Published On: Sun, Sep 3rd, 2017

Delaware Children’s Museum

After visiting Fort Christina and exploring the Kalmar Nyckel Museum, it was time to turn our attention to something for Najwa.  The scavenger hunt at Fort Christina was fun, the life-size replica of being aboard the Kalmar Nyckel was entertaining, but neither of those could compete with our next stop — the Delaware Children’s Museum.

Delaware Children's Museum
Delaware Children's Museum

Once you enter, there’s this two-story maze called the Stratosphere.  Kids enter at the bottom and climb to the top, sometimes ending in dead ends, but eventually make it to the top.  Impossible to explain in words so you’ll have to see the photos.  Fortunately, there are steps that take the adults to the top, and for the kids to come down for impatient parents who don’t want to wait for their kids to make their way back down in the maze.  Najwa chose the maze route back down of course.

Two-story maze at Delaware Children's Museum
Two-story maze at Delaware Children's Museum
Two-story maze at Delaware Children's Museum

Next we visited ECOnnect and the Tree Pavilion.  There “kids can roll up their sleeves and discover the workings of nature for themselves, with activities such as a highly interactive stream table that allows kids to explore everything from water locks to wind power.”

ECOnnect at Delaware Children's Museum
ECOnnect at Delaware Children's Museum
Najwa in a hurricane simulator but something tells me it’s more like a strong burst of wind.

On the wall was an Etch A Sketch.  The image created was of a Horseshoe Crab by Tim George.  We saw live horseshoe crabs when we visited the Chesapeake Heritage & Visitor Center on Kent Island.  There, they called these animals living fossils.

Afterwards we went to the Training Wheels and Bank On It exhibits.  Training Wheels was more for the youngest visitors, like 3 year olds.  Najwa found a way to entertain herself anyway.

We got Najwa this same latches board when she was born.

Bank On It was more interesting.  It “lets kids explore financial management, from earning and managing a budget, to saving and spending. And with interactive fun, such as an ATM kids can operate and a ‘café’ complete with tables and chairs, kids get more than intellectual exercise.”

Kenyan money, though not quite what I saw when I visited Kenya.

There was a display about the countermeasures found on paper money to deter counterfeiting.

We got there closer to closing time, so we only visited one more exhibit.  The Power of Me was very interactive, educatingly and entertainingly.

How long can you hang from a chin-up bar? How long does it take a command from your brain to get to your muscles? How does the human body work? Active and interactive exhibits let kids test and explore their own capabilities — helping them to understand how the human body works, and how they can help theirs stay healthy.

Of course we encourage Najwa to follow instructions and rules.  When the law says no stealing, don’t steal.  But at the same time, we are always reinforcing to find solutions to challenges.  Find a way to get it down, accomplish whatever goal she has, etc.

So, there’s a machine to test your balance.  You get your feet aligned on the wobbly platform, holding a bar until you’re ready.  Once you feel all set and you let go of the bar, the clock starts counting.  When you either lean too far in one direction or grab back onto the bar, the time stops.  Most people can only go a couple of seconds.  I think I made it to four seconds.

Najwa, however, found a solution.  Reading the instructions, it says grabbing the bar will reset the counter.  But nowhere did it say not to grab onto anything else.  So, as she was surpassing 15 seconds of balance where no one seemed to get past 5 seconds, I smiled with pride at her cleverness.


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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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