Today, we had school at the local Children’s Museum.
On Fridays, the museum offers a storytime, and free admission until noon for kids who plan to sit in on the session. How could you pass that up? We took all four munchkins today. Let me tell you, they definitely got our [free but if we had paid] money’s worth out of it.
The museum is really well done, I have to tell you. Our area is not particularly famous for its cultural output, but this museum is one of the bright and shiny spots on our rather tarnished reputation. Most of the exhibits are open-play things like blocks, building materials of all shapes and materials, kitchen-type things, clothes to try on, etc. The kids really get to use their imaginations.
There are several science-related exhibits, but they don’t feel at all “schoolie”. Everything is game-oriented and play-centered. Most of the activities have a hand-made, recycled feel to them (in other words, they’re not a bunch of commercialized, plastic, character-laden crap.) I’ll see if I can get any more hyphens into this post before we’re done. In any case, I love that there’s virtually no Disney or Dora anything in the museum. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world that practically smothers kids with consumerism.
Our first draw (!) was the art center, where the kids painted. Oh, can I just tell you how adorable they were? O preferred to draw with marker while the older two, my S and my friend’s son, SC, stood at a two-sided easel and painted “fire-breathing dragons”.
Here is S painting a tree, on which her friend will soon perch his dragon:
And here is lovely O, marking and stencilling:
Later, there was lunch…
And then we ran around like mad. The kids found so many interesting things to explore that they didn’t really settle on any one thing until the end, when someone dumped out a bin full of PVC pieces. There are a zillion pipes, all the same length, and scads of elbows and tees to connect them with. Here is S, going 3-D (Daddy thought this was particularly awesome):
Interestingly enough, they started worked together on building with the pipes. The two older ones figured out that it was easier to assemble long pieces together if they cooperated. That beats last night, when S yelled at me and DH to “quit that cop-perating!”
Today was so successful that S and I are considering buying memberships and meeting weekly at the museum. It’s cheaper than paying for a preschool, we can still do our own thing, and we don’t have to mess up our houses. Something to think about, anyway. In any case, we will definitely be back.
My own insight for today:
Kids will not eat their own lunches, even if you spent hours packing them in a fancy lunchbox, when they sit next to another kid who is eating something different.
This rule is more absolute than gravity.