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Imagine Children’s Museum helps children embrace failure with “Beautiful Oops Day”

EVERETT, WA — No one likes to fail. But failure can lead to positive learning experiences. In fact, making mistakes, coping with unexpected setbacks, and moving past failure are important in child development, as they help children develop crucial problem-solving skills and emotional resilience.

After all, one acronym for FAIL is “First Attempt in Learning.”

That’s why Imagine Children’s Museum is hosting what it calls a Beautiful Oops Day on Saturday, May 13. Drawing inspiration from a bestselling children’s book by Barney Saltzberg, Beautiful Oops Day invites children and families to celebrate mistakes as part of developing a growth mindset. Special guest Barney Saltzberg will be at the Museum to lead a fun, interactive experience for children and families to experiment, laugh and connect through play.

The Museum’s monthly i-engineers program will also showcase computer science and robotics. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet members of local high school robotics teams, including two teams who took part in the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships in April. The teams will show off their competition robots and allow visitors to see them in action. Visitors will also be able to try their own hand at controlling and writing code for kid-friendly robots.

As with every science and engineering field, making mistakes when working with computers and robots is an important part of the discovery process. Imagine’s robotics activities create an environment where mistakes are not only acceptable but encouraged. Observing the results when robots receive “wrong” instructions can lead to a deeper understanding of the robots’ capabilities.

All Museum activities during Beautiful Oops Day are free with Museum admission or membership.

When: Saturday, May 13

  • 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. i-engineers: A chance to meet local high school robotics teams, see competition robots in action, and controlling and writing code for kid-friendly robots (in the 3rd floor auditorium)
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – A spontaneous, highly-interactive, and lively event with children’s book author Barney Saltzberg in the Lodge, including music and art, followed by a chance to meet the author (in the Lodge)
  • 9:00 – 4:00 – All day creative art activities (in the Art Hangout)

Who: Children ages 1-12 and their families

Where: Imagine Children’s Museum, 1502 Wall Street, Downtown Everett

By making space for small failures now, Imagine Children’s Museum hopes to teach children the skills to cope with challenging situations later.

“Neuroscience shows us that when children make mistakes, and learn from them, they’re developing powerful connections in their brain that will help them be more resilient in the future,” said Imagine Children’s Museum Executive Director Nancy Johnson. “As a children’s museum, we can provide a safe space for children to learn from failures as they experiment, innovate, and create through play.

In October 2022, the Museum doubled in size when it opened two new floors of state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits to inspire a lifelong love of learning through play. The new exhibits showcase the Pacific Northwest, Puget Sound, and the Port of Everett. 

“With more space, we can offer a physically and emotionally safe space to families from all walks of life to playfully learn together,” said Johnson. “Through partnerships, Imagine is a hub of inclusion, equity and quality of life in our community, where children and adults can play together while developing the 21st-century learning skills needed in future careers.”

About Imagine Children’s Museum
With a mission to enrich children’s lives through playful learning, Imagine Children’s Museum is a nonprofit organization serving children ages 1-12 and their families. Incorporated in 1991, it has long received grassroots, community support to become an integral resource for children, families, schools, youth organizations and social service agencies in Snohomish County and beyond. In 2017 Imagine achieved American Alliance of Museums accreditation, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums, becoming first accredited children’s museum in the Pacific Northwest.

About Barney Saltzberg
Children’s book author and illustrator Barney Saltzberg travels the world talking about creativity and where ideas come from. Barney is passionate about working with children, parents, teachers, organizations on the art of making mistakes and finding play and creativity in our everyday lives. His books have won numerous awards, including NAPPA Gold Awards, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Starred Reviews. Philanthropist Melinda Gates recently named Beautiful Oops as one of the top three books every child should read.

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