Kiki: "If you have to get the flu over spring break, get it on the last day." And so, she did. And so did her big sister. And when the girls had to wear these annoying masks, we amused ourselves by taking pictures and imagining what life would be like if the girls were doctors going into surgery with their masks on.
This new children's museum just opened on Valentine's Day in Johnson City and we've been anxious to check it out. They had some really cool things, including an outdoor tug of war machine and a ball machine, as well as lots of exhibits to explore inside. The place is a converted mill (hence the name) so that's already pretty cool. Here are some favorite activities:
A sailboat race where kids adjusted the wind and the sails to propel the boats:
A circuit kit where kids could make different things happen. Here, Yaya is making a speaker play and Buddy is listening:
Drew helping Yaya with the circuits:
Kiki exploring a larger circuit building set:
All the kids (and Drewdad) liked these animatronic animals that could be programmed with Scratch to do simple actions like turn their heads, moo, rattle (a rattlesnake), etc. The kids programmed a simple sequence of events and then watched the animals carry our the programs they wrote.
Buddy liked digging in the bowl of jewels for this kaleidoscope:
Hmmm....that eyeball looks familiar...
This fractal cave was pretty cool. The kids could either look up at the fractal or look at it in the mirror. Awesome.
Everyone liked the car simulation by Mazda - Drewdad took this one to the limit, zooming through a cornfield in his (virtual) 2 seat sports car under a bunch of hi-def hot air balloons. It was pretty awesome. The kids just liked the driving.
The kids loved this kinetic input system that allowed them to play fruit ninja with their arms. This is one of the developers helping Buddy use it:
Next up, a building board game - the girls played with some older kids:
Buddy loved this tiny drone that literally chased him - the developer was a great pilot and could make it land on top of Buddy's shoe and then zoom up in the air - it was kind of awesome.
The kids couldn't wait to visit Toca Boca, a company they liked visiting last year. This year their booth was full of stickers and they were letting the kids decorate all the white furniture within, plus (and best) they had iPads stocked with Toca games. The girls love their science app, everyone loves Toca Boo (a story about a little girl who dresses up like a ghost and plays silly tricks) and Buddy has a number of the vehicle apps:
Buddy had no idea what the significance of the Back to the Future car model was, but he sure loved the fog coming off of it:
We kicked off spring break with a visit to J. Lorraine Ghost Town. The kids were intrigued, and Buddy was a little nervous no matter how many times we explained that there are no ghosts. Turns out the owners (allegedly) are a little nervous too - there's a good backstory to the place about how they bought the land to farm and kept turning up pieces of wood, researched the history and found that there used to be a town on the site. So they used the wood to construct a new "town" (it's more like a movie set) with a little restaurant, horsehoes and volleyball, a movie area, a maze, and a whole lot of wide open space to explore. Which we did. :) Now the kids can't wait to go back - even Buddy.
We found some zombies in the maze:
Our little actresses running from the zombies:
Horseshoes - a dangerous sport when played by a toddler, btw. This was a short activity.