Above / All Aboard the DCM Express – Trains have rolled into DuPage Children’s Museum until June 14.

(Naperville, IL)… Now boarding the DCM Express! DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM) has created a mini pop-up experience featuring trains that will be stationed in the Museum for a limited time only. DCM Express is open now through Thurs., June 14.

It’s no secret that kids love trains. But what may not be as visible are the vast learning opportunities that take place within train play. Problem solving, creativity, imagination, spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, dexterity, and communication skills can all be practiced while playing with trains.

“An open play environment like DCM Express is where social skills are really galvanized. Children are learning about sharing, working together, negotiating, and conflict resolution – valuable lessons that help us negotiate the world we live in,” said Thomas Sullivan, Director of Education and Programs, DuPage Children’s Museum.

Caregivers can play a significant role in supporting the learning benefits of train play.

“Take some time to observe your child. You might be amazed by what they are capable of, what they know, what they want to know more about, and from that, where you can support their learning,” explained Alix Tonsgard, Early Learning Specialist, DuPage Children’s Museum.

Another way to support a child’s learning is to ask questions. Simple prompts can expand the learning experience. Caregivers can try questions like the following: What would happen if…? Where is your train going? What could you do differently?

Catch the train before it leaves the station!

Admission to DuPage Children’s Museum is $12 for adults and children age 1 and older, and $10 for seniors; it’s free for members and children less than one year. Check DCM’s website for more information at www.dupagechildrens.org.

Visit interactive ‘Parting the Prairie’ sculpture outside DuPage Children’s Museum

Since 2006, “Parting the Prairie” a Century Walk sculpture outside, has welcomed families to enter the DuPage Children’s museum.

As the sculpture story goes, “Children love trains and often watch them from the windows on the upper level directly behind this huge, kinetic sculpture which itself can also be viewed from those same windows. It uniquely portrays movement and progress, linking Naperville’s past with the future as an intriguing piece of history, engineering and art.

“Wheels at ground level activate the vividly colored steam engine’s piston and bell above the ‘cow catcher’ and also the children’s figures on the handcar. Meanwhile, breezes cause the aluminum and stainless steel prairie grasses to sway gently reflecting a ghost image of our original landscape. Ultimately, homage is paid to the many railroads that served our developing community continually since 1864.”

DuPage Children’s Museum

The Museum helps develop curiosity, creativity, thinking, and problem solving in young children through its mission: “DuPage Children’s Museum ignites the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration by integrating art, math, and science.” Interactive exhibits and programs make learning fun for children and adults playing together. DCM serves over 300,000 visitors annually representing all 50 states and 575 zip codes in Illinois. DCM’s reach and support represent well beyond the Chicagoland area. The Museum’s impact extends across cultural, financial, and educational boundaries. It touches the lives of children from all regions, providing the building blocks for success in school and life.

The Museum is located at 301 N. Washington Street in Naperville, www.dupagechildrens.org or call (630) 637-8000.