GoalThe goal of the creation of Oslo Children's Museum is to give children an inspiring place of their own that will help them develop their creative thinking, self-confidence and understanding of the world.
BackgroundThis project was inspired by a mother's experience in a children's museum outside of Norway in 2003. In April 2005, the project began after much research and conversations with Oslo parents, teachers and leaders gave a clear indication that there is a need for a place which would:
- offer enriching and fun cultural activities year-round for children
- challenge children through diverse experiences and inspire their creativity
- build bridges between children and families with different backgrounds
What is a children's museum?A children's museum is a colorful, exciting environment with hands-on activities designed to inspire active, educational play for children and their families.
It is a non-profit institution full of energy and educational experiences for children. Parents participate together with their children for mutual enjoyment and benefit. Together, for example, they can explore a child-sized town, dig up dinosaur bones or try on the skis of an Olympic skier.
Instead of being part of a larger museum for adults, a children's museum is its own institution specially designed for young children of all backgrounds and abilities. It is an inspiring, fun place that helps children develop their creative thinking, self-confidence and understanding of the world.
Why Oslo?The diversity of Oslo's children's population is increasing. At the same time, the total number of children is increasing. There are now 90,000 children under age 13 in Oslo which equates to 15% of the population, and the birthrate is rising. With Akershus included, there are more than 185,000 children under age 13 in the immediate area.
Oslo has a need for cultural offerings that can build bridges between various groups of children to ensure a positive, united future for the city. Oslo's children have a need for a place where they can investigate the world and develop a sense of belonging though play - their natural method of learning. Many countries in the world have chosen to meet these needs with a children's museum.
We believe it's time that we had a local children's museum for the enjoyment and benefit of our growing children's population.
The benefits of a children's museum are far-reaching
For children and their families:
- Inspire young children's interest for learning
- Strengthen the family bond away from life's daily distractions
- Offer a place where all children and their families feel a sense of belonging regardless of cultural background, ability or other factors (there are no language or learning barriers)
For schools/daycare and other educational bodies:
- Be a resource through specially developed visitor programs
- Offer a "no-fail" environment where children can test and build upon what they have learned at home and in school
- Contribute to a positive learning culture
For Oslo and the Norwegian community:
- Increase Oslo's attractiveness as a tourist destination
(children's museums are sought-after destinations for tourist families)
- Stimulate interest and participation in children's programs throughout Norway
- Bring families with different backgrounds together for shared experiences which build bridges between different groups