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 museum 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 www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org