During our previous trip to New York, Eva and I visited the American Museum of Natural History (you can read all about it in the post I wrote regarding that visit). As we enjoyed the experience so much, we wanted Dani and Samuel to get to know it too, so we repeated the plan on our last visit.
As we had the stroller with us, we entered through the Planetarium (on the right-hand side). The gates open at 10 am., we got there 20 minutes earlier and saw that there were already some mums with strollers waiting at the line. All of a sudden, some staff from the museum handed out to us four cards (one per person). Altogether, they gave 40 cards in order of line.
The only thing the card said was: Discovery Room, from 10:15 to 11:15. We didn’t have the slightest idea of what it could mean but just out of curiosity, as soon as we bought the tickets, we rushed out to the mentioned room. Let me just tell you without further delay what it was all about:
The Discovery Room
It’s a huge room with lots of interesting spots for children: toys, books, terrariums, microscopes, puppets, a tree house, a dinosaur area… all sorts of stuff!
There are a few assistants helping and entertaining the kids while they roam about over so much entertainment.
- The recommended age is for children between 2 and 5.
- There is a Storytime every Monday morning during the school year. There are two sessions. The first one is at 10:15 and the second one at 11:15.
- It’s located on the first floor, between the Grand Gallery and the Warburg Hall.
- It’s free with the museum ticket, but as it has a limited capacity, the passes are handed out from 9:45 at the Planetarium entrance (on 81st Street).
Gateway Storytime at the Discovery Room
During the first 20 minutes, children could explore and play all around. Eva, of course, focused on the matrioskas and books. Samuel on the other hand, kept himself busy trying to throw to the floor every puppet at his reach.
Time to learn through playing:
At a certain point, one of the caregivers started singing the “tidying up song” and all the children, in matter of seconds, cleared up the room. I should tell you, once we’ve gotten to this point, that almost everyone there went every Monday, we were almost the only newcomers.
We sat on a semi-circle and they gave us some paper sheets with all the information on what was going to be the topic of the day: INSECTS!
Fist of all, a beautiful story about bugs.
Then, a song. The words were on the paper and the melody was well known.
I love bugs, they are great.
Insects have six legs, arachnids have eight.
Worms, slugs, and snails have no legs at all.
Millipedes and centipedes beat them all.
Bugs can do, so many things:
Swimming, crawling, or use their wings,
Camouflage or roll into a ball.
Amazing bugs both big and small!
(To the tune of “I love you, you love me”)
Later, they explained to us the differences between bugs, insects, spiders, beetles etc. To put the icing on the cake, they had brought some live insects for the kids to see closely and even touch them (for the bravest, as you can guess, Eva wasn’t among them).
Aaaaall the info of what had been explained came in the paper sheet, as well as the newly learnt vocabulary. They also gave us an insect craft to try to do at home.
Don’t miss any of their activities and try to synchronize one with your travel checking the webpage.
I couldn’t be more thrilled. I wish there were more initiatives like this! If I were a newyorker, I would be there every Monday!