Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dupage Children's Museum

On Friday I took the kids to the Dupage Children's Museum. It's about 40 minutes away so a bit of a haul but we had free passes the kids had earned from the Summer Reading Club, so only paid for my admission.

It was pretty crowded with day camps and just regular visitors but the kids had fun. We started on the main floor playing with wind and air pressure, and then the construction area. Little Man loved playing with the big tinker toys. My daughters played in a different spot trying to make ramps out of wood blocks for a ball to travel down.

 The art area focused had different areas where you could create art using light.  They had some peelable stickers of shapes to put on the light board and then you could adjust/mix the colors of the background to look the way you want.   They also had a big "Lite Brite".  This was a popular spot as there were only 3 of them so we had to wait a little bit to get one to ourselves - most of the other little artists were not willing to collaborate on their creations :)

We had lunch in the basement. It's really just an open room with tables, chairs and vending machines - no restaurant or anything. So if you go, bring your own lunch. They do have a microwave. I was happily surprised that they had real milk in the vending machines - not that scary Horizon stuff that never expires.

After lunch we headed up to the second floor. The special exhibit now is about trains. Little Man loved that. They have an electric model train, a mini Metra train the kids can play in, and a little ticket booth.Unfortunately he was running around so much I didn't get any good pictures. 

 The math section was on the same floor and focuses on patterns and shapes. They have a couple of those puzzles where you have to arrange shapes a certain way to make a certain picture. Then they have a big clear plexiglass shape that you can arrange shapes on and look through.

Our final stop was the bubble/water area.  I figured they were going to get wet (despite wearing smocks so saved this one til the end).  They have one of those big bubble booths where you step in and pull the bubble ring around you to make a big bubble tube around yourself - unfortunately we couldn't get a really big bubble to work.   They did have fun with the smaller bubbles though.  I love the look on the face of the little girl next to my daughter.  No idea who she is, but she seemed pretty amazed at the big bubble.

All in all a good day, and while we often go to the Kohl's Children Museum and enjoy it, one thing I noticed about this museum was that the docents tried to enhance the fun with by trying to get them to think about what was happening.  While everything is hands on and feels like play, most of the exhibits have a math or science focus if you think about it.  For example, If a kid was playing with the air pressure tubes trying to get two different objects to levitate and one did it and the other didn't, they would ask the kid why that happened.  If the kid couldn't think of the reason on their own, the docent would help them figure it out.  At Kohl's I feel like most of the employees there are just tidying up after the kids, not really engaging them. 

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