Mama’s Museum Madness Bracket Challenge


Mama’s Museum Madness Bracket Challenge

March 16, 2020

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Did you know that the Museum has more than 5,000 toys that travel on the Museum floor at any given time? In the children’s museum industry, we call those toy props “loose parts” and they are one of the features that make the Children’s Museum of South Dakota unique. 

You will find farm animals in the barn, realistic-looking fresh fruit and vegetables in the grocery store, packages and letters in the Post Office, and more. The sky is the limit!

March is the month of bracketology and tournament-style challenges and when Mama T. Rex, the life-size animatronic dinosaur on our prairie, found out she wanted to play along! Enter Mama’s Museum Madness, a tournament pitting our beloved loose parts in a match-up to see which one comes out on top!

How Will Mama’s Museum Madness Work?

Out of the 5,000 loose parts that are on our Museum floor, 32 have been selected as crowd favorites by our Kidoodle Council, Museum staff, and friends of the Museum. These are the toys that will go head-to-head to compete in Mama T. Rex’s tournament. 

Starting Monday, March 16, you will have a chance to vote for your favorite via our Instagram stories. Be sure to follow us: @prairieplaysd. We want you to play along!

You can even download your own bracket.

Empty bracket for Mama's Museum Madness

How do Loose Parts Expand the Museum Experience?

Loose parts offer children (and their adults) a creative way to explore the Museum. They create endless possibilities for fun and learning.

For example, we’ve seen farm produce carted to the Sod House to make a meal over the woodstove. We’ve seen chickens flying high in the sky at the top of our Cloud Climber. We’ve even seen fish from the Farm Fresh Grocery swimming in our Splash exhibit! 

Because of our cleaning and safety protocols, we have two sets of loose parts making the total number 10,000! Now, that’s a lot of fun!

As a Museum staff, we often share stories of the joyful interactions we see during the day. One favorite loose part story is when eggs from the farm were found inside of the rooster puppets near our 2nd-floor puppet theater. Talk about sparking imagination! Not only are these combinations hilarious, but this creative play also fosters connections between our exhibits encouraging open-ended learning.

With loose parts at the foundation, children and their grown-ups find a brand-new experience to engage with the museum every time they come to play. 

Want to take part in Mama’s Museum Madness?