A Peoria Park District Facility

School & Educator Resources

“The bits I most remember about my school days are those that took place outside the classroom, as we were taken on countless theatre visits and trips to places of interest.”

-Alan Bennett, playwright

Field Trips

The Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum welcomes visits from non-profit or educational groups. Groups may choose one of four visit options: PlayHouse Adventure, the Field Guide Program, the Spotlight Program, or the Explore/Challenge/Become Program.

A 5:1 student to adult ratio is required for all field trips. In order to receive the best PlayHouse field trip experience, we recommend that each group is limited to 30 students. Please call for more information if interested in bringing larger groups.

PlayHouse Map

Map of Glen Oak Park

Coming soon - Orientation video to share with students!

VISIT OPTIONS:

PlayHouse Adventure

Up to 2 Hours; $3 per student or adult

Sometimes groups just need some time to enjoy playing at the PlayHouse. Perfect for camp or after school groups, this option includes a brief welcome by a staff member and a place for students to leave coats and lunches. The entire time, up to 2 hours, is spent in the PlayHouse exhibits, under the supervision of chaperones.

Related Resources for Teachers: 

PlayHouse Adventure: Letter to Chaperones

PlayHouse Adventure: Letter to Parents

Post-Visit Lesson: Letter to Parent from Kids

Field Guide Program

(Available only during the school year)

90-120 minutes; $3 per student; free admission for up to 1 adult per 3 students. Regular admission price applies after exceeding 1:3 ratio.

Make the PlayHouse your learning lab. Participating students will develop curiosity and deepen interest in topics related to PlayHouse exhibits and the school curriculum. This visit includes tools and resources for school staff and chaperones to facilitate student learning, as well as an introduction and end-of-visit reflection focusing on experimentation.

Related Resources for Teachers: 

PlayHouse Field Guide: Letter to Parents

PlayHouse Letter to Chaperones

Curiosity Expert (teacher / chaperone tool)

Imagination Expert (teacher / chaperone tool)

Experimentation Expert (teacher / chaperone tool)

Post-Visit Lesson: Letter to Parent from Kids

Explore/Challenge/Become

(Available only during the school year)

Designed for 2nd - 3rd grade students. 2-3hours; $5 per student; free admission for up to 1 adult per 3 students. Regular admission price applies after exceeding 1:3 ratio.

Students EXPLORE the PlayHouse.  Then they each choose a CHALLENGE that interests them. Finally, they BECOME engineers, actors, shipwrights, or carpenters as they spend 30-45 minutes solving their challenge. Participating students will understand that experimentation can lead to learning, and will gain deeper knowledge in one self-selected area.

Related Resources for Teachers: 

PlayHouse Explore-Challenge-Become: Letter to Parents

PlayHouse Letter to Chaperones

Post-Visit Lesson: Letter to Parent from Kids

Spotlight Program

(Available only during the school year)

Designed for Pre-K - 1st grade students. 2-3 hours; $5 per student; free admission for up to 1 adult per 3 students. Regular admission price applies after exceeding 1:3 ratio.

Bring your students to the PlayHouse for a trip that shines a Spotlight on one of the Museum’s exhibits!  After hearing a story introducing the theme, students have the opportunity to explore the PlayHouse while completing thematic activity stops that encourage creative thinking, deepen knowledge, and spark curiosity.

Teachers can choose from four thematic options (book lists and lesson plans related to each theme can be found in the resources section below):

  • Spotlight: Construction
  • Spotlight: Down on the Farm
  • Spotlight: Water
  • Spotlight: Sand

Related Resources for Teachers: 

PlayHouse Spotlight: Letter to Parents

PlayHouse Letter to Chaperones

Curiosity Expert (teacher / chaperone tool)

Imagination Expert (teacher / chaperone tool)

Experimentation Expert (teacher / chaperone tool)

Post-Visit Lesson: Letter to Parent from Kids

Booking

To book a field trip or group visit call 309-323-6896 or complete the Field Trip Agreement Form and email to cbaxter@peoriaparks.org.

Resources

Below are links to lesson plans, maps, book lists, and other teacher resources designed by the PlayHouse Teacher Team. For field-trip-specific resources, see the field trip description above and its list of related resources.

PlayHouse Lesson Plans

Book List

PlayHouse Packs - coming soon!

 

Professional Development

The PlayHouse Teacher Team is a group of teachers who collaborate with the museum on the development of museum programs and lessons for the classroom. They meet after school, six times over the course of the school year.

The PlayHouse Teacher Team is a group of up to 15 educators, who come together regularly throughout the school year to contribute to and transform the PlayHouse and also explore hand’s on activities for their classrooms. All sessions in 2017-2018 will include time to plan a STEAM related program at the PlayHouse

Between October and May, the PlayHouse Teacher Team will address questions about hands-on STEAM education for early childhood and elementary school students. Workshops will be held on the scheduled last Wednesdays of the month from 4-6 pm.

 Participating teachers will receive:

  • A free PlayHouse field trip for their students during the 2017-18 school year (tour must be completed by April 1, 2018)
  • Professional development hours (through the Regional Office of Education)
  • Snacks and our undying gratitude!

 Participating teachers must:

  • Commit to attending all 6 sessions.
  • Be a current teacher of students between the ages of 3 and 10.

To learn more and to apply please click here.

To be added to our teacher e-mail list, email playhouse@peoriaparks.org.

The Peoria PlayHouse Teacher Team is made possible by the PNC Foundation.

And a few things we like...

Here are a few of the education-related publications we enjoy:

Wynne Harlen, Primary Science: Taking the Plunge (2001) – An excellent resource on inquiry-based elementary science education.

Keri Smith, How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum (2008) – Great ideas for observing and experimenting with the world around you; some of these projects are as much science as art.

Daniel Willingham, Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What it Means for the Classroom (2010) – A fantastic resource for thinking about how people learn and implications for teaching. Professor Willingham also has a column in American Educator and a blog.

Rethinking Schools – A magazine focusing on social justice in the classroom.

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum