Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ah, to be a kid again!


Dylan's class had a field trip today to the Children's Museum of Phoenix. It is quite possibly the coolest place I have ever been in my entire life. Their slogan is "...a fun, hands-on, educational museum that engages the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them."
That is the understatement of the year!
It is truly a place that is absolutely all about and for kids. And it is equally pleasing for the accompanying adults. There was not one thing in the entire building that Dylan couldn't touch or do and I didn't have to "no" him once the entire day. The other really cool thing about the museum is that there was not one thing for the kids to do that was electronic or computerized. No tv's or computer monitors either! Everything was hands-on and people-powered. So this post is my ode to Children's Museum of Phoenix in photos.
The museum is housed in an old school building in downtown Phoenix. They have used the classrooms to create different hands-on (have I mentioned that EVERYTHING is hands-on?) exhibit areas. When you first walk in, there is a an atrium-like area that is open all the way up to the third floor, which overlooks the space. This photo is from the third floor looking down. Next to the tunnels and tents, there is an open area with all kinds of scooters for the kids (and adults!) to ride around on.
Dylan and Grandpa (who came with us too!) riding scooters (which are a lot harder than they look):
Painting on acidic paper in the Science Room with baking soda solution which turned the yellow paper red!
Painting a house (with his friend Joseph) in the Art Room:
There were many activities in these two rooms set out for the kids to do, and they are constantly changing.
Shopping and measuring rice in the grocery store:
Here are a couple of features that were more pleasing for the adults. In the kitchen area (no pics of Dylan playing there) they had some wall sculptures made of silverware. Here's a frog. There were also a ton of light fixtures made of glassware, utensils and various kitchen objects. The coolest thing was a structure across the entire length of the ceiling made of utensils welded together. These photos don't do justice:
Scooping ice cream at the sidewalk cafe:
Sculpting at the under-lit sand table (with his friend Owen):
These photos are all of the "Pit Stop"area... a xylophone made of wrenches, playing wall-mounted drums made out of buckets, racing slot cars, an old motorcycle, and reading books in the back of a pick-up truck (with his teacher). That was another feature that I really loved about the museum. Each exhibit area had a designated comfy, quiet spot with books and puzzles relating to the theme of the room.
Plus, an entire reading loft area full of books and cozy reading spaces, overlooking the first floor entrance play area:
And that's not even everything that we did. If you look at their website under exhibits, you can find the already existing activities as well as read about several MORE (could there possibly be?) slated to open next year. Needless to say I was blown away by our first visit, and we will be returning soon and often! If you haven't been yet, put this place on your list of things to do pronto!
I will leave you with some images of the "shoe wall" outside the 3 and under play area. There are no words:

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