As a parent, I totally get that a lot of child-based activities can become monotonous (maybe even a little boring if I’m being honest) and over-played. We all get into our routines and visit the same parks or the same museums, even when there’s nothing new happening. We’re really just always on the lookout for any kind of fun activity that might stimulate our kids’ minds.
Along those lines, I think it’s SO important to diversify what we expose our kids to because this is when their minds are in their prime! They’re like little sponges soaking it up and taking it all in. As a mom, I really want to guide Zelda and create opportunities for her to discover new things and build a path for her to naturally gravitate towards her interests.
This is where the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) comes in! They delivered BIG time with their first ever Spring Make Festival. It’s basically a showcase of all things making and tinkering to encourage kids to use their hands and interact with each other and the magic of science (which is absolutely incredible because this mama ain’t got no knowledge when it comes to science).
You want to talk about a diverse range of activities—they have everything YOU, the adult, and your child could want. Taking Zelda, OH MY GOD, she loved it. She was especially drawn to the Robot Block Party they had going on while we were there in celebration of National Robotics Week. She was SO into it. She watches robots on TV, but I realized while we were there that she had never seen a robot in person, so watching her gravitate towards one and seeing her get excited about a robot competition was very cool and interesting. Seeing robots battle it out isn’t part of our regularly scheduled programming, so it was really good for her to be around and engage with something very much out of the norm.
There was also this amazing tornado and hot air balloon section that just really had me feeling very creatively inspired with her. I always capture pictures of Zelda, but when I was in this environment and there was this sort of dark rainbow as a backdrop, it encouraged me to take pictures of her in a way we haven’t before.
I started thinking about a photographer friend of mine, Paul Octavious, and although my skills are absolutely nowhere near his, I decided that for the day, I was going to shoot all the pictures in this darker, kind of mysterious way, which is how he shot his Rescue Rainbow series. ANYWAY, this was a new experience for me and feeling like I was becoming fully immersed alongside Zelda was really cool. See, even adults can learn a lot at activities that are primarily for the kids!
If the MSI isn’t on your regular hit-list for when you come to Chicago, you better get it there. It is seriously a GEM. Make sure you allow at least a half day or even a full day to enjoy it because it has that much to offer.
The Spring Make Festival is wrapping up after this weekend (still time to go and enjoy it though! Here’s the schedule so you can see what’s happening), but there’s always new exhibits and stimulating things to do. We cannot WAIT for the Pixar exhibit in May and will for sure be back.
Thank you to the Museum of Science and Industry for sponsoring this post. It’s partners like this that make documenting our journey possible.