Monday, May 19, 2008

Tiny New Exhibit in Development

For a couple of months, we've been thinking about what to do with the empty space near the first floor elevator (behind the green wall).  These ideas always change a lot on the way to becoming a play area, but right now, we are thinking about a Toolshed theme, where kids could pretend that they were building stuff.  Today we chalked out a possible room layout (it's only about 175 sq. ft.) with different counters for kids to work on.

What goes on in a pretend toolshed?   We're not quite sure!  Our rough idea right now is lots of small but uniform chunks of rubber that the kids could do stuff with -- and stations with various machines or activities.  Scott is thinking foot-powered polishing wheel, and Matt is leaning towards simple machines (like levers) and the kinds of things he has in his real workshop.  I'm thinking about how kids like to have an impact on the things they are working on (maybe that means that the blocks have holes and can be attached somehow) mixed in with real stuff like scales and measuring tapes.  I'm also thinking about lots of seating for grownups, right in the middle of the action, which is something I think we missed with the Fishery (we see a lot of grownups in there standing up for a long time, shifting around uncomfortably...ouch!).

It's a pretty small area but we'll try to create something fun there!  Just thought you'd like to know that we've started on something...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spring Cleaning at Kidcity!

We've had fun in the last few weeks sprucing up around here. Favorite bits: the bicycle planted in the garden and the new floor in the elevator! BTW, creating our own elevator floor was really fun! Matt bought a piece of sheet lineoleum at a certain un-named Big Box store and flipped it over to work on the rough side. Then he cut it to shape and painted right on the lineoleum and installed.

He says his feet are still purple a week later!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Grant from Aetna!

How can we make hand-washing fun, and in fact, irresistable?! We all know that 20 seconds of sudsing up is the best protection from germs in public places, but how often do we (or our kids) do it? We are designing a hand-washing station that will hopefully be SO MUCH FUN that kids and grownups will want to stop and scrub before they play at Kidcity. This may take a while, but we wrote a grant in January and just received word that Aetna is giving us $15,000 to get us started on this project. Our current plan is to create a hand-washing station in the lobby area, by shrinking the staff closet (near the pink flying saucer.) What will it look like? Well, that's a secret, but the current theme is "Coney Island meets Rube Goldberg."