|Little Lipstick learning how to use a crane to move blocks|
|Experimenting with the green screen|
What I think I appreciated the most about it was the use of space. In the three rooms we visited everything was spread out. There was room between the exhibits within each physical room, which meant Little Lipstick could really focus and dive into the task at hand. She didn't feel an urgency to run as fast as she could to touch every exhibit in the room without fully experiencing it. Although there was plenty to do in each room there was not the sensory overload one often feels in busy museums. The way the exhibits within each room were laid out with the use of strategically placed high panels created open but separate spaces so that even a corner of excited, noisy children did not interfere with other children's ability to focus and dive into learning.
The museum is so well designed with it's audience in mind that it even offers a quiet room for mothers with young babies (aka a nursing room). This is something I've come to appreciate greatly. Check out those comfy couches tucked away inside the tiny space.
Everything seemed to be created with it's true audience in mind. The quiet room, the stools at the bathroom sink, and the baskets of books throughout different rooms all called out, "this is for kids." This is not a space for what adults think kids might like- this is truly a kid's space. Simple yet engaging, with fun and play seeming to be as emphasized as learning. Even the massive ball pit had a pulley system where children could use buckets to pick up balls, raise them to the ceiling and have them fall down again. Play with physics thrown in for maximum engagement.
Even the cafeteria is set up with a giant two-story marble maze in the middle so that while you eat you can watch the wonder of physics. (And the food was delicious- fresh sandwiches and salads made in front of you.)
The puppet center was carefully laid out with four large, clear tables next to organized material bins so that it was easy to grab materials and get to work. Little Lipstick selected her own puppet-making materials in a heartbeat and was suddenly begging us to help her cut the pink yarn. It was as though you couldn't walk past the station and not make a puppet.
|A giant magnetic poetry wall|
|A long wall with art encouraged visitors to write the background story, or even tweets to explain the paintings|