It’s FREE, so you really have no excuse not to go.
I liken it to children’s museum featuring all the cool toys at your favorite locally-owned toy store that you can’t afford to buy…because you want them all.
What is KANEKO?
Good question. It’s not really a gallery, though they have rotating exhibits of various kinds (a few months ago, they had various textile exhibits including one with Hawaiian shirts). Pretty much, it’s a non-profit described as an open space for your mind, a place to explore and encourage the process of creativity.
Established in 1998 by international artist Jun Kaneko and his wife Ree, KANEKO has four major programming themes: Design, Ideas, Performance and Innovation.
To that end, in addition to exhibitions, KANEKO regularly hosts talks and events to spark creativity, as well as camps.
I hadn’t been to KANEKO except for a private event held by another organizations. Most of the exhibitions had something that appealed to me, but they were a stretch for me to think my kids would get much out of them just yet…so I hadn’t visited.
“Play” is designed to demonstrate the importance of play in all facets of life – exploring play at home, work, alone or with a group, for young, for old. It’s a big ol’ playground that on the surface looks like a lot of toys and kiddie things.
Dig a little deeper (or just read the signage) and you’ll learn about the science and philosophy of play, and how it’s different around the world. Research proves that play is vital in providing the mental, social, and physical foundations necessary for success and happiness.
It’s an understatement to say my kids loved it.
— Oh My! Turkey & Fixin’s (@OhMyOmaha) June 6, 2015
We went on a Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning they asked if we could go back. (We held off and went the following Saturday)
My son was drawn to the building activities.
They had blocks of all sizes.
He kept going back to different building stations.
I assumed all the blockers were going to be the highlight for him, but he said he enjoyed the mirrored triangle thingy the most.
What is that thing called, anyway?
My 3-year-old said she loved this horse and dinosaur the most.
Though the kid would not leave the kinetic sand alone.
And she liked standing on the tall blocks in the main hall. And she liked the stage. And the foam blocks.
She was all over the place.
You don’t need a kid to go to “Play.”
In fact, don’t, so you can play with what you want to play with instead of chasing around your excited kids. 🙂
You have to check out the rocket launchers on the second level.
Our whole family had fun playing with them.
The only downside to “Play” is the space is all concrete. My youngest bumped her head trying to lay on the foam blocks.
Dr. Stuart Brown
You might not be familiar with Dr. Stuart Brown, but if you ever murmured to yourself that your kids should spend more time playing than [insert annoying activity here], than you ought to be. He founded the National Institute of Play, dedicating to unlocking the human potential through play in all stages of life using science to discover all that play has to teach us about transforming our world.
The exhibit “Play” uses Dr. Stuart Brown’s philosophy and research as a foundation to get people talking about play and why it’s important. They do this through all the hands-on examples of play on display now (and ready for your family to play with). These examples are meant to show how play can enhance everyday life – in the home, classroom, office, and community.
If you go
Where: 1111 Jones St.
Hours: Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: FREE (donations are welcome)
Upcoming “Play” events
June 25, 7 p.m., Nebraska Loves Public Schools screening and panel
July 16, 7 to 9 p.m., Spielbound presents Social Board Game Night
July 30, 7 to 9 p.m, Spielbound presents Strategy Board Game Night
Aug. 6, “rePLAY”
August 11, 7 to 9 p.m., Spielbound presents Cooperative Board Game Night