Thursday, August 9, 2012

Make A Messterpiece

Yesterday I took the kids to Make a Messterpiece in Glenview.  They love going but it's pretty pricey $22 per kid if you want to do all the activities) so we don't go often.  Last time we had a Groupon but no such luck this time.  The one good thing though is that it wasn't very crowded - probably partly due to the cost - and we were able to leave for lunch at the Potbelly's nearby and come back.

They have 4 main areas to play - Creative Kitchen, Experimentation Station, Bubbleology, and Lil Sprouts.  The first two spots are instructor led so you are assigned a time for those places.  The theme this month is outer space.

At the Experimentation Station they made ET foam (using styrofoam balls, glue, borax, water, and food coloring).  Once they were all done making the foam they got googly eyes and pipe cleaners to use for whatever they wanted.  It was pretty easy and turned out pretty cute.  The instructor encouraged them to use their imaginations in creating their space creatures, pointing out that life on other planets may not be walking beings like us, but could even be tiny little things like bacteria, viruses, etc.  It was kind of sticky when they were done, so we put them on a drying rack before we went to our next spot - Creative Kitchen.

At Creative Kitchen they made "Moon Landing cookies".  They were no bake cookies made of oatmeal, cocoa powder, butter, butterscotch chips and soy nut butter.  All of that was mixed up and then rolled into balls, and then rolled in powdered sugar.  They don't let you eat your creations there, but we brought them to lunch with us and they ate them at Potbellys. They were pretty good and as far as I could tell was basically a teaspoon of each ingredient so would be pretty easy to recreate. 

After lunch they made bubble paintings.  These are always a big hit for my kids. 

Here are a couple of the finished products.  The colors are actually brighter on the real pictures, my camera wasn't cooperating. 

The Drum Roll area wasn't working as well as it should be more Blue Man Group ish with colored water on the drums that flies everywhere when you drum.  They still had fun putting all the gear on though and didn't realize what was missing, so had fun.  If I had thought more about it I would have asked an employee for help, but it was only when I got home and saw the website that I realized what was missing as we hadn't done this station last time.

The final station was Lil Sprouts, where you make your own craft.  This was completely DIY.  We were given the supplies when we came in, and there were pictures and instructions on the table.  The project was to make a mini Hubble telescope out of a toilet paper roll, tin foil, toothpicks, card stock for the solar panels and a couple of stickers.  Fairly straightforward.

Along with all the stuff I already listed, there is also an area of tables with paper and markers for coloring, a small play house and slide to play in.  They had fun and did learn a little about outer space (appropriate given that we went on the day that Curiousity landed on Mars.  I'm sure they'll want to go back and we probably will if I can get a Groupon again.  I was surprised how few people were there.  I'm assuming the cost is what deters people, especially in this economy.  Still it's a fun place and I hope they manage to stay open (and hopefully lower their prices.  As far as I know it's independently owned not a franchise - although they do have some sort of sponsorship by Bounty papertowels. 

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