Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Museums, Museums

Do you think we just set up a camp at the Brooklyn Children's Museum? Good guess, considering my total and inexcusable absence from this blog for like a whole month.

The truth is we left the museum, drove over to Brighton Beach for some Russian language children's books (thanks, International Toys!) and a parking ticket (thanks, the City of New York!) and got home. The next day (or a few days later, can't remember now, not like it matters much) we drove all the way to Connecticut to visit another kids' museum, this one in Norwalk.

Boy, oh boy, this museum, called Stepping Stones Museum, totally rocks! To begin with, they have a computer  game where you can mix your own "body sounds" music, complete with sounds of hiccups, giggles and yes, farts. M loved it! Although he loved a bike-riding skeleton even more. The idea is the kid sits on a bike and pedals and the skeleton that sits on the bike next to him also pedals. So you can see how your bones move when you ride a bike. Neat-o!

Then there was this one exhibit where you basically get to pretend-build a house. I thought M would be interested in laying down the piping or the electrical, but once he discovered a construction debris chute, he just stayed in that area.

But the most fun of all was the awesome Energy Lab. It's full of plastic balls and water running everywhere! If you don't want your child to get wet, don't go there. But then, that would be so unbelievably unfair. Also, when you're in the Energy Lab, do try to go through the "fossil fuel deposits" tunnel. I haven't seen too many parents try that, but it actually provides a really good explanation of where oil and coal and natural gas come from.

And then the next day (or a few days later) we went to the Mid-Hudson Valley Kids' Museum. We've been there a couple of years back and I liked it. This time wasn't as much fun. Well, it's a very small museum and it seems it's on a very tight budget. So nothing has changed since we went there last time except all the toys got older and more worn down (or out?) But kids don't seem to notice it, really. M loved playing with the plywood fire truck and it was difficult to get him out of the play submarine even though the robotic arm he was trying to work seemed not working too well.

But he ended up having the most fun in the little corner on the second floor with a Declaration of Independence theme. Interestingly, there was some information about Sybil Ludington, aka The Girl Paul Revere. She is not frequently mentioned, but M actually knew more about her than about Paul Revere since we listened to Judy Moody Declares Independence story several times while in NY. So he was happy to sit on Sybil's horse and on the drive back we talked about Sybil's ride (since we were driving approximately where she rode back in 1777).

Back in the museum, there was a huge copy of the Declaration of Independence on the wall with room left at the bottom for kids to sign their names. So I explained to M a bit about the Declaration and he said he was going to sign it. Then he asked me how to spell a name he wanted to sign with and he wrote it all out ON HIS OWN (a big huge deal for us). If you don't read Russian, the signature reads "Luke Skywalker".

And that was the last museum we visited in NY.

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