Tot Spot Put your child in the baby boat and place desirable toys just past arms length to encourage reaching, stretching and crawling. Babies just learning to crawl or stand will enjoy our quiet corner where they can pull them selves up, knock down foam block towers, or enjoy watching their grown ups put on shows with the big puppets. Don’t forget: The parent resource room has a comfortable arm chair for nursing mothers.
Communication Station Encourage your child to talk on the phone, or see themselves on TV in the weather room. Young children can explore creating sounds in the sound effects room.
mUSic Even the youngest children can play the drums and dance or move to different types of music. Create a note with the vibrating bowls and put your child’s hand or foot on it so they can feel the vibrations.
Changes and Challenges Take your child into the sensory room, where they can feel the vibrating drum, listen to soothing music, and watch the moving lights inside water.
Bricks & Sticks Very young children can build small towers out of blocks, and explore shape and size differences.
Pattern Studio Babies love to see themselves as a repeating pattern in the mirror, build with the red pattern blocks and make flower patterns out of kitchen spoons.
Our Backyard Encourage language development by saying words like rough, bumpy and smooth when you and your child touch the different textures of the many plants in Our Backyard.
Tot Spot Toddlers just getting their walking legs enjoy exploring this “my size” town, made just for children. Your toddler will naturally want to explore by crossing the bridge, delivering the mail, moving the fish on the conveyer or in the pulley buckets on the boat, and gathering fruits and vegetables from the market. Encourage children to build with blocks, drive the bus, and to explore this safe enclosed area on their own.
Sandy Island Encourage your child to play along the sandy boardwalk, using the shovels and other tools to empty and refill the buckets. This type of sand play is a pre-curser to learning about measurement, volume, ratio and the properties of matter.
Bubbles Using the giant bubble wands, try to create huge bubbles. Children can pop their own bubbles or watch them float through the air and guess where they will land and pop. Parents can help kids get inside the giant bubble!
Tool Box Have your toddler select their own materials from the collage area and create an imaginative masterpiece to take home.
Bricks and Sticks Let your child direct the play in this fun gallery. Parents can point out rectangles, triangles, squares and circles as children build. Block play is a precursor to measurement, three-dimensional thinking and early math skills.
Changes and Challenges Young children love to explore the accessible van and meet a service dog. Toddlers can safely explore the home and discover the many tools in the house that make every day life easier for people.
Patterns Toddlers can create patterns out of the red bricks, floor tiles and wall magnets as well as test early math skills with the multi-colored tessellation tiles. Have your child watch as you spin the tops and see the patterns repeat themselves; challenge them to try it themselves!
Communication Station Toddlers love to use the phones to make a call or answer them when they ring. Encourage your child to use the “talk tubes” by taking turns talking and listening. Toddlers can create sound effects in the radio room and put on a show for the cameras in the TV room.
mUSic Ask your toddler to move their body to fast, slow and funny rhythms that you make—then turn the tables and have them make the rhythms while you move and dance! Young children can use the instruments to create patterns with sound—start a “call and repeat” session where your child drums out a rhythm and you repeat it.
Our Backyard Children will naturally explore this safe outdoor environment. Encourage your child to touch, smell, see and listen as they discover the plants and animals. Paint a picture with water and watch as it disappears into the air! Sit with your child and read a book on the book bench.
Tot Spot Preschoolers can take on the roles of community workers in the miniature town where you can be the letter carrier, a construction worker, a crossing guard, a train conductor, or even the captain of a fishing boat!
Communication Station Become the official LICM news anchor in our news studio by choosing a setting and telling a story about the pictures on the screen. Use the mutoscope to see what movies looked like long ago and tell a story with pictures on the magnet wall.
mUSic Pre-schoolers love to play with and discover the different sounds they can make with percussion instruments. Play “repeat after me” games with various instruments, creating unique rhythms and patterns. Use the instruments to re-create favorite songs or create entirely new compositions.
Changes and Challenges Use all of your senses to explore! Preschoolers love to smell the food in the kitchen, feel the vibrating bed and explore the tools that help people do things. Follow along with a grown up to a familiar story that has a Braille translation, as your grown up reads it out loud.
Bricks & Sticks Along with block play, preschoolers can make a pyramid with spheres or use the poly sticks to create fantastical 3-dimensional structures.
Pattern Studio Preschoolers can spin the hubcap wheels, create a repeating pattern with floor tiles and complete the pattern using our shape magnets on the “What Next?” board. Ask your child to name the various shapes, colors and textures in the gallery.
