Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter at the Children's Museum

This Saturday, Ottawa’s Museum of Civilization was apparently the place be – or at least it would appear that way judging from the crowds. Long line-ups snaked up the admissions desk and the exhibits were packed. It’s a rainy long weekend – guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

Since we are already members we got to skip the long line-ups, but M was a little take aback by the crowds in the Children’s Museum. Luckily we arrived just in time to see the Easter Bunny and join in the bunny parade. A little later we went into the craft studio and decorated Easter eggs (or to be honest, I decorated an egg with some input from M, who mostly just wanted to play with glue and wash her hands).

The Children’s Museum, for those who don’t know it, is a fantastic place for kids. Part of the Museum of Civilization, it’s geared for young children and set up around the theme of ‘the Great Adventure’. Kids can climb onto a bus from Pakistan, explore an Egyptian pyramid, swap the deck of a boat, go ‘shopping’ at the market, play games in a Bedouin tent, etc. There are costumes, props and lots of hands-on discoveries.

In some ways M is still too young for a lot of what the museum offers, but there are plenty of things she does enjoy and as she gets older there will be more and more things to discover and engage with. We usually don’t get there more often than once a month, so it’s neat to see how her interaction with exhibits changes from one visit to the next – although her fascination with the escalators is a pretty sure constant.

We are so fortunate to live in a city with great museums and activities for kids. While M would likely have been happy today to have played in the local park or filled a small box with rocks, emptied it and filled it again, repeatedly, she does enjoy the wonders these museums offer – and as parents, we certainly do too. My appreciation for galleries and museums used to be rather limited to my solitary experiences – this has been much changed and enriched.

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