Why do we sneeze? Where does the food go after we eat? Does everyone fart or just daddy? The human body is fascinating to people, even I am amazed at how it functions, but kids have questions and they want to know. A new exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre in collaboration with Sesame Street hopes to reward your child’s quizzical requests with answers.
Sesame Street presents The Body is a new exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre running from January 28 until May 5, 2014. Located on the lower 6th floor, guests are invited into Sesame Street to meet some of their favourite characters like Big Bird, the Count, Abbie Cadabbie and more as they discover what makes people tick.
The exhibit is divided into three areas: Your Insides, Your Outsides and Staying Healthy. The division is basically handled by grouping related areas together but the whole exhibit is housed in one open concept room. It’s like a collection of mini stations with tons of hands-on activities for kids age 2 to 8.
“Each component of Sesame Street Presents: The Body is geared toward children’s natural excitement about learning.” Added Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President, Education and Research, Sesame Workshop. “We believe that children learn best through active participation and self-discover. The exhibition features a wide range of opportunities for children to observe, investigate, experiment and talk about what they are learning with their parent or caregiver.”
My youngest, who just turned 7, was ecstatic about hanging out with the Sesame Street characters (oh and learning a few things too of course). On first entering the space she stopped dead, trying to take it all in and determine what areas to explore first. The Ontario Science Centre does offer a great exhibit guide pamphlet for parents and caregivers right at the entrance. It contains some helpful tips on extending a child’s learning within the exhibit. Although the exhibit isn’t huge the included map comes in handy for finding a favourite mini station to visit again.
With my daughter we learned about our organs through musical songs on the Organ Organ. I love how music makes interesting details retainable.
We pumped a heart and filled a pair of lungs. We followed the digestion track all the way to the unthinkable end, poo. We even got sneezed on under the Sneeze Machine. Kids will love that nothing is off limits in the Sesame Street Presents The Body exhibit.
My daughter and I learned to sign our names, spell them in Braille, and make shadow puppets. We forget how versatile our hands actually are. I was also surprised to learn that the bones within our hands and feet (106) makes up half of the bones in our total body (206). A fun fact to drop at your next gathering! We also explored what our feet can do and took an interactive “Your Amazing Body” quiz with Burt and Ernie.
Learning how your body works is great but discovering how to take care of it and keep it healthy is also important. I find my kids sometimes follow this idea more when they hear it from an outside source. Ernie showing you the importance of washing your hands and brushing your teeth may make a bigger impact than hearing it from mom. My daughter also loved shopping with Telly, scanning groceries from his healthy shopping list.
The topic of learning about your body is genuinely interesting to kids but the Sesame Street Presents The Body exhibit adds a big dose of fun. The exhibits are all hands on and full of Sesame Street personality. I love the details that we’re included around the exhibits, little facts and bits of knowledge. These are great for parents but also older kids. My daughter had to visit all of the interactive elements of the exhibit at least once for the interactivity but when she returned a second time, she sought out these little details, adding more knowledge from her first round.
The younger set (and mom) will also enjoy Elmo’s World. Here kids can slow down and catch an episode of Elmo’s World on the little screen, practice lacing or tying a big pair of shoes, or even dress Elmo in appropriate clothes for the weather on a large magnetic board.
You can also extend your visit experience through additional activities available at www.sesamestreetpresents.org. Under the Family Corner you’ll find printable word searches and other activities related to The Body exhibit.
The Ontario Science Centre always does a great job making science approachable for young inquiring minds, whether through their main exhibits or their temporary displays. Sesame Street Presents the Body is a great example of approachable science and a fun way to spend a morning (over and over again).
Thanks to the Ontario Science Centre for the invitation to attend their media opening.