The Flint Children’s Museum believes that play is fundamental to children’s educational, physical, emotional, social development and well-being, and that all children deserve access to enriching play experiences. Because of this belief, we were founded and exist to offer safe, stimulating, and unique opportunities for playful learning, and to advocate for the importance of hands-on, exploratory play for the children of Flint and beyond.
- Helps children develop cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills through hands-on, developmentally appropriate learning experiences.
- Lights the spark of curiosity and discovery that inspires lifelong learning.
- Represents a unique multidisciplinary institution, as children’s museums are redefining how to teach the arts, humanities, and sciences in interactive and engaging ways.
- Is an environment where families connect in meaningful ways through educational play.
- Builds social capital, and encourages children to share their talents and points of view.
- Strengthens cultural awareness and diversity through the welcoming of all children and families, regardless of ability, background, belief, ethnicity or family structure.
- Provides community resources that educate and care for children especially where programs have been reduced or completely eliminated from schools and libraries due to budget constraints.
- Reduces economic barriers as a sought–after local and travel destination with discounted or free admission for low–income families.The
Flint Children’s Museum is supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are also sponsored by the Greater Flint Arts Council Share Art Genesee Grant Program made possible by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Enrichment Millage funds. Your tax dollars are at work!
In 1979, local educator Mary Newman began a mission to create a hands-on experiential learning center in her own community of Flint, Michigan. She was inspired, as we are today, by the research-backed belief that hands-on exploratory learning is an important component of early childhood educational development, and is the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
The first permanent site for that vision was established at the North Bank Center in downtown Flint, where the Flint Children’s Museum (“FCM”) operated for 7 years. Many parents of our current visitors share fond memories of this early location, making the FCM a proud host to generations of fun and learning in our community.
After several years of growth, the opportunity to relocate to the campus of Kettering University came in 1993. Since then, the FCM has become an integral part of the “University Avenue corridor,” connecting the campuses of Kettering University and the University of Michigan-Flint, where the FCM is a valuable educational and community asset.
Today, the FCM serves more than 40,000 children and families each year. Through the support of generous donors and community partners, the FCM provides unique educational experience to the youngest and most at-risk youth – and always attempting to expand our reach into the community to serve as many children as possible.
The last several years have seen even more demand for our exhibits and programs, as well as the development of Sproutside, our outdoor learning area. Child-curated gardens, outdoor science demonstrations, and lots of room for nature-based activities make Sproutside one of our most popular features. The FCM is especially proud that in 2013, Sproutside became one of only three Nature Explore-certified outdoor classrooms in the State of Michigan.
For 40 years, the FCM has enjoyed supporting the development of every child through hands-on learning experiences and is dedicated to continuing to serve as many children and families as possible.