Healthyville® Is Coming to Boston Children’s Museum

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Nationally touring exhibit on health and wellness opens in Boston on May 23

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This exhibit will encourage families to learn the importance of taking care of the body and mind they have and will stimulate curiosity to learn more about what healthy means.

Children’s health matters. Not only is it a topic of vital importance for parents and families, but it is a critical issue for the short- and long-term health of our community as well. As children’s early experiences help shape their lifelong habits and views on health and well-being, it is crucial to introduce and promote key health messages to them today. Healthyville, a nationally touring exhibit created by Stepping Stones Museum for Children, delivers those important health and wellness lessons to children and families in a fun, play-based manner. This is a primary reason why Boston Children’s Museum is excited to host Healthyville from May 23 through September 7.

Healthyville is a place for everybody. This bilingual (English/Spanish), interactive exhibit teaches health and wellness lessons through play-filled activities and educational messages that foster learning by doing. Designed primarily for children ages 5 – 12 and their parents, caregivers and teachers, Healthyville provides visitors with hands-on opportunities to explore health topics in ways that help them understand their bodies, the importance of making healthy choices and how to apply these concepts in everyday situations. Healthyville features engaging content about how the body works and the effects of our positive or negative health choices.

“By making healthy life choices, you can build a solid foundation for personal well-being. The value of these choices has long-term effects that carry throughout your lifespan," said Saki Iwamoto, Health & Wellness Educator. “This exhibit will encourage families to learn the importance of taking care of the body and mind they have and will stimulate curiosity to learn more about what healthy means.”

The young “residents” of Healthyville present fun facts about nutrition, fitness, safety, hygiene and the functions of the body. Meanwhile, Boston Children’s Museum’s visitors can explore how different activities affect heart rate, scan a variety of foods for nutrition facts, play sugar or salt detective and ride a bike or row a boat alongside a skeleton. Children can take a look at particle-trapping hairs and boogers inside a giant nose, learn why it’s important to cover the nose during a sneeze, brush and floss teeth inside a giant mouth, get moving on the fitness trail, balance their energy in with their energy out, choose the proper safety equipment and much, much more!

According to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, nearly 1 in 3 children in the United States today is overweight or obese. The Alliance states that this current generation could be the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents. To address this growing public health concern and to encourage healthy living and smart choices around nutrition, fitness, hygiene and safety, Stepping Stones Museum for Children launched the Healthyville traveling exhibit at its Norwalk, Connecticut, location in February 2014. The exhibit was hosted at Stepping Stones before departing on a multi-year tour that will take it to leading children’s museums across the nation through the Youth Museum Exhibit Collaborative. Healthyville will travel to Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito, CA), Boston Children’s Museum (Boston, MA), Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose (San Jose, CA), Minnesota Children’s Museum (St Paul, MN) and Long Island Children’s Museum (Garden City, NY).

“Healthyville grew out of the knowledge that early intervention and prevention are critical for establishing healthy lifestyles,” said Rhonda Kiest, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stepping Stones Museum for Children. “This exhibit is an important aspect of our work to support the growth of healthy children and healthy communities. Healthyville has been an extremely popular exhibit at Stepping Stones, and we are thrilled to provide this experience to the many people who will interact with the exhibit as it tours the United States.”

In developing the Healthyville traveling exhibit, Stepping Stones worked in partnership with many community organizations and advisors, including the Bright Bodies Program at Yale School of Medicine, the Norwalk Health Department, Norwalk Hospital, Grade A ShopRite, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, the Yale School of Public Health, the Yale School of Medicine and Whole Foods Market.

Healthyville will be at Boston Children’s Museum through September 7, 2015. For additional information, visit http://www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org

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About Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Conn., is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501(c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. Located on five acres in Mathews Park, the LEED Gold certified museum encompasses five hands-on galleries, a state-of-the-art Multimedia Gallery, a Family and Teacher Resource Center, cafe and retail store. To learn more, visit http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org or call (203) 899-0606.

About Boston Children's Museum
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. More information about Boston Children’s Museum can be found at http://www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org. Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Hours and Admission
The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Fridays until 9:00 p.m. Adults, $14; children (1-15) and senior citizens, $14; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free. Fridays 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., all visitors $1.

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Jo-Anne Baxter
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