time we suggest you pause, engage, discuss your colourful ideas with those around you, and soak up your child’s amazing abstract thought exploration…

x MoPA
As we grow older, and then become mothers and fathers ourselves, we start to realise that communicating the depth of our gratitude for Mums is impossible. But we sure can try 🥰 !!

This week at MoPA, we plan to do our BEST to show all our mothers and others just how much we love and appreciate them. Starting Monday 6th we’re kicking off a full week of festivities starting with the most gorgeous crafter-noons (and crafter-mornings!? 😅) making thousands of the lil’ flower cards pictured here in this post. 

All our Mumma-focused curriculum will run ALL day EVERY day, right up until Mother’s Day, May 12th. 

Love you Mum 💝 

x MoPA
There ain’t nothin’ like a super-cute puppy post to get us all to paws and reflect... 🐾

One of MoPA’s key partners, MacKillop Family Services, do LOTS of AMAZING work to ensure every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe and loving home. One beautiful example [that’s particularly close to home for the team here at MoPA] of their work is the incredible “Paw Pals” program; supporting the placement of therapy dogs with children who have experienced trauma, to help them reconnect with their learning. 

Some of the MoPA team actually had the pleasure of meeting one of the program’s participants recently and... WOW. This. Program. Changes. Lives.

And today - 30 April, 2024 - MacKillop’s matching partners are TRIPLING all donations to the annual #pawpalsappeal . So, a $10 donation will become $30; $100 becomes $300, and the $333 donation MoPA has made this morning has become $999 - WOOP! 

Head to www.pawpalsappeal.org.au before midnight tonight to TRIPLE your impact ❤️
WE. LOVE. TO. PARTY 🥳 

Fully hosted, cupcaked, ballooned birthday parties are our thang!! 

Oh… And personalised exhibits, private rooms, party bags, children’s food packs, all dietaries catered, gourmet adult platters, family dance parties, coffee tabs, bubbles and beers, and SMASHINGS of fun!!! 

All parties book out roughly 8-weeks in advance. Give us a buzz if you have any questions!! xx MoPA
(Sound on) John Cleese: “Creativity is not a talent… It is a way of operating” ❤️ 

Right now at MoPA we’re curating self-expression and operating a brand new craft activity that, with the help of shape, material, and colour, challenges us to place and create a thumbprint that, although made of the very same foundations as all others, celebrates our unique perspective. Serious fun. But also serious 🧐😍🤪… FUN!