Play Your Way to a Better World

(EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE)  Santa Monica, CA “Playing our way to a better world,” is the mindful and innovative vision of Santa Monica’s newest Cayton Children’s Museum. Upon entering for their opening event, we observed that their vision is consistent in everything they do. The museum is settled in the heart and core of LA’s favored Santa Monica Place, amongst the flowing traffic, shops and restaurants. After checking in with smiling staff, and excusing our way through the buzz, The EE Team was led on a guided tour of the mindful museum to get an inside look.

Cayton Children’s Museum. Photo by Mercie

As soon as we stepped foot over the threshold, we could feel and see the intention and care that was put into every square inch of the museum. It was painted in bright colors and made all of the difference. Rarely are we intentional about much of anything today, as adults and parents. But each of the 5 core sections of The Cayton Children’s Museum was curated for a purpose, to help build the character of the beloved children of our community through play.

Kids enjoying the Cayton Children’s Museum. Photo by Mercie

The different sections and exhibits of the museum promote things like kindness, courage, mindfulness, creativity, good conduct, compassion, all around good character in the hearts and minds of every child who enters the space. The moment a child steps in, the equally entertaining and inspiring environment functions at all times for their entertainment and personal growth.

So many fun and interactive exhibits at the Cayton Children’s Museum. Photo by Mercie

For example, the “Courage Climber” is a hand-knitted climbing gym that runs throughout the whole museum and encourages children to be courageous. It teaches them that it’s important to help people who need them and act when it’s necessary. The “Reflect On” section was curated to instill deep mindfulness and introspective practices in children early. There was a section promoting exercise and physical activity, creativity and art, a section teaching children about groceries and healthy eating, and more.

A giant Rube Goldberg interactive piece. Photo by Mercie

From the moment a child enters, character building is at hand! While on the immersive tour of the museum, we were introduced to every area and informed on why it was built, the benefits it holds for the children and how it’s accomplishing the vision by helping them play their way to a better world.

Kids playing in the ball pool. Photo by Matthew Tucciarone
Amazing locations for kids and parents to sit for a moment. Photo by Kids playing in the ball pool. Photo by Matthew Tucciarone

As mothers, fathers and guardians, siblings, aunts, uncles and more, we spend most of our time making sure there is food on our tables, clothes on our children’s backs, a roof over their heads and that they are happy. Who is making sure that the beloved children of our community are being shaped and nurtured into kind, compassionate, caring, respectful, courageous, mindful, action-oriented, just and creative beings? We’ll tell you who! The Cayton Children’s Museum is.

About Shalane Goss

Shalane is a writer and musician. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California

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