KID Museum

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This post is written in partnership with KID Museum. We hope you enjoy reading about our experience there and all that KID Museum has to offer.

Stepping into KID Museum on a Saturday afternoon, I was surrounded by tons of kids busy making their imaginations come to life. Older kids were assembling Legos into moving robotic creations with computer programming, younger kids were making ping-pong balls fly across the ceiling after connecting clear tubing attached to fans. There was a cardboard creation area that is every kid’s dream-come-true creative space. Tons of pieces of varying sizes and textures just waiting to be cut, glued, colored, and assembled into something new. Working with high school apprentices, kids were using real table saws to cut materials (with safety goggles of course!).

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Alistair explained how his “Drawbot” (a marker-drawing machine) worked. “First you have to use the alligator clip on here.” He used the alligator clip to attach exposed wires. “And then you complete the circuit”, says his Dad. “Yea, and then it goes!” And like magic, the motor on top of the plastic cup started making the markers taped to the cup bounce up and down, traveling all around a large paper-covered table. Seeing his excitement at the machine really working was just as exciting for me as a teacher-mommy to see him truly understand the STEM concepts involved in this project. I really appreciated that this little person was able to use everyday materials in this setting, giving him an approachable, hands-on learning experience. 

Maker Studios

The Maker Studios—Woodshop, Fab Lab, Electronics, and Textiles–provide space for kids to develop foundational maker skills, and then explore concepts in creative, intricate ways. Textiles goes beyond basic hand and machine sewing. For example, kids can integrate tech into clothing, creating light up wearable pieces. In the Fab Lab, I got to see 3D printers in person for the first time. To make this experience even cooler, I learned that the printer I was about to use was actually assembled here by kids! The Woodshop reminded me of the shop class I never had in high school and the kind every kid should experience. Boys and girls were measuring, cutting, using table clamps, and building projects of their own design.

Empowering Girls

One part that made me smile was seeing the kids here for a birthday party–an eight-year-old girl’s party. I LOVED seeing these amazing young women design, build, and race cars across the floor. KID Museum not only inspired this birthday girl with STEM, she loved it so much she decided to spend her most important day of the year here. KID helps ensure more girls have access to STEM, hoping to inspire them to enter more male-dominated fields in the future.

Maker Educators

The Maker Educators at KID Museum are all highly trained, highly skilled professionals in their areas of expertise, as well as working with kids. They seem to know just how much to jump in when a kid needs help and how much to leave kids to explore or figure out on their own. Seeing how involved each child is in every section of the museum says a lot about the quality of activities and educator support being provided.
 
Julie, a Maker Educator, strongly believes in giving kids more open-ended problem-solving time. After working in schools for years, she sees the common struggle schools face in determining how to incorporate STEM into curriculum requirements, even when teachers love teaching these concepts. KID Museum’s programs offer tons of problem-solving opportunities where kids learn to persevere through frustrations and develop agency–skills that are transferable far beyond coding or woodworking. 

“”These are powerful experiences for them, even if it’s a small experience here, they are gaining that sense of agency they can take on everywhere.”

Daily & Weekly Camps

You can keep your kids busy creating this winter break with KID Museum’s Winter Daily Camps. Designed for grades 2-7, kids will love exploring a different theme every day—all with the help of those amazing Maker Educators. Registration is open now, and camps fill up fast. December 26-31st—you can attend one day or attend them all!

Be on the lookout for their Summer Camps registration too. Registration is expected to open the first week of January. KID Museum members get early access to registration (and memberships pay for themselves in just a few visits!).

After-School Programs

Another way to get in on the fun at KID Museum is through after-school programs. In these 10-week sessions, your K-7th grader can explore coding, robotics, woodworking, animation, textiles, and more. After-school programs are led by Maker Educators working in small group settings. Registration is open now for winter after-school, with sessions starting in January.

No matter what a child is interested in, KID Museum has a way to bring out their creativity. Go to be amazed at what your own child is capable of, and enjoy the family experience!

 

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Amanda Holliday
Amanda loves supporting young children and their families through her work as a Parenting Coordinator with a DC non-profit almost as much as she loves learning as a doctoral student studying Infant and Early Childhood Development specializing in Infant Mental Health. Years of working with young children and prenatal/postnatal mamas have given her hours of material that she is excited to share in her blog posts. (She had her half-Jamaican son born during a blizzard and traveled to the hospital in Uber. Just one of the fun stories she has to tell!) When they aren't exploring every playground in Silver Spring, her family loves discovering new ways to have fun together around town. Likes: NY Pizza, Chocolate everything, Trapeze, Aerial yoga, Dislikes: Calories, Snow

1 COMMENT

  1. We love KID Museum! Definitely check out their cultural days. I just brought two ten-year olds to Thai Family Day and it was amazing! They didn’t want to leave.

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