On Thursday, the girls and I went to New Jersey’s Garden State Discovery Museum to tour their brand new California Pizza Kitchen exhibit. The museum is filled with creative spaces for kids to explore various workplaces in a hands-on environment. With inspiration and supplies for loads of activities in each section, kids of all ages are sure to delight during a trip to this museum.
The new ‘restaurant’ offers a chic, modern area to learn skills from colors to fractions. It’s likely that the youngest visitors will enjoy loading a pizza with various toppings while talking about the shapes and colors of the pieces. We used the kitchen supplies to make a felt pizza in the amazing replica wood stove. Hannah especially liked that the counter for the sink was at her height. She easily found containers like plates and cups to fill with the vibrant colored felt veggies that caught her eye. Older kids will enjoy role play games of acting out the various roles at the restaurant. It perfectly resembles the original space, but is tailored to the size of a child. The pizza slices are intended to help learn fractions, too. Learning math with objects is an entertaining way to reinforce those basic skills.
We met a few members of the design team and learned about the work behind the scenes. They use a small space in the back of the museum to assemble everything on site. A lot of the wood in the exhibit was repurposed from an older display. There are quite a few areas, including a recycled arts and crafts area, that promote the ideas of reusing and upcycling.
Our favorite space in the museum is the Little Discoveries Barnyard. It is a large, farm-inspired area for the up-to-4 crowd that boasts an actual scaled-down barn. Take a look on the walls for helpful inspiration on age-appropriate activities for little ones. A little guidance can help a child discover an exciting skill from performing an activity like sorting carrots into holes.
Everything you need to know about visiting the museum is on the website: http://www.discoverymuseum.com/