• What changes has Explore Children's Museum had to make due to the Covid-19 global pandemic?

    Explore Children’s Museums Board of Directors primary concern is that our community stays safe and healthy. As a group we have had difficult discussions and have worked to be flexible with our expectations. While the Board has changed the trajectory of our plans, we are still working to bring a fantastic children’s museum to Sun Prairie. The biggest change has been the cancellation of the 2020 KidsFest and the elimination of our school and community traveling exhibits that were set to launch in the fall of 2020. Our Board is closely monitoring social gathering guidelines to determine whether or not we have to change, postpone or cancel events planned in the summer and fall of 2020. In response to the changes, the Board of Directors has been working diligently to make plans for museum awareness campaigns and fundraising activities in 2020 that are safe and follow social gathering guidelines.

    When will there be a building location for the museum?

    There is no building location at this time. Fundraising efforts have begun; please visit the Programs & Events tab and Donate tab to learn more. Explore CM has been actively searching Sun Prairie for the right location, with our goals of visibility and accessibility in mind. ECM is collaborating with the City of Sun Prairie to select a location, as well as consulting with an architect, construction team and children’s museum exhibit design/fabrication companies to establish timelines and budgets. Our goal is to begin work on a physical building in 2021.

    Why have another children’s museum so close to Madison Children’s Museum?

    The goal of ECM is to establish an educational institution as a complement to all the other great institutions already in existence, including schools and other children’s museums. Children’s museums are places for families to spend time together while children develop existing passions and discover new ones. Our goal in opening a children’s museum is to expand educational opportunities for the children of Sun Prairie and the surrounding communities; to create hands-on, informal learning opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, problem solving skills and communication skills; to encourage kids to develop and discover their passions; to stimulate curiosity and motivate learning; to provide opportunities for purposeful play and collaboration; and to enhance community engagement, exploration, and enjoyment. If children’s museums can do all of this, then the question really becomes why aren’t there children’s museums in every city?

    If I donate what will my money be used for?

    All money donated is directly deposited into a non-profit business bank account at the Bank of Sun Prairie. Donations are only used to cover costs associated with museum activities. Currently the costs are: marketing materials and awareness campaign materials to circulate information about Explore Children’s Museum, the cost of establishing and maintaining ECM’s internet presence, and expenses related to advertising for and hosting events. As we finalize a museum building location, funds will be used to cover costs associated with the planning, development and construction of the museum building and permanent exhibits.

    Why would I choose to visit the museum often?

    Explore Children’s Museum will offer a variety of hands-on, interactive exhibits of meaningful content so that children take an active role in the learning process. While there will be established exhibits, there will also be many exhibits that change to offer new experiences for visitors. Once the museum has an established permanent location, ECM will offer programming and classes. ECM is a partner in the education of the whole child supporting school readiness and enhancing educational standards.

    Why have a children’s museum in Sun Prairie?

    Sun Prairie and the surrounding communities are growing quickly, and many of the incoming residents are young families. The Sun Prairie Area School district alone has about 500 incoming kindergarteners every year. Early childhood resources are crucial as 6,000 babies are born in Dane County every year. Parents and caregivers can access museum resources during the hours that work for a variety of schedules. ECM will be a community hub, a place for families and caregivers to share time with their children through meaningful play, exploration and engagement. ECM provides opportunities for parents and caregivers to connect with the special children in their lives, encourages participation in purposeful play and promotes lifelong learning skills for all.

    Where can I find the most updated information on Explore Children's Museum happenings?

    The Board of Directors are working every day to move progress on Explore Children’s Museum forward. We share updated information on events, awareness campaigns and development of the museum building and exhibits in our monthly newsletter. You can sign up for ECM’s monthly newsletter through the website. ECM also provides updated information on our website and social media pages. We value community connections and enjoy hearing from people who are interested in learning more about bringing a new children’s museum to Dane County.

    I still have questions.

    We’ll do our best to answer them!