Children’s Museum bringing families together through ‘connectivities boxes’

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – The Children’s Museum of South Dakota has an ‘out-of-the-box’ way of keeping families connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a year now, the museum has had the doors closed to its indoor exhibits. But that’s not stopping them from delivering a piece of the museum to families’ doorsteps.

“I’ve done these cards…” First grader Stella Books said.

While the pandemic is making many in KELOLAND feel boxed in, that isn’t stopping First grader Stella Books from reaching out to her friends.

“I’ve sent, ‘Live your dream’ to Tessa from Stella,” Books said.

She’s writing kindness cards, and she’s going to deliver them in class.

“I was really thinking of hiding Liv’s on her desk, Rooney’s on her desk, Conner’s in his coat pocket,” Books said.

She was inspired by something that she received from the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. It’s called a ‘Connectivities Box.’

“At the museum, we value relationships and making meaningful memories, and we understand in this past year that’s been more challenging as you may not be able to be with loved ones near and far,” Director of Education for the Children’s Museum of South Dakota Carrie Benson said.

Benson says this ‘museum in a box’ contains a mix of items from their gift shop and curated by their staff. Each monthly box will also contain a different theme: this month’s focuses on ‘reaching out.’

“Whether it’s sending a positive note like Stella was creating for her classmates or making a friendship bracelet and sharing it with a friend,” Benson said.

“It is kind of exhausting to come up with new ideas and new things, so it is so refreshing just to have the instructions, something fun,” Mother Keli Books said.

Stella’s mom Keli says she appreciates the educational values that come in the box.

“A lot of the museum staff, obviously… have their teaching degrees, have research in this area, so they really know what to put together,” Keli said.

Benson says when it comes to fun and education, they’re always working to deliver the goods.

​The next box will launch in April. This first box is their pilot one and they’ve only made 20. There’s about half of them left.

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