Mississippi Children’s Museum announces plans for “The Literacy Garden”

253337_10151445710846238_611565527_nThe Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) announced plans for a $2 million dollar expansion. This expansion includes “The Literacy Garden” project that will create an experiential, innovative outdoor space for visitors to interact with literacy and nature. For more information, CLICK HERE 


  • Provide an outdoor literacy gallery to inspire and educate children through interactive and artfully-designed play spaces;
  • Significantly improve the pre-literacy and reading skills of Mississippi children from birth through third grade;
  • Improve reading instructional practices utilizing a balance of the essential elements of reading instruction, which are: Phonological Awareness; Decoding (inclusive of phonics); Vocabulary Development; Fluency; and Comprehension;
  • Strengthen the museum’s function, research and academic value to the community; and
  • Increase the museum’s capacity and sustainability, ensuring this valuable community resource is available for generations of Mississippi’s children.

Exhibit Elements

The Literacy Garden will contain ten primary installations that encourage creative exploration and learning in pre- and emerging readers, while facilitating active play.

Sound Story Sculpture: A series of interactive sculptural pillars, evoking nature, fantasy and language, will create an immersive soundscape for children to explore. Motion activated sensors within the pillars will activate distinct sounds in relation to a child’s height, movement or location in the grid.Topsy-Turvy Pathway: Inscribed with poetry, the path will guide children and adults through the garden, introducing them to creative learning and play spaces.

Desert Island Exploration: A series of age-targeted sand circles will facilitate free play. Located just in front of the waterfall, these circles will encourage exploration of water, sound and nature, and allow toddlers to play safely, but inclusively.

Creativity Wall: Spanning along one side of the garden, this element offers a blank “dry erase” canvas for writing, drawing and imaginative story telling.

Work of Art Writing Stations: Nature-inspired tables and stools weave through the shade trees offering children a place to write or draw, and serve as an activity space for museum programs.

Interactive Outdoor Learning Lab: This mobile lab will serve as the hub for all outdoor programming in the garden, providing storage for program supplies and access to water and power.