Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Q?rius Jr. Discovery Room

Our kids have different spring breaks this year and, at first, I was excited about this -- I rarely get one-on-one time with either of them. Unfortunately, it has quickly turned into a constant source of complaints from both as each tries to make sure they get equal access to activities, dining out, etc. So I ended up taking Cam out of most of her school this week to avoid further disgruntled children (or, rather, so they can now go back to being disgruntled about nothing in particular). They haven't yet caught on to the fact that Kane will be back in school when Cam's spring break rolls around in a few weeks .... 

In any event, on one of the two days Kane and I had to ourselves, we headed down to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to check out the super-interesting looking Q?rius exhibit. Turns out that sine many local schools weren't yet on their own spring breaks, the exhibit was closed to the public in the morning so that field trips could have access to it. Grrrrr. So instead we headed over to check out Q?rius Jr. Discovery Room (which I'm pretty sure has always been there as just a Discovery Room, but we had yet to check it out). The museum actually categorizes the Jr. Discovery Room as appropriate for K-8 aged kids and the main Q?rius exhibit for "teens and tweens." But I totally disagree (and remembered our pals at KidFriendly DC having similar thoughts). We had fun in the Discovery Room, but Kane was too old for a lot of it. I DO think it would be fun and age-appropriate for kids younger than kindergarten-age though, so I thought I'd share it here. 

The Discovery Room is loosely divided up into stations and activities, all of them hands-on and perfect for little ones to get exploring time in at a museum where pretty much everything else is hands-off. There was a fun-looking "dress up" corner, which Kane declared for "babies," but toddlers to preschool-aged kiddos would love; a few art activities (Kane loved finding the same hieroglyphics stamp set we have at home); puzzles and games to explore (we found an Egyptian game of Senet and spent almost all our time playing that); and all kinds of artifacts, animal bones, x-rays and other things to explore. If you are visiting the museum with little littles and need to take a break, I highly recommend popping in. But if you have kids kindergarten-aged and older, I think I might skip it and head to the main Q?rius exhibit. We're headed there next! 

No comments: