Illuminating critical thinking

Illuminating critical thinking

As May was the month signifying the BEginning, June is undoubtedly the month to BEloved. With the symbol of the painting “Il bacio” (the kiss) by Francesco Hayez, it is the right of everyone to love and be loved in all aspects of life. Such is the significance of the Museo dei Bambini Milano (MUBA), the children’s museum of Milan, where children are taught how to think critically rather than just given what to think. It is truly a devotion to the enhancement of the mind, body and soul for those who will define our future. 

Childrenshare is a cultural initiative dedicated to children and designed by EXPO Milano 2015 in collaboration with Fondazione MUBA Museo dei Bambini Milano: six months of recreational and education activities that will take place at the Rotonda di via Besana. Childrenshare is a project, which has been created through an international call for ideas. After receiving 125 projects from all around the world, 20 were chosen. Italy, Australia and Japan are some of the countries from which projects were chosen. 

The Childrenshare Tables is another exhibit for children to have a look into the world’s cuisine. A playful installation set with eight different tables from eight different countries, which was curated by MUBA to remain for the six months of EXPO. The eight different countries are: Russia, India, Japan, Morocco, The United States of America, Mexico, France and Italy. The purpose of the tables is to engage and show children the melting pot that cultural exchanges can create.

 

The Inventive Kitchen Table, curated by Ryan Sims

Ryan Sims is a multi-disciplinary artist from Adelaide, Australia. He works for the Art Gallery of South Austrailia where he creates workshops and events to enhance critical thinking. “The Inventive Kitchen Table” is his project, which has been chosen by MUBA for Childrenshare. The workshops for young children are based on creative challenges.

The purpose of the project is for children to create inventions that solve food related problems. Children are given a written request always starting with the word “design”. Example phrases include: design an invention for planting a vegetable garden in the desert, or design something that would make it possible to grow a plant in the desert. Additionally, collage activities are available for their inventions, which allow them to grow in any direction.

“I want the most magical creative outcomes from these children,” Ryan said.

With the inventive kitchen tables, there are no rules. Children can think the most outlandish things nurturing and enhancing their creativity. Project examples include, a gelato delivery machine and spaghetti that is delivered by bees. There are no limits for what children can create which allows for an open mind and new awareness.

It is all up to creativity. What Ryan hopes to accomplish from the workshops is, “Inventive thinking, thinking outside the square, thinking magical things and getting children excited about making about designing and coming up with creative ideas. It’s empowering for the children”.

 

Hungry to Learn: Polyglot Cooks

Another project through Childrenshare is “Hungry to Learn”. The cooking class was English pancakes with blueberries -“Frittelle ai mirtilli”. Kids can learn how to cook while learning English.

Hungry to learn was created by CreAcademy, a non-profit cultural organization. Founded by mothers who were eager to give their children the unique opportunity to learn a foreign language starting at an early age. Their aim is to provide learning in a natural and exciting way. Since 2013, CreAcademy has initiated the learning path for teaching English to children from 0 – 11 years old.

“Our aim for these 6 months is to try have here as many kids as we can. To let them play with smart and highly interesting and specific projects for them,” Testori said.

Many thanks to: Elisa Testori, Alessandra Bocchi, Ryan Sims, & MUBA

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