Hands on Museum
When we first moved to Ann Arbor and started asking people what fun things there are here to do with little people, we heard a lot about the Hands on Museum. We took forever to get around to trying it out, but that was probably ok--I think Niko enjoys it way more now than he would have when we first moved here!
So it's this really great children's science museum with all sorts activities where kids can learn scientific principles first hand. There's some really great displays about tornadoes, recycling, the Bernoulli principle, water tension, among (tons and tons of) others.
Nikolai always like the Ambulance:
And the musical piano you can step on is a classic:
In addition to the main museum, they have an excellent room for Preschool aged kids with activities more on their level.
For instance, there's this really excellent water table, with aquatic wildlife and plastic boats for the tots to splash around with:
There's also fun things like a great little toy kitchen, a mini firetruck to play on, a little fort with a slide and a big fort with stairs:
Nikolai really liked the light table and magnetic shapes:
They also have a whole area with little "discovery" bins, filled with things for the tots to explore. Nikolai always enjoys the puzzles and plastic animals, but this time he found the magnifying glass:
Those little circles have different things (a stamp, rocks, plastic, a sponge, etc) that are fun to look at under the magnifying glass:
Later, Nikolai took the magnifying glass around and looked at the plastic animals and bugs under it. Fun!
Probably the crowing achievement of the preschool room is the ball machine. It's massive, stretching across the whole room as it transports plastic balls up and down and back and forth. There's all sorts of fun ways for the kids to interact with it: places where the balls run down a ramp and the kids can go collect the balls in bins, other places where balls collect in a bin for the kids to drop down a swirly ramp, and this spot, where balls get dropped into this bin and tots can press a button to release them all.
Nikolai's favorite part is the pipe that magically whooshes plastic balls right out of his hand:
The funny thing is, that video doesn't even show the half of what the machine does! It really is magnificent.
We liked the museum so much we got a membership where we can bring some guests--so friends, family, come visit us and we can take you with us for free! We know you'll love it too :D