Monday, June 18, 2012

Palm Springs Children's Museum

 I have to give a shout-out for the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert, in Palm Springs. We just made our second visit, during one of our many PS family events this year, and Starboy had a ball.

First: It's air conditioned. This is a big selling point, especially during the off-season (read: summer).

 But also, everything is hands on. It's all about play, and a lot of the play offers math and science opportunities, like pizza making, or playing with magnets.

 I shot this photo to show you that you could create your own pizza station at home: The pineapple, green peppers and olives are sliced foam pipe insulators. The mushrooms (second bin) are hand-drawn on foam (like foamies). The pepperoni are leather circles but you could use felt. The cheese is from a rug pad or a cabinet insulator. The tricky items are: (1) real pizza pans (and peels). You could probably get these at Smart and Final? They would have foil ones, for sure.... and (2) the pizza dough. They stitched some flat pillows with a little stuffing and a seam sewn about 3/4" from the edge to look like a crust. I don't know what to suggest besides sewing some of these.

If you used disposable plastic containers, like Ziplock or what some brands of lunchmeat come in, you could have identical bins like that.

If you can make the pieces exactly equal, you'd be building in great math skills, for learning fractions.

The museum's setup includes a "real" brick pizza oven (with flickering red flames), and a cash register so your friends can pay for the pizza you made for them.

You have to pull yourself up on this chair.

 This is awesome, you make a path for the ping pong ball to travel by inserting boards into the slats.

You can paint a real VW Beetle! This is less than half of the stuff there is to do there. They have crafts, and car building, and a huge dress-up room and all kinds of crazy stuff.

And maybe you'll get to see a real roadrunner, beep-beep-zip-BANG!

I'm not sure the age range of the museum, but Starboy's 8- and 9-year-old cousins had a ball. If you have elementary kids and are making a trip to Palm Springs, I really recommend the Children's museum as a getaway from your getaway, and a way to immerse yourself in play-based learning. It's really incredible.

No comments:

Post a Comment