IRVINE, CA — Pretend City is one of Orange County's favorite places to bring their children where kids can learn. The outside of the children's museum building is decorated with larger than life murals: kids learning to be doctors, front line professionals, "careers" that little ones get to try on for size inside this non-profit playground.
On Giving Tuesday, the owners of Pretend City took the opportunity to ask their fans for support during the time of the coronavirus shutdown.
The Pretend City children's museum likes to call itself "the world in a nutshell."
Inside, children can learn the way the real world works, from buying groceries to going to work as a doctor, teacher, firefighter or even a grocery checkout clerk. Like the real world, the faux storefronts and businesses inside Pretend City are silent. Still, the owners are busy re-imagining what will be next once stay-at-home restrictions are lifted in Orange County. What they envisioned was a place their pretend city residents could take care of their mental and physical health: a Mind+Body studio.
The smiling faces of the owners, Sandy Stone and Alex Airth, and workers on Facebook live was a welcome sight for fans of the children's museum as they explained the plan. Over 10 years of business, they have welcomed over 1 million guests through their city limits. There was no better time to decide to make a positive change for their tiny citizens.
"There’s no question we’re all experiencing highs and lows during this unprecedented time," a spokesperson for Pretend City wrote on their website. "Know that our team is here to support your family now and always."
The children's museum plans to focus on emotional expression, mindful thinking, and calming physical movement through the Mind + Body Studio.
"It will be a center for positive mental health engagement," they said.
The Mind+Body Studio will feature:
– A place of tranquility to reset your mind and body when the “outside” world is overwhelming on your child’s social/emotional state.
– New Social-Emotional Programming
– Most Up to Date Parent Resources
– Expanded Staff Training in Social-Emotional Development
– Increased Play Partners Partnering with us at the Museum.
As of this report, theyhave raised nearly $3,000.