The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is helping families share a new kind of story time with little ones through a re-imagined Mini Masterpieces exhibit. These tiny house recreations are more than dollhouses — they are intricate works of art that inspire imaginations of all ages.
Peer through a window of time to see elaborate, hand-crafted pieces of furniture from long ago. Check out tiny books, lighting and other details made by artists and craftsmen who create the miniatures. Manipulate a large magnifying glass to get an up-close look at tiny characters. You will discover one of the rooms hides a secret, as a projection–style illusion makes the scene come to life with people magically moving around the room.
Explaining how craftsmen create these pieces can help children understand math and engineering concepts by talking about the scale of the lamps and books you saw in the exhibit. There are even tiny replicas of artifacts displayed in the miniature Carriage House of the Propylaeum (the original Children’s Museum circa 1925) to compare to an actual, life-sized object from the museum’s collection.
The historical and physical accuracies help families become storytellers together, by imagining what it would be like to live in these rooms with all the tiny treasures. By visiting Chateau Beaumont (a gift from the Fortune Family Foundation), you’ll see how one family prepared for their daughter’s wedding day. By using prompts like “Once upon a time…,” you’ll see how elements in the room spur story ideas. Kids and adults can take turns until they have created a complete story. Grandparents also might enjoy joining in the fun by adding a different perspective.
Kids and their grownups can take on the role of craftsmen and design their own miniature room with a touch-screen interactive and send it home via e-mail. Imagine their delight when they add a photo of themselves that pops up as a miniature portrait on the wall of one of the rooms.
Mini Masterpieces is now open at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The whole family will enjoy experiencing these masterpieces through the eyes of a child. You never know how far their imagination can take them … and you.