Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brooklyn Children's Museum

We went, we saw and we enjoyed it a whole lot! The really cool thing about going to kids museums is noticing all the terrific ideas that are totally DIY-able.

At the same time, there are things that M just won't do at home, but is happy to try at a museum, for example, lacing or mosaic tiles.

This time we had lots of cool surprises. M loved the tunnel that lead from the entrance to the exhibits on the first floor. I loved little drawing stations all around the museum. What a terrific idea! And they were well-used too. In fact, most of the times all the drawing stations were occupied by kids putting their impressions of exhibits on paper WITHOUT even being prompted by adults. M was no exception and we left the place with not one, but three drawings. 

One of the drawings was of a rainbow python, inspired by Fantasia, the museum's own 300-lb Burmese python. Isn't she a beauty?! 

M had lots of fun downstairs, but we were getting a bit bored mostly because we couldn't join in. I mean, making sand angels in the museum's indoor sandpit looks like great fun, but not exactly something I'd undertake at this point in my life. 

So we were glad to go upstairs to the Circles exhibit. Basically, it was a hands-on exploration of circles and how they are everywhere and how people use them in just about everything. A couple of weeks ago M and I talked about simple machines and he learned that a wheel is a simple machine. But that was mostly theoretical. This time he actually got to try to pull a heavy weight on a sleigh and then the same weight on a wheeled wagon and I think that totally drove the point home about how simple machines make our work easier. 

Another great hands-on activity was also pretty simple. It basically showed that there are several ways to draw a perfect circle. This was the first time M got to try drawing with a compass. The genius part was that instead of a pencil or a marker, the exhibit used LED lights on some kind of plastic which immediately upped the appeal factor for M. We also got to play with gears, climb into a round boat (ok, I didn't, but I wish I did), try to operate a lathe, and many more things. Great stuff and I hope that one day this exhibit will make it to our local children's museum. 


  1. What a fantastic children's museum. It looks like so much fun. I can completely relate to the way kids will do certain activities when they are out (like the lacing and geometric shapes) but they won't do the same activity at home. *sigh*

  2. I absolutely agree! I've noticed the same thing and it's also driving me crazy sometimes - kids will be happily doing something at the museum, but would ignore the same activity/toy at home. I figured out two ways of dealing with this issue:

    1) Go to as many museums, activity centers as I can (and as my budget allows, although buying a membership really helped me this time)
    2) When home, move things around A LOT. I always move toys from room to room and from shelf to shelf in the same room. Sometimes just doing that sparks my son's interest.