Our Backyard Encourage children to point out color, texture and patterns outdoors. Look for smaller things and details using the hand lenses. Encourage fine motor skills by having your child weave the spiders’ web. Children can become a ships captain as they catch the wind in the sail of the weather boat. Help your child to sort the food in the sink into either the compost or the trash.
Sandy Island Kids can investigate the different types of sands from beaches all around the world, from pink sand to a beach made entirely of pebbles! Have fun playing in the sand area and explore how sand dunes are formed.
Bubbles Challenge kids to figure out how they can catch or hold a bubble, then see if they can put their hand through a bubble without having it break. Ask how many colors are in a bubble at the bubble stretch station.
Tool Box Kids can explore simple machines, unlock the chest, dig for bones and try to balance the scales. Children over five can create their own project out of wood. Using a vice, hammer and nails in a safe environment builds important hand-eye coordination.
Communication Station Try our Mutoscopes (which are over a 100 years old) and watch a silent movie for just a penny! Investigate how people communicated over long distances, over a hundred years ago, or even how phones worked 40 years ago. Try to communicate with someone using morse code.
mUSic Use “Kerplunk” to make a tune. Follow the directions to hear one that you already know or create your own song. Explore the feeling music room and think about how music makes you feel. Create your own musical composition in our making and understanding music sections. Using the percussion instruments, get other folks involved and start a band!
Changes and Challenges Ask your child to close their eyes and feel the face sculptures along the wall. Can they tell what this face is doing? Are they happy? Sad? Angry? Have kids test their fine motor and symbol recognition skills by writing their name in Braille at the Braille writer.
Bricks & Sticks Kids can use the wire spinner to design their own 3-dimensional shape—see if they can guess the shape it will make before they close the door. Encourage your children to try building bridges using two different types of arches, then to take that new knowledge to the brick table where they can try to create their own sturdy bridges. Kids can use the computers to create unique 3-dimensional shapes, then try to re-create those same shapes from the different materials in the gallery.
Pattern Studio School age kids can use the computers to create and decorate a unique home with patterns on the furniture, walls, and floors. Challenge them to create a pattern masterpiece using the tessellation tiles.
ClimbIt@LICM If it is their first time in the ClimbIt, let your child watch how other children navigate and play in the climbing structure before entering. Conquering the ClimbIt is big boost of independence for any child. We recommend, for the safety of everyone, that a child be 4 years old and at least 42" tall.
Our Backyard Pretend to be a spider or a bird with your child and weave a web or a giant nest. Look for patterns in leaves and check out the vegetable bed to see if you can tell what’s ripe and ready to eat—Ask a staff member if you can take a taste of what we’ve grown!
Sandy Island Discover how people all over the world use sand to create new things like glass. Observe how a wave starts underwater and see what effect waves have on the beach and on the surface.
Bubbles Look around the room to see what bubbles have in common with other shapes that occur in nature. What kind of shapes do bubbles create, and how do they behave when they are grouped together? Use the bubble sandwich to find the answer.
Tool Box Explore the six simple machines and what makes them work. Make a work of art using different shapes of wood. Think about what you want your piece to be before you start: a sculpture, a book end, an airplane or a picture frame, and choose your materials based on the picture in your mind. Experiment with different tools, like a hammer and nails, the vice, or a screwdriver and screws to join pieces together.
Communication Station Make your own mini movie short in Animation Station. Use the word play booth to see how well you can communicate with a friend or parent and send a secret message using real Morse code.
mUSic Learn how sound is created by vibrations that move through the air. Test out the science by using different drums, making the vibration bowls sing, or by playing the upright bass.
Changes and Challenges Use the alphatalker to tell a story or communicate a message to another person. Go to the sign language booth with a friend or a grownup and try to communicate by spelling with American Sign Language. Write a note in Braille to a friend or see if you can read Braille that someone else has written with your fingers.
Bricks & Sticks Use the computers to explore the science and art of three-dimensional design. See if you can use the “click-it” pieces to design that same shape in real life! Use the tetra mirror to make an object seem to float in space.
Pattern Studio Create fantastical patterns with the tessellation tiles. Explore how patterns are used differently throughout the world, using our computer program that allows you to design your own tartan, Matroyska dolls, Kente cloth many other activities.
ClimbIt@LICM If it is their first time in the ClimbIt, let your child watch other children in the climbing structure before entering. Conquering the climber is big boost of Independence for any child! Older children can organize games of ClimbIt hide-and-seek. We recommend, for the safety of everyone, that a child be 4 years old and at least 42" tall.
Our Backyard Check the barometer to see if you can forecast today’s weather. Does the scientific barometer match with the stick barometers up above? Use the Beaufort wind scale to see if you can determine the wind speed. Set the sundial and compare to the real time on someone’s watch. How accurate is it?