Exploring States of Matter: Homeschooling at the Children's Museum

We had a wonderful day at the children's museum yesterday.  The boys had signed up for a three part class on water back in January and yesterday was our last class.  So far they have built boats (of various kinds) and made dams and water wheels.  We were anxious to see what today's class was going to entail.

We arrived early and spent a few hours exploring and playing before our class and then we stayed for several hours afterwards.

Ian settled down to read a book simply called The Bridge.  We walked around the bridge play area reading about bridges and watching a movie on moving a bridge down the river using barges.  There were lots of pictures of bridges all around and Ian recalled everything he learned during his bridge study to identify each of the different types of bridges.

Reading his book 

Alec and Evan spent several hours playing in the dramatic play areas that are set up around the museum.  They played in the farm house, the pirate ship, and the pretend store.  They were cooking, shopping, using the cash register and making "change."  People could orders into the store and they would fill and deliver them.  They started playing with another mother and her little boy including him in their play.

I missed most of what they were doing since I was in another part of the museum with Ian for most of it.  The two of them were playing so nicely together and I offered to let them keep playing as long as they stayed together and come found me when they were done.  I did peek in a time or two to check on them but they were thrilled to be left to their own imaginations.  I did hear little snippets here and there though and remember hearing Evan tell Alec "If you give me $1,000 I'll give you $900 back as change."  "What? It's only $100!"  and "What is 10,000 plus 10,000?"

playing house 

hanging out in the store 

Ian spent his morning playing in the water room trying to make a dam.  He did an amazing job making a three tiered dam and stopping most of the water using sandbags, blocks, and plastic walls.

I love watching how intense he gets when
he's hard at work 

The boys all played together in the water room for a bit trying to get all of the balls into the water vortex chamber but not allowing them to go through the vortex.

They also played with the light pegs, scarves, and air tunnels for a bit.  Evan was experimenting with which material would make it through the tunnels first; the scarves or the yarn balls.  He then thought it might be best to put the yarn ball inside the scarves and tried it that way.

Class started and the boys learned that today's class was all about the various sates of matter.  We learned that while solid, liquid, and gas were the three main types of matter that more states have been discovered like plasma.  (And since coming home we've also learned about BE Condensates.)  You can read more about the states of matter here. They were painting with ice cubes.  Sculpting with shaved ice and ice cubes.  Blowing bubbles into cups of colored soap and taking prints.  They were drawing with markers and experimenting with the effects by spraying them water.

Making a Minecraft ice sculpture  

Coloring with markers and spraying it with water 

Painting with watercolor ice cubes

sculpting an igloo 

Making bubble prints 

We also spent time in the water room with the class playing with ice in the water tables.  The boys spent a lot of time experimenting with which would melt faster in a vortex of water; cubes or shaved ice.
Playing with the vortex 

Playing with a table of shaved ice 

Once the class was over the boys spent two hours playing outside on the playground with their friends.  We had friends taking the class with us and they also made new friends through this class.  All the kids played nicely together making up games of chase and climbing over everything.


  1. That looks like a lot of fun! Our local children's museum has a lot of similar exhibits.

    1. I always think my oldest will not enjoy going to the "children's museum" now that he's almost 12 but he still does. It is a lot of fun!

  2. what a great hands on experience! thanks for linking up!

  3. Looks like a fabulous time. I would want to spend the entire day there just checking things out too.

    Thanks for sharing on #FridayFrivolity

    1. It was a lot of fun! My boys have such a great time exploring, building, and experimenting.


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