Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Boxcar Children opens at TCMU!

The newest exhibit at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate opens today! The Boxcar Children is an exhibit designed around the book series written by Gertrude Chandler Warner, and has come to the Upstate to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the books as well as the new animated feature film release.

“The Boxcar Children book series tells the story of four orphaned children in the late 1920s who create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. The children eventually meet their wealthy grandfather and decide to live with him, as the book series continues to highlight their many adventures. The exhibit simulates many settings found in the first book of the series. As children play in the exhibit, they will also explore the familiar themes of literacy, family values, resourcefulness, and empathy that The Boxcar Children books are so well-known for.” (source here)

This exhibit was specially designed for The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (TCMU), and will be at the museum for 6 months. The nearly life-size boxcar was hidden away in the basement as it was being built, but is now displayed and filled with props that the children used to make their own home in the book.

The bakery next door also contains items and furniture from the story, and allows visitors to work behind the counter or sweeping up. They can put on a chef’s hat, or just peer in through the window like Benny did in the book.

In Dr. Moore’s House children can clean and sort through the tools in the garage, or head inside where there is a kitchen for cooking cherry dumpling as well as the bedroom where Violet recuperated when she was sick. Meanwhile in the “outdoor” area of the exhibit (also Dr. Moore’s in the book), there is a vegetable garden and campfire.

What the children most enjoyed was that they could wander through the story at will; for example pick vegetables and then take them to the campfire to make soup, or after buying cookies from the bakery they could return to the boxcar for a play snack while they read a book. We will be returning for more play in the boxcar, and I foresee heightened interest in the Boxcar Children book series in the near future.

For more information on hours of operation and admission info, please visit the TCMU website.

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