I wish there was a place to take 18 month old. seriously 18 months is a tough age. The are not old enough to hand with the 2 year olds but are too old to for the 1 year olds. Most places are geared for either older kids or younger but not the middle 18mo.
One of the places I really liked when I visited my girlfriend in Houston last summer was a place called stomping grounds. It actually had a playground for 3+ and under 3. So the kids were not together where they could get hurt.
- Mystery Box Reach inside, feel a hidden object, and draw what it might be. This activity asks visitors to make careful observations using their sense of touch to identify the parts of an object and construct an image of the whole, then to create a drawing – a spatial representation – of what they think is inside the box.
- Mirrored Image Draw a picture or write a word so that it looks right-side up in a mirror. This activity encourages visitors to practice their spatial sense through an exploration of symmetry and mirroring.
|Exhibits Director Robin observes kids trying out the mystery box prototype.|
The activities target older children and multiple kid testers talked about how they liked that it was tricky – that they couldn’t do it right away and had to keep trying. And adults were just as engaged as they tried to figure it out for themselves. The exhibits team enjoyed observing how kids naturally helped one another understand how to use each activity.
The team ultimately decided on two versions of the mirrored image activity to give different levels of challenge. They also opted to try out LCD writing tablets instead of using and wasting a lot of paper and are interested to see how visitors respond.
Research shows that spatial thinking is a skill you can improve with practice and the more visitors of all ages try these activities, the better they’ll get!
|Exhibit Designer Chris practices his spatial thinking.|