Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Night At The Museum

One of the many perks of living in the Washington, DC Metro area is access to the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian is composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. My children love to visit the Natural History Museum. In fact, no matter how many times we enter the main doors, the African Bull elephant in the rotunda still elicits “ahs.” Other favorites include the National Gallery of Art and the National Air and Space Museum.

On May 22, Ben Stiller will reprise his role as Larry Daley in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. These films use history as the backdrop for humor and adventure, and we are fans. Amelia Earhart, Teddy Roosevelt, and my favorite… Cowboy Jebediah played by one Owen Wilson ( Yahoo, Mr. Wilson!). I just purchased the first film on DVD for my daughter and while she is not a fan of “naked dinosaurs” – she prefers skin on TOP of the bones – I have a feeling this will be on the preferred movie circulation in the coming months.

Kobold’s motto is “Have fun learning!” and in that spirit we would like to share toys inspired by our visits to the Smithsonian Institution.

The Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum is incredible and is a MUST destination. You’ll have the chance to see a “naked” T-Rex and the very fierce Allosaurus.

Interested in the Wild West? Visit the National Museum of American History and learn about Buffalo Bill and life on the plains or visit the National Postal Museum and learn the history of the Pony Express and mail transportation.

A visit to the Air and Space Museum allows your child to learn about early aviation and see the creations of the Wright brothers and NASA. Star Trek lovers can also see the Star Trek Starship Enterprise Model! You do not want to miss the Lockheed Martin Imax Theatre presentation of 3D Sun nor The Stars Tonight at the Albert Einstein Planetarium. Can’t make it to DC this summer? Then bring the knowledge of the universe home through the 4M Solar System Planetarium or 4M Create a Night Sky kit.

For some reason many families neglect to include the National Gallