Boston Children’s Museum & The Family Dinner Project Plan “Community Dinner” Event
Boston Children’s Museum and The Family Dinner Project, a national initiative based in Cambridge and one of The Good Project’s partner organizations, will co-host a public event dedicated to their mission of gathering families for food, fun and conversation about things that matter.
The picnic will take place on Friday, July 15, 2016 from 5:30-7:30pm, during the Museum’s recurring Target $1 Friday Night series. There is no additional charge for the dinner event.
Visitors will enjoy a self-directed menu of activities that explore how families can connect and grow together through play and dinner. Boston Children’s Museum will offer a number of stations on the theme of “Reading Together,” while The Family Dinner Project will enhance the picnic experience with activities and conversation starters to demonstrate how families can incorporate play and exploration to make shared mealtimes fun and rewarding. This event will be “BYOP”: families are encouraged to bring their own picnic dinners. No food will be provided.
The two organizations have been working together for a number of years to serve area families. Recently, the Museum incorporated mealtime-related themes into various exhibits as part of its health and wellness programming with guidance from The Family Dinner Project.
“We’re excited and grateful to Boston Children’s Museum for this opportunity to expand on our existing work together and spend some time with their wonderful families,” says Lynn Barendsen, Executive Director of The Family Dinner Project. “During this fun evening, we’ll be serving up some games, activities and conversation starters that families can bring home to their own tables.”
Abundant research over the past two decades shows the many meaningful benefits of regular family dinners: healthier eating habits, a lower risk of childhood obesity, stronger relationship satisfaction for parents, and even better vocabulary and early literacy skills. In fact, youngsters who have frequent family dinners have even stronger vocabularies and narrative skills — an important part of literacy and comprehension later in childhood — than those whose parents read aloud to them.
“Healthy eating and positive social-emotional development are both important focus points of the Museum. It’s been great to partner with The Family Dinner Project and organize this ‘Community Dinner’ event,” said Saki Iwamoto, Health and Wellness Educator. “We hope families are able to use this opportunity to take a little time to sit and eat together, learn about each other, and just have a good time!”
The Family Dinner Project, founded in 2010 is a growing movement of food, fun and conversation about things that matter. A non-profit organization operating from the offices of Project Zero at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, The Family Dinner Project’s goal is to help families of all kinds enjoy the social, emotional and health benefits of frequent and meaningful family meals. Basing their work on a growing body of research conducted over the past two decades, The Family Dinner Project has reached nearly half a million families so far through its free tools and resources, offered both online and through community-based events.
Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest, and one of the most influential, children’s museums in the world. For over 100 years it has been engaging children in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. The Museum’s exhibits and programs emphasize hands-on engagement and learning through experience, employing play as a tool to spark the inherent creativity, curiosity, and imagination of children. As one of the largest children’s museums in the world, Boston Children’s Museum also provides museum consulting services and creates award winning traveling exhibits, staff training curriculum, and exhibit kits for Museum professionals.