Smithsonian Discoveries Gives Children in Bright Horizons Classrooms the Opportunity to Experience Museum Learning

child playing at table

October 28, 2021 – Since its launch last year, Smithsonian Discoveries, the collaboration between Bright Horizons and the Smithsonian®, has given children in Bright Horizons’ toddler, preschool, and kindergarten prep classrooms the opportunity to experience the benefits of museum learning. 

The collaboration includes four Discoveries: Collections, Music and Sound, Buildings and Construction, and Self-Identity. Each one of the Discoveries is set up as a project challenge that uses artifacts and resources from the Smithsonian®. The artifacts were selected to stimulate exploration, imagination, and conversation and help the children explore their world and broader culture and communities, all in a hands-on innovative way. 

The first Discoveries project challenge, Collections, was introduced to Bright Horizons classrooms nationwide in early 2021. Through Collections, children explore various artifacts including items in nature and favorite treasures — all selected to inspire curiosity. At the River School Newport, a Bright Horizons School in Jersey City, New Jersey, children in the young preschool classroom explored collections found in nature like pinecones and seashells. 

The second Discoveries project challenge, Music and Sound, launched in spring 2021. Music and Sound gives children the chance to experience the world of acoustics — from famous instruments to unique noisemakers. At Bright Horizons at Mount Prospect in Mount Prospect, IL, a teacher brought in her harp and flute for the children to watch her play, hear the different sounds the instruments make and explore how they feel. 

In the fall of 2021, the third Discoveries project challenge, Buildings and Construction, started. Buildings and Construction encourages children to explore architecture and construction. Children used artifact images of blueprints, buildings, construction machinery, and staircases to explore different structures. The kindergarten prep classroom at Titusville Child Development Center in Titusville, NJ spent time talking about blueprints and structures and if they would rather build an office building or a car. 

The final Discoveries challenge, Self-Identity is set to launch in Bright Horizons classrooms in late fall 2021. 

To learn more about Bright Horizons early education and preschool curriculum, visit here