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Top Children’s Museum in the USA on TripAdvisor.

We had another Dorothy visiting yesterday and today I received a message from her dad with a photo. Below is what he wrote.
Hi guys, just wanted to let you know how much fun we had on Saturday at the museum. As soon as we got home, Myanna wanted to wear her shirt and watch The Wizard of Oz. She’s asked me when we are going back about 50 times! You have a great place!
My wife showed me the post from the Space Coast Moms group, where someone asked if the Museum would be a good choice for visiting with 8-year-old girls, with most of them commenting that the museum visit is mostly for adults.
That made me think about it. How is this possible that a top-ranked all-age museum is not good for kids?
I also noticed today on Instagram a video from a visitor with a 4 or 5-year-old boy having fun at the museum with his mom.
I started to wonder why my almost 3 years old boy who visits the museum twice a month loves it.
I try to analyze his movement in the museum and this is what I observed for the past year.
  1. When he enters the museum, he loves to pick up stuff and toys in the gift shop, since they are within his reach, him being approximately 30 inches tall.
  2. When he enters the museum, he checks every cabinet, looking for animals, cars, toys, etc., at the bottom two shelves. Since we have 46 cabinets, this is approximately 92 shelves each being 4 feet wide. He can look almost at 400 feet of various stuff in the cabinets.
  3. Then he goes to the kid’s room, where he sometimes watches segments of the movie, but mostly wants to play with toys and hand-puppets, and put on the witch’s hat or masks.
  4. His next favorite activity is to pronounce life-size characters’ names (he knows well Tinman and Scarecrow) and have the luxury of touching them.
  5. He already recognizes the music in the Immersive room and runs into the room when there is a party inside the Emerald City. He is running from one animal to another and his favorite character is Jack Pumpkinhead dancing. He screams “Jack, Jack, Jack… “
  6. In all other Wizard of Oz scenes he is excited and wants to run all over the room. But when the tornado scene is shown, he starts to make scary faces and jumps.
  7. He likes a little flying through the space scene, but not into Van Gogh scenes at this point.
This whole experience usually takes over an hour for him at the museum and I feel that it is really up to parents to make the best use of the museum. If 2 1/2 years old visiting twice a month continue to enjoy every visit, I am sure there opportunity for every child to enjoy the museum.
Sometimes, when I work at home at the computer, he comes to me and wants to watch a video of Jack Dancing in the Emerald City and he always asks for more, more more.
We had a 3-year-old girl attend a puppet show last year for 1st anniversary. She was so inspired by the show and the museum, that she begged her mom to watch the movie every day. Guess who she was dressed up for Halloween? Of course, Dorothy.
The moral of the post is not to judge the experience of the museum from an adult’s perspective, but to look through the child’s eyes. What other avenue is out there that can be better than the museum, that potentially leads to child interest in reading and opening imaginary world of Oz books?
Are you aware of the statistics that Children who visited a museum during kindergarten had higher achievement scores in reading, mathematics, and science in third grade than children who did not?