Local Heart, Global Soul

October 19, 2009

Children’s Museum, West Hartford, the end of the day…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

The kids have been playing all day at the Children’s Museum… everyone has found an  activity to delight ,we have laughed a lot, looked in awe and wonder at many of the animals, reptiles and fish, tried experiments and had fun with Science.

I could have photographed a zillion more things about the exhibits, and taken portraits of every creature, and explained in detail how many more things worked, but time is against me. If you have younger kids and you are looking for a great  family fun day out , then the Children’s Museum here in Connecticut  comes highly recommended not only by the Kiwidutch& Friends adults but also  with glowing reviews from all the kids.

Each child has an excited story about their “best thing” of the day, usually accompanied with a heap of giggles. Add to that that somehow within this  they were also learning about the world around them, Science and how it works.. . it all works out as an added bonus.

I must say that the giant bubble rings had me captivated.  I got a heap of photos of my kids standing inside bubbles taller than they were and some of just the bubbles sans kids that for me were just great examples of the beauty of how nature works, and the wonder of  how a mix of soap and water can turn into such a large and beautiful,  if temporary structures.

The other exhibit that had me transfixed was the kaleidoscope…  this was a massive walk in version that uses several mirrors and a third one is activated by someone walking into the triangle space.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

The colours and shapes that are produced were for me a true work of art. Since I adore naturalism and realism in Art,  I’m not usually into contemporary modern works much, or abstraction. That said, I found that I could have stood here for hours and watched the images as they evolved.  I had a lot of  fun photographing some of them…. Is it Science? Is it Art? … you decide.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Now it’s time for us to leave… we go outside to the front of the Museum so that the kids can  climb into the massive fiberglass whale… but they don’t dally inside it long because it’s very hot outside and we discover that  it’s even hotter inside a fiberglass whale carcass…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

What an excellent day ! We all can heartily agree as we load tired but happy kids into the cars … kid activity success !

The Children’s Museum
950 Trout Brook Drive
West Hartford, Connecticut 06119 1437

860.231.2824 / phone
860.232.0705 / fax

October 18, 2009

The Children’s Museum, West Hartford, continued…

We are visiting the Children’s Museum in West Hartford Connecticut, and there are exhibits to suit very taste…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

The kids have a go at ” panning” for “gold” .. well, I looked hard and didn’t see any gold so I think they were just slicing pebbles roughly as possible out of the tray, but the museum obviously  knows kids, because after a short while I realised  in fact that most of the time the kids  were way busier  playing with the water coming out of the pump to even focus on slicing remotely properly.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Next there are a multitude of interactive exhibits where you can move continents with the aid of magnets, look at mining, geology and various earth sciences…  play amateur archaeologist and “uncover” dinosaur bones and have fun learning about new things. I loved this photo of the Grand Canyon…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Then we found ourselves in a hall that delighted everyone… full of interactive activities, like a speaking tube.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

…a Light Wall… Mr Four  insisted on waiting for his turn at this until he was the only kid playing with it, and was adamant that   he wanted  all the coloured pegs in nice neat straight rows. Ok.. that achieved, we then had to together pull them all out  again so that the whole board was empty… Effort completed, he was very happy chappie  indeed.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

…and music boxes and pipe organs.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

One of the best things though were the bubbles.. in the windows you pull a rope and the bubble fills the window, and then an even bigger one that the kids could stand inside. If you pulled the pulley at just the right speed then the whole bubble could go taller than my eight year old, (with her inside)… when the bubble gets longer, the middle starts to cave inwards, and upon contact with their skin or clothing  the bubble would burst. Between taking turns whilst other kids had a go, this large hoop bubble kept our kids enraptured for a loooong time.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

In a different wing there were people giving amazing demonstrations of how engineering things worked… our friends little boy impressed them with his ready comprehension of how the pieces functioned, so maybe a budding engineer?

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Then there were all the mechanical gadgets and gizmo’s, all with signs expaining the phsyics , chemistry or principles behind the experiments that were in progress… these are made with motors and Lego, so push the control buttons and they all move.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

…and this, where the angle of the slope defines the progress of the balls around the rim of the game.. some would seemingly teeter on the outer edge for the longest moments before loosing just enough momentum to be pulled into the center holes. Pipes underneath the table delivered the balls to a pick up-point on the side for a new go…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Many of the activities made us laugh… one that almost made me cry laughing was a blue screen and auto cue where  children could practice reporting a major weather event.. flooding, tornado, snow … it was much harder then it looked to coordinate reading the text quickly enough…

The results are played onto a “TV” screen and project the image as if the person were really reading a weather bulletin.  My very tall Hubby had us in hysterics when he tried to do it because his height meant that the resulting screen  cut off his head and captured in view from his chin downwards, so we could hear him reading  the text but only see his chin, shoulders, chest and arms on the screen.  It was more than a little disconcerting but also very funny  to see a disembodied weatherman.

We are having an outstanding time here.

October 17, 2009

The Children’s Museum, West Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

We have driven to West Hartford in Connecticut… we have seen a brouchure in the hotel for the Children’s Museum  that looks like it might be a good outing for the kids, so we decide to investigate further.

We can see as soon as we pull into the car park this this place could be really fun…I can’t say that I’ve ever been greeted by a  cow in a tutu before…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

We head inside and find that there are some amazing exhibits here… starting with the wildlife…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

This amazing creature could change colours and go incandescent  in the sunlight…

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

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