LEWISBURG — Gabby and Chloe Kauffman disagree on how many times they want to visit the Lewisburg's Children's Museum this year.

Five-year-old Gabby said a "thousand times" but Chloe countered with "a million" on Saturday during the Design-a-Toy workshop.

So far, according to their dad, they've been there five times this year.

"We got yearly passes," said Mike Kauffman, of Montgomery, as his two daughters worked on their toy designs during the four-hour program with 20 other youngsters. "They love. There's a lot of stuff for kids to do and learn and interact with other kids."

Kauffman and his wife Beth said the two girls put on a show for them during one visit last week.

"They dressed up and did a little skit for us," said Mike Kauffman.

The Design-A-Toy workshop requires nothing but curiosity, imagination and creativity, according to Collin Smith, assistant professor of design practice at Bucknell University and museum advisory board member. Smith, who led the program, has 10 years of experience designing playful products.

"The nature of toys themselves are part of their world already," said Smith. "To get to be the one in the driver's seat and get to say what it will be and how it will empower them and frees up creativity and allows them to take risks they wouldn't otherwise."

The children were given prompts for their toys, asked to design their toys on paper and then build them in reality. The designs were themed around launchers and "goofy golf courses." Students were provided with paper, cardboard, wood and other craft materials for creating their prototypes, he said.

"It builds their creative confidence," he said.

The workshop ended with the “2020 Lewisburg Children’s Museum Toy Expo,” when the children were able to showcase their toy designs for parents and other children in the museum.

Becky Anderson, of Watsontown, brought her 7-year-old son Zane and 10-year-old daughter Zoe to the museum for the first time.

"I like it," she said. "I think it's great, and it's perfect for this age group."

Smith's assistant, Aung Pyae Phyo, a Bucknell University junior from the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, said volunteering to help in the workshop helps him further his choice of career.

"Design thinking is a relatively new field," he said. "Being able to see this happen and see what children at this age can do is great."

The Lewisburg Children's Museum opened in 2017 inside the former Lewisburg High School and features several exhibits, including Bodyworks by Evangelical Hospital, a creation station, playtime theater, science and mock Weis grocery store equipped with food, small shopping carts, and registers.

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