Having kids is fun. It’s fun for loads of reasons. One of them is museums.
Adults can – and do – go to museums without children. There are perks to that. You can read the plaque thingies and take your time.
But museums with kids, especially museums for kids with kids, are the best. Often stuff you find exciting as an adult – a real human brain; a planetarium – become doubly exciting with kids – A REAL HUMAN BRAIN?! A PLANETARIUM!? – and you have to follow the enthusiasm.
We went to the Centre for Life in Newscastle last week. Home – you may be surprised to learn – of both a real human brain and a planetarium.
Kids museum like this (and Eureka, which I’ve written about before) are just brilliant to visit with kids and allow them to play and learn. My two especially liked the Curiosity Zone. And I liked this explanation on the wall.
We built huge marble runs, and made our own cog and gears sets. We made music. We built buildings to try and withstand strong winds. We made stuff spin round and stuff fly up in the air. Loads of physics and engineering in action, with no rules and how-to’s. Just the room and equipment to work it out.
Like it says: “Research is like a more formal sort of play”.
And if you actually want to try your hand at science.You can do that. My three and five year-old were learning about acids, alkalis and universal indicators. And making nice colours.
And of course, there is the Planetarium. Show me someone who doesn’t want to sit back and watch amazing images from the Huble telescope spin round over their heads. I don’t know how much of the film the kids took in. But sometimes, it’s ok just to be awe-struck, sat back in silence and not quite understanding how to make sense of it all.
Isn’t that what we all do if we really think about space anyway?