If you want to develop the next generation of professionals or hobbyists in any career or interest area, providing a hands-on experience at a level your audience can understand is the perfect introduction. At MY Museum, that audience is kids – from toddlers on up – and their parents.
MY Museum, the Monterey County Youth Museum www.mymuseum.org is a hands-on play space with a purpose. Its displays or ‘galleries’ include a ‘drive-it’ ambulance and hospital with surgery, x-ray and nursery activities; a beach experience with a climb-in boat;a theatre with dressing room, make-up lights, curtained stage and video monitor; a school; a farm field with a John Deere tractor, vacuum production tubing and market-to-table stand; a house under construction; and a golf display called, ‘Go-Fore Golf.’
The MY ‘Go-Fore Golf’ space is presented by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, with support from the Benjamin and Drummond families and Pebble Beach Company Foundation. It consists of a couple of putting holes, plastic clubs and rubber golf balls, and a golf cart for kids to jump into and pretend to drive or ride. Little wooden gophers bring attention to the holes.
In addition, the most adventurous are invited to explore the gofer tunnels below the greens “to learn about the creatures that share the fairways.” Carl Spackler (Bill Murray’s character in the movie Caddy Shack) would be impressed!
Primarily targeted at children, age 4 to 8, the goals of the ‘Go-Fore Golf’ gallery are to:
- Strengthen hand-eye coordination with putting
- Encourage social negotiation and teamwork through cooperative play
- Develop gross motor skills by swinging, walking and other forms of movement
- Learn about the game of golf
Hooray! What better way to give kids who may not set foot onto a golf course until much later in life a feel for what the game is about? Clearly, the golf cart is the fun centerpiece, and the tunnels are intriguing if you’re pint-sized, but the fact that this relatively small play space is putting golf clubs and balls into kids’ hands with a sense of purpose is fantastic. In addition, the children’s parents, grandparents and older siblings are right in there with them – giving things a try, assisting the kids and/or playing right along with them.
Hats off to the museum’s creators and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and its supporters for making the ‘Go-Fore Golf’ gallery happen.
The 8,500-square-foot hands-on MY Museum was developed in 1997 and moved to its current location, at 425 Washington Street, in 2008. Over the past decade, it’s had more than 250,000 guests.
That’s a lot of potential golfers.