Sunday, July 5, 2009

La Crosse Children's Museum

Well, I was gonna post about a different place we went, but then I realized those pictures are still on the kid's camera. See, my camera was missing somewhere, so I used their camera and my cell phone..... Sigh, but I have my camera again, so I'm happy.

On our way out of Wisconsin we stopped for the day and started up again after visiting this museum. We figured the kids would ride better if they'd had a good morning of running around. And they did. We also got to have lots of fun laughing at what all they discovered.

And just because I'm bored and not sleepy I'm going to include what possible learning activities I thought of.

PhotobucketWe started off with a water discovery area. This was a lot of fun to explore and let everyone splash and play with boats. I was especially impressed that they had coverups to keep from getting wet. However, why keep from getting wet when you can get absolutely soaked and get upset about it?

sensory play, cause and effect, observation of water, observation of floating

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I love mazes, I think they're super fun, and I always go to them when it's offered at Ren Fests or other places. I remember going into the hugest maze on a youth retreat in Florida. So, I was amazed when my kids solved it in less than a minute, because it seemed more complex than that. Then I discovered how they were:

gross motor skills, balance, sense of direction

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Notice Princess climbing under the walls.

problem solving

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My boys love firemen, what boy doesn't. So they were thrilled when they got to dress up like firefighters and drive a fire engine that can make siren noises. I wasn't so thrilled with the siren noises.

role playing, learning about community helpers, oh and social skills when they didn't get to drive right away, why can't a fire engine have 20 steering wheels?

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While the boys were busy putting out fires, Princess was busy building a house, that will hopefully never ever catch fire. She got to put wall paper on, and paint, and run wiring (a rope) through the walls. Then she went outside and put shingles on, oh and finished bricking up the wall. She is quite a busy worker and finished up that house in less than 5 minutes.

role playing, learning about community helpers, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance


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And here's a memory test for me. I have no idea which boy is which, this is the problem with putting twins in matching outfits, when you look at the pictures you can't tell who's who. Well, actually if they turn around Superman has a huge cut on his head......

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Music appreciation. This is not anywhere near as entertaining to a 2 year old as it is to her 30 year old Mom. No kidding.

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However this set of knobbed blocks were endlessly fascinating. She sat there for at least 10 minutes taking them in and out and sorting them. The really amusing part to me is the station was donated by a Montessori preschool in the area that included quotes from Maria Montessori about this set. It talked about how she observed little kids would sit there and play with this for hours. While Princess didn't play for hours, it was at least a good 15 minutes.

problem solving, organizing, sorting, general math and science observation skills, can you tell I'm getting lazier?

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And as always my kids favorite area is the grocery store. I really do not understand this, they don't find the real one anywhere near as entertaining. Okay, I do understand a little, here they get to pull whatever they want off the shelves. Incidentally that is a picture of Batman.

life skills, learning about community helpers, people in the neighborhood (cue Sesame Street song now)

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Superman putting gas in a car. Again this is a life skill that I find tremendously annoying that they were finding quite fun. Notice the set of bandaids on Superman's forehead.

Eh, I think you get the idea.

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Okay, I love things with balls and gears, and apparently my kids do too. I have to admit that when I go to a museum that has stuff like this I point it out to my kids so I have an excuse to do it as well.

Oh, and the running around was successful in getting them all tired out.
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So, to conclude, you can always find a way to make a visit to the Children's Museum fit into whatever state requirements your state has for the appropriate grade level. If I felt like it I could actually find TEKS to go with this (Texas Essential Knowledge Skills).

For more even better ideas go to Carisa here. And i promise next week to actually post something we've done recently. I have great plans for this week. Of course most of them involve the pool and no real planned educational value, but still........
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