Insights: East Michigan | Community | Fall 2017

Huntington & Mid-Michigan Children's Museum: learning through play

child at the Children's Museum
By Holly Hammersmith

Children learn at home, in the classroom and, most naturally, through play.

Play is at the forefront of learning at the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum (MMCM), which recently celebrated its ninth year serving both the Saginaw community and visitors from across the state.

Our museum brings the great big world around our children to their level for them to discover and explore at their own pace,” says Emily Yeager, president and CEO. “Along the way, they’re learning through their play.

What Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum does

The nonprofit museum features 10 interactive galleries that promote exploration and learning for children from infancy through age 10. At the Car Works gallery, for example, kids can build a car to race, practice traffic safety and even play at driving, washing and fixing cars as a pretend car mechanic.

Other museum activities include making artwork, exploring textiles and investigating topics such as energy use, agriculture, cooperative play and more.

In addition to hosting regular hours and playtime for the public, Yeager says, the museum holds events to serve children with special needs, such as a sensory-friendly evening for children with autism.

How it helps

We need opportunities for our children to learn in an out-of-the-ordinary, non-structured setting,” Yeager says. “Our museum’s interactive, hands-on exhibits allow for child-led play. Parents or other grownups that are with the children are truly play partners.

The museum would not exist without the support of fundraisers, volunteers and corporate partners such as Huntington, Yeager adds.

The Financial Literacy Field Trip Partnership with Huntington – funded by a $6,000 grant from the bank – will enable MMCM to provide financial literacy learning opportunities to more than 1,000 elementary school-aged children and their families beginning in 2017. Local Huntington employees will be on site for the Financial Field Trips to help students practice basic math and financial skills though fun, creative activities.

About the organization

Name:  Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum
City:  Saginaw, Michigan
Phone:  (989) 399-6626
Mission:  To provide a hands-on ‘Play and Learn’ environment that engages and motivates children to use their curiosity and creativity while learning about the wonders of our world.

How you can help

To learn about ways to get involved and support the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, visit