Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sonic Sensations and more at the Kohl Children's Museum

Chilly days, at times rainy too, one has to be a constant lookout for places to visit, especially to keep the high energy rolling balls, read the kids, entertained and to keep them for asking for TV or such every waking hour. Needless to say a Children's Museum is always a hit. That's where we headed the past Sunday. Niño had his reservations, as he usually does, when in his mind he already has a favorite, which in this case happened to be the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier.  And he insisted on visiting that very favorite. Anyways after much cajoling and the fact that he still has a few years to go before he can sit on the driver's seat and actually steer the car to where he wants to go (Thank God for that!), we headed for the KCM.

Among the several fantastic activities and exhibits that had the kids have an absolutely great time, what I liked personally about the museum was the optimum use of space. I have mentioned this before that as a parent of two young children, my mind is at much peace if I know that I won't have a big area to search in crowded places, in case one of my children is not in immediate sight. The good thing is that its all at one level and even though at first sight, it doesn't look very big but it offers lots to explore from pretty young children to older ones. Also the staff was ample and pretty vigilant which meant the getting back things in their proper place in exhibits like the Grocery Store and the Food Joint was prompt and also they kept an eye on children who seemed to be away from their adult guardians and were prompt to re-unite them. Another great thing was the well planned seats for adults close to almost every activity. So as the kids spent their time in exploring the properties of magnets or being a vet to some animal friends or filling the shopping carts to their heart's content, the parents always had a place to sit and relax in sight. 

Apart from their permanent exhibits, the museum also has an ongoing temporary exhibit by the name of Sonic Sensations which helps children learn through play about the human ear and listening. The exhibit which started on Jan 17th runs through May 10, 2012. Chica especially loved playing for a long time on the Invisible Orchestra where she moved her hands and feet on a motion sensing carpet and a tune played on the monitor in front. The kids also loved to play the guessing game to identify low pitches from high as they hit colored bells mounted on a rotating turntable. Several other interesting activities like hiding a cat/cricket in one of the many closets and then listening to the sound to find out which one it is in or Creating your own Soundtrack as a scene plays out in front of you - a farm setting or a train passing by keeps the children entertained as older kids learn about the anatomy of the human ear and how we actually hear. Well worth a visit. 

I leave you with some of our most interesting pictures.

Weighing their worth in milk jugs

The Balancing act

One of the biggest hits - making patterns with their body parts
on a giant pegboard and watching them from the other side

                                                 

 Low pitch or high?
 The crazy family photo op
With a tune on her fingers!