Thank you, Discovery Gateway Children's Museum, for introducing my kids to Tinkertoys, one of my old-school favorites. I remember spending hours playing with my grandmother's Tinkertoy set. It held my attention—and my imagination—far longer than Lincoln Logs or Spirograph.
The new Tinkertoy: Build Your Imagination exhibit at Discovery Gateway offers the entire family a HUGE roomful of Tinkertoy fun combined with GE's innovative technologies. You'll find giant replicas of the classic Tinkertoy construction sets and numerous educational activities that "turn imagination into working solutions to real world challenges."
Bet your Lincoln Logs can't do that.
Here are some of the imagination-stretching activities you'll find in the Tinkertoy: Build Your Imagination exhibit:
- Invent ~ Children are encouraged to think about where ideas come from, and to explore the emerging field of biomimicry – nature’s influence on design. Visitors can match real inventions with their natural inspiration and create a design of their own.
- Energize ~ Children can explore GE’s commitment to renewable energy as they use a kid-powered fan to test their own wind-powered TINKERTOY creations.
- Change ~ A Rube Goldberg-like contraption illustrates the power of creative thinking and how simple mechanisms work. The activity lets children select and position words to build silly – but thought-provoking! – sentences that serve as the springboard for innovation.
I'm a sucker for any Rube Goldberg machine. Throw in the ability to vary parts of speech to make a sentence and I'm pretty much oblivious to any other exhibits.
The larger-than-life and regular size Tinkertoys are on exhibit at Discovery Gateway through January 6th and included with your admission. For more information, click here.
While there, don't miss some of my favorite exhibits—and by "favorite" I mean "the ones that keep my kids entertained the longest."
Not that I can't be easily entertained too...
Don't forget all the other events and activities included with your admission.
Here's a sampling:
- Time for Tots ~ Nationally recognized literacy program for children 18 months to 3 years. | Tuesdays at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm
- Little Scientist ~ Class for children ages 2 to 5 years; children are encouraged to ask questions about nature and to seek answers through collecting things, counting and measuring, making observations and experimenting. | Thursdays at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm
- Amazing Me! ~ Children ages 3 to 7 years participate in a variety of health, safety and self-esteem building activities. | Fridays at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3 pm
Discovery Gateway Children's Museum also offers birthday parties--yippee!
I almost forgot—Discovery Gateway has a really cool FREE iPhone and iPad app called DGPlay App. With the DGPlay App, kids can do everything from explore exciting professions to choose and color their favorite bee character. Parents can use the app to learn more about the museum's exhibits, get directions or make a donation.