In our area, there’s a local children’s museum that’s been around since I was a kid. I remember going there for elementary school field trips, but hadn’t been there since. When Allison started to get really good at walking, I wanted to be able to take her somewhere and let her explore inside, especially during the long winter months. A few of my MOPS friends had family passes and went at least once a week, so we decided to get one too. It was educational, good exercise for all of us, a win-win scenario! We’ve had it for about 9 months now, and have tried to go at least once every week or two, and Allison just loves it every time. Here are her favorite things!
The first thing we do is go upstairs and head straight for the little grocery store. In this bin are various toy produce, and she tends to grab every piece of asparagus and put them in her basket. I don’t know what her fascination is; she’s never even tried asparagus. On top of the bigger bin are 3 colored holes, to drop the correct produce to get her familiar with colors. Around the walls are shelves stocked with empty milk and juice cartons, yogurt cups, and other boxes of food. There’s also two cash registers where you can pretend to ring up your items, but she’s never really been interested in that part.
In the same room is a place to make your own pizza! This area was sponsored by Cassano’s, a local pizza place, so its history is all over the walls here. Allison likes to throw on toppings, including the entire bowl of cheese, and slide it into the pretend pizza oven.
There’s also a little vet clinic where she can grab a stuffed animal, assess the problem, look at X-rays, and fix boo-boos. She loves this part; the most common problem, according to her, is a broken paw.
Oh my goodness, the LEGOs. There’s a LEGO station she can work at, which she’s getting really good at because she has Duplos at home. On a side note, I can’t wait till she gets old enough to play with real LEGOs. I was obsessed when I was younger, and they have such cool (and expensive) playsets these days.
There are quite a few science experiments to work on, and while Allison’s still too young for most of them, she can do little ones like this little wall where you wrap rubber bands around the pegs to make shapes. Hopefully you can make out my name on the right; even parents can have fun here. =)
Our museum has a special exhibit that changes every so often. It was dinosaurs, and now it’s changed to an underwater exhibit, which has a puzzle that Allison gravitates toward every time. She loves doing puzzles at home, but this one’s just a little bit for her. Doesn’t stop her from trying, though!
One of the things I like most about our family pass is that it gives us discounts to certain places, like zoos in our area or other children’s museums. If you have anything like this in your area, definitely check it out! This is a cheap way to keep Allison entertained (AKA wear her out), and she’s learning things in the process. We’re definitely renewing our pass when it expires!