Science Made Simple at kidspace children’s museum

T heading into kidspace children’s museum in Pasadena, CA.

I think you know this by now, but our family loves anything science-related (see these posts as hard scientific evidence of this fact). So when I learned that our play group was planning their first trip up to kidspace children’s museum in Pasadena a few weeks ago, I concluded we would be there.

Build ramps and structures with giant “tinker toys” to see how incline planes, gravity, and energy works together out at kidspace children’s museum.

Discover dinosaur bones at the archaeology exhibit inside of kidspace children’s museum.

The kids coming up the rabbit hole in the indoor play area at kidspace children’s museum.

For those who don’t know or are not familiar, kidspace is probably the premier children’s museum in the Los Angeles area. There is something for every kid (and adult) at this museum. Whether you love arts and crafts, pretend play, science, gross-motor exercise, or hands-on discovery of the fine-motor sort, kidspace has it all, indoors and out, rustic to refined, classic to modern.

Hey, hey, pull the kids UP! The kids ride simple pulley machines at kidspace children’s museum. There are different combinations to show the kids how pulleys assist with workload.

A sign just like this one tells kids what they are learning and doing at each of the 13 stations in the Galvin Physics Forest of kidspace children’s museum. The signs also give suggestions as to what we can do at home to continue our learning and understanding of the different areas of physical science on display. Brilliant!

I wasn’t surprised that T wanted to stick around and watch the pulley exhibit in the Physics Forest at kidspace children’s museum. He’s really into pulleys at home now, too.

T and a friend play tug-o-war lever-style out at kidspace children’s museum’s Galvin Physics Forest.

T shoots ping-pong balls at kidspace children’s museum’s Galvin Physics Forest. The exhibit shows kids how the different components of trajectory – angle, weight of object, pressure, force – work together to launch balls through hoops.

A few months ago, kidspace opened their outdoor Galvin Physics Forest. This is a hands-on (and some feet- and entire body-on) area where you and your kids can get up close and personal with simple mechanics, rocket science, and other physical science play-stations. There 13 exhibits in all, including: pulleys of all combinations where kids can sit and hoist themselves up poles (and compare-contrast why some are easier to work than others); levers situated at different pivot points to show kids how leverage actually works with and against their advantage; and all sorts of trajectory games where users can pressurize different devices to launch balls and rockets through hoops or into the sky.

A wide shot of the Galvin Physics Forest at kidspace children’s museum. The outdoor area hosts 13 stations for kids and adults to learn about physical science in a playful, hands-on manner.

Compare and contrast is the name of the game in the Physics Forest. Here, science is a fun, non-threatening, and easy activity for even the littlest of junior scientists in your family. Having said that, I am glad I waited to bring T here until he was four. Though I think he’d have enjoyed the playing portion of most of the activities here at three-years-old, I think he got so much more out of the visit in being able to talk to the exhibitors about what was happening at the different science stations and elsewhere throughout the museum. And I enjoyed being able to talk with T about what he was experiencing, too. Simply put, science rocks.

T and his buddy riding a bike out at kidspace children’s museum. The museum provides helmets for all riders, including paper helmet liners to keep it clean as well as safe.

When the weather gets too warm in the Physics Forest, kids can take a break and play in the hillside stream up the hill at kidspace children’s museum in Pasadena (CA).

The indoor exhibit area at kidspace children’s museum in Pasadena (CA).

We also took some time during our visit for riding bikes, playing in the stream, and exploring the indoor areas of the museum. It was quite warm when we visited, so we were very thankful for an indoor respite at times to get out of the sun (and the kids had a blast getting soaked in the stream, too!).

T playing and staying cool in the stream at kidspace children’s museum.

I look forward to bringing T back to kidspace soon, and next time we will bring C, too. I know that just like my engineer of a husband enjoys taking T to the Columbia Memorial Space Center and the Discovery Science Center, he will enjoy and appreciate the Physics Forest for the trees.

Stay cool while learning something about physical science out at the Galvin Physics Forest at kidspace children’s museum.

Sharpen your pencils – and minds – at kidspace children’s museum in Pasadena (CA).

kidspace children’s museum is located at 480 N. Arroyo Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91103. (626) 449-9144. Before you visit, remember to check the calendar at kidspace for special events, namely UCLA home football game Saturdays when the museum closes intermittently through the month of January (kidspace share’s a parking lot with the Rose Bowl just a few blocks up the road). I also advise checking the weather forecast before your visit; Pasadena can get very hot (it was 100 degrees the day we went in August), so do not forget your water and sunscreen! And if you are a KCRW member, don’t forget your Fringe Benefits Card for $2 off each admission and 15 percent off in the gift shop!