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Places to Visit in Kansas City: Wonderscope Children's Museum
Wonderscope Children's Museum
A Great Museum for Discovery Learning
This past week, I was able to enjoy my grandson from Kansas City. I had the week off for spring break and was able to visit with Miles in KC. During this time, my daughter planned a trip to the children’s museum. And what a wonderful visit it was!
Wonderscope Children’s Museum is actually in Shawnee, Kansas. It is operated out of an old school building. There are ten rooms of activities that are perfect for young children. Each room has a different activity for children to try. It is discovery learning at its very best!
The first room we visited was Raceways. In this room, a child is given a bucket full of golf balls. The child then gets to discover different ways to make the golf balls go into another bucket. One activity is using a small track trying to aim a golf ball into the hole of a vortex. It was fun to watch my grandson trying to do this, especially when he became frustrated and just dumped the whole bucket of balls into the vortex! The noise it made when he did this put a smile on his face!
The next room we tried was the H2 Oh room. This was the water room. Activities here included building a system of plastic pipes to divert water to where you wanted it to go, watching the force of water on different objects, discovering how to carry water with containers with holes in the bottom, and watching the water animals like the red eared slider turtle.
Next, Miles discovered the Lego room. In the Lego room, of course there were Legos of all sizes to play with and build with, but there were also many large items built with the wonderful building blocks. One of these items was a giant toilet. Miles thought that was fun! He also enjoyed building with the blocks and walking through the large, child sized Tinker Toys.
Small Wonders was a room especially for children two and under. It reminded me of a page from a Dr. Seuss book. It had a wobbly path to run on, a pirate ship to steer and many places to hide and explore. Miles really enjoyed the wobbly path and ran across it so that he could “fall” and laugh at himself in the mirror that bordered the path.
Ready, Vet, Go
Children could pretend to be a veterinarian in the Ready, Vet, Go room. There were smocks for children to wear, stuffed animals to check over and different sorts of instruments to do the checking. There was also a desk to make appointments and a billing desk. It was truly adorable, and for children who really love animals this would be a great activity. Miles walked through the room and decided that none of the animals really needed his attention.
For children who liked the Raceway room, there was another room where they could use racquetball sized balls and build different kinds of tracks to run them on. This was called TinkerSpace. Children there were building tracks that were taller than they were. Due to the limited space in this room, and the small number of track pieces, only one or two children at a time could really enjoy it. Miles decided that he didn’t want to wait and we went to explore the next room.
On the way to TinkerSpace, we had passed the Art Room. We hadn’t stopped because it was a very busy space, and Miles usually can’t sit still long enough to be really creative. We decided to go back and check it out, and we were pleasantly surprised. There was just about any kind of craft material that you could think of. Construction paper, crayons, paint, glue, small bits of cloth and ribbon were just some of the things I saw. Miles took a swipe at some paper with some paint and drew on the chalk wall, but had enough of this room pretty quickly.
Another room was the Market room. In this room, children could see how things went from farm to market. There was a cow to milk and brush, eggs to find under chickens, fruits and vegetables to pick and sort, grocery carts to fill, shelves to load with your goods and a garden to pick things from. There was also a cash register with money so children could shop and buy their wares. Miles really enjoyed picking up the fruits and vegetables and distributing them around the room. On our way out of the room, we discovered animal costumes in the form of a cow, sheep, chicken and donkey. Since it was late in the afternoon, we decided to skip out on trying on the costumes.
In the main hallway of the museum, other items were set up. There was a wooden train set, several different types of building blocks and an interactive book. As we went from room to room, we also stopped to play with the different items. Miles really loved the train set and was building different tracks and running the trains around it.
The final “room” was an interactive garden. It was outside and being worked on at the time we were there, but looking out the window I could see path stones with numbers and letters, a spot to dig and plant things, and many different types of plants and flowers. It was beautiful, and I am sure that Miles would have loved to get his hands dirty.
Wonderscope Children’s Museum is a great place to take young children. Children as young as eight months old (and walking) were enjoying the many different activities. The cost of the museum was reasonable, $7.00 for ages 3 – 63, $6.00 for ages 64 and above, and $4.00 for those 2 and under. The price of admission can be applied to a membership if you should decide to become a member. Memberships start at $80.00 for the basic membership for a family of four.
© 2012 LaDena Campbell