Monday, January 2, 2012

Magic Tree House interactive display

The Magic House is a children's museum in St. Louis area. They have created an interactive display themed around three different Magic Tree House books. I took G and F on Friday to the Magic House. I knew G would enjoy it since she is crazy  about Jack and Annie's adventures. I also discovered that they would have Mrs. Clause reading a story and sharing cookies and hot cocoa in the early evening. SO WE MADE A DAY OF IT.

Even without these special events the girls love The Magic House and would have enjoyed the day but it was so much better than I had expected.

As you enter the display you walk through the woods and Frog Creek, PA. Then you enter a wooden tree house with three different gates that open to the period of the book. They represented Twisters on Tuesday, Civil War on Sunday, and Thanksgiving on Thursday.  Along the walls of the tree house are books lined along the wall that  compliment each topic.

The first on that we went to was the Civil War period. There both girls dressed up as Clara Barton while the boys present had drummer uniforms.  F began using the sticks to beat the drum to a marching beat and she broke out in the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy.  G went right to the first aid tent and bandaged up soldiers. There was a wooden wagon to represent an ambulance and it was made to create a bouncy rough ride along with a wooden stretcher. The walls to create the back drop of this display showed encampments and soldiers along w/ Clara Barton herself. 

The second on their list was the west and a rough one room school house with a shelter to enter into. The girls dressed up as pioneer children. Once in the shelter it was as if you were hiding from the twister. It was loud and rather scary if you really permitted yourself to feel it. Then there was a huge coal steam engine train to climb on, ring the bell, pull the whistle and shovel coal of course.

Finally, they went to the first Thanksgiving period.  There was a sandy beach with a boat where of course you dress as pilgrims and pretend to be Jack and Annie gathering clams and eels. Once gathered you to to Priscella's kitchen to prepare food and outside of her kitchen is a garden to gather corn, squash and other items. After preparing the meal in one huge pot in the fireplace you carry it out to the large table for a feast. In another area a back drop display has Squanto bent on knee to show what to do with corn. There the girls learned how to grind corn with period tools.

G was explaining the stories to F as she was going through but F was just enjoying the moment while G was reliving her story.

F sang a song on stage for Mrs. Claus and G and F were the only young children present for the first story hour.  Perhaps there was a confusion about where the story would be as we had been told several different locations. They had hot cocoa and a gingerbread cookie with Mrs. Claus as well.

We did take advantage of all the other multitude interactive learning activities offered and also went to the art studio where they created wonderful snowflakes and a painting. Seems odd, we have paint and an easel but they wanted to do this anyway. We go to the Magic House a few times a year of morning homeschool program but we still discovered a new area that we did not know existed. It is a hidden hallway behind a secret panel bookcase and then a huge evidence/detective room and a new slide.  Perhaps they have that section closed off during the short homeschool days but we will find out in February when another day is scheduled.