Monday, April 23, 2012

learning and playing at the MN Children's Museum

Last week, Clay and I took to the boys to the Minnesota Children's Museum in downtown St. Paul for a little morning fun. One of the temporary exhibits on display was "How People Make Things."

From the MCM website on 'How People Make Things':
"Get a behind-the-scenes look at how everyday items are created in How People Make Things, an exhibit inspired by the factory tour segments from the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood television series. Explore hands-on activities using real factory tools and machines to create objects with four manufacturing processes- molding, cutting, deforming and assembly.
Everyday products featured in How People Make Things include 10,000 Crayola crayons in 90 colors, 10,000 plastic pellets, 300 ice cream cups, stop lights, cooking pans, baseball bats and matchbox cars.
See the nuts and bolts of how products are manufactured through hands-on activities such as:
  • Flatten a penny by placing it into one of two rolling mills.
  • Operate a 3-axis mill and use the hand wheels to move the x,y, or z axis to cut a block of machinable wax.
  • Assemble parts of a real golf cart using tires, dials, body panels and a steering wheel.
  • Dress up like a factory worker with safety glasses, overcoats, hardhats and aprons. Then, compare your reflection to pictures of real factory workers."

Parker had a fun time with his daddy trying out all the fun contraptions.

Cooper walked around and touched everything that looked fun to his bright little eyes. :)

Neat facts about Minnesota Manufacturing:

The "Warehouse" has always been a favorite exhibit of Parker's here at the museum. This play area is a place where kids can come together and learn the benefit of working in a team environment. It is cute to watch Parker's leadership abilities already shining through in activities such as these.

Do you see the little mr. mr. climbing onto the conveyor belt to retrieve his block?

Now, Cooper is sending his block back down the chute to Parker and the other boys. :) I think we spent a good 1/4 of our morning here.

Another favorite of Cooper's was making a splash in the World Works exhibits. If my hands had not been near, this child would have been trying to sit, swim and sip this play water!

Of course we visited the other temporary exhibit: Grossology. I was not quite sure what my little ones would get out of this exhibit prior to going into the large room, but I have to say, the bright colors, the humorous exhibits and the simple learning tools changed my doubtful thinking.
Though a little different and interesting, it was truly very educational and rather funny at the same time...even for my little boys.

From the MCM website:
"Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body tackles all the sticky sources of children's curiosity. Based on the best-selling book Grossology by Sylvia Branzei, the exhibit runs through May 13, 2012. The exhibit's goal is to harness kids' natural curiosity about themselves and their bodies by teaching them about how the fascinating human body functions. Kids of all ages will enjoy exploring this interactive environment which promotes learning while having fun.
The learning environments in Grossology provide fun and creative opportunities for interacting play, including:
  • Mimic the build of acid indigestion by causing the "Burp Machine" to release a giant belch.
  • Scale a wall full of warts, scabs and pimples.
  • Explore the role of the kidney in a virtual reality experience in "Urine: The Game."
  • Play surgery and attempt to remove organ parts from a body without touching the sides of the patient.
  • Find out what causes runny noses, sneezes and allergies with Nigel Nose-It-All"

Would you believe that that is snot hanging out of Nigel's nose?

This picture speaks for itself.

Before leaving the exhibit room, Parker wanted to take a try at climbing on the "wall of skin." Without assistance, he made it to #4.
High five for a successful morning out at the Children's Museum! :)

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