Monday, April 4, 2011

The "Dinosaur" Museum

So we read a lot of Berenstain Bears books with the kids. They enjoy them quite a bit. There is one in particular in which Brother Bear gets really interested in dinosaurs. Jake loves it and started to get interested in dinosaurs himself because of it. It is because of this interest and the idea of wanting to start taking the kids to some museums and such in the area that we decided to go to the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. It  is not a "dinosaur" museum but they do have dinosaur bones on display.

The libraries in our area have a program going where you can "check out" tickets from the library for different educational attractions in the area. I do believe that it is Macy's this year that is actually paying for the tickets. It was through this that we got tickets to the museum. Although we found out that the museum was free anyhow. Coincidentally the museum had a special day for the kids with the Water and You exhibit. They had stations set up throughout with tasks, activities, games, and lessons for the kids to participate in. This made the visit. I do believe that our day would have been much shorter and less enjoyable for our young children had the water stuff not been there.
At first it didn't seem to me that the kids were getting in the museum and what it had to offer. I, of course, started to think that they were not going to enjoy it much, but Erika could pick out what they wanted to see and thus it started to become a hit. As I said there were stations about water facts and activities for the kids to participate in. At each of these they got a little bead for their "Water Cycle" band (yarn). This was probably the most exciting part for them since at each station they immediately went for the basket with the beads. 

Activities included PH testing, bingo, and finding little animals from river water.
Some of the activities set up were things that our kids had already done with Erika at home for school. So they already knew the facts and impressed the UM students heading up the activities. Below and to the left Jake was helping demonstrate what items would float or sink in the water. In the center and right pictures Jake was making a color straw with water of different densities due to the sugar mixed in each. Next to the color straws was the water and oil illustration that the kids had just done a few days before.
Placed throughout the museum were large fans for air movement that I am sure are used in the hotter months. For some reason Jake thought that these were the coolest things in the world and wanted his picture taken with them. They were so cool to him that when I asked him to stand next to a huge leg bone for a picture he thought I was asking him to stand next to the fan.
Poor Zac stayed in the stroller the entire time and did great! He never once complained or whined. At the end of the day Mommy bought him a little dinosaur from the gift shop which he immediately went to roaring and attacking his sister with. Did I mention we've never taught him that dinosaurs roar.
All in all we had a great day even stopping to check the Borders in that area that was going out of business along with all the others. The kids had a great time and I do believed learned at least something that  they did not know before. We walked away with quite a few beads, a book, some coloring pages, posters, tattoos, info on local parks, and resources from the local DNR. The Water and You exhibit was very well done. The students and other adults that headed up each of the stations did an excellent job in presentation of their task and in the work with the kids. This impressed us with how young our kids are in relation to the ages that the activities were probably meant for.

Pin It


  1. Looks like you had a great time. I'll keep this in mind for the future. U of M is only about 1/2 away.

  2. Love your pictures! We haven't been there in forever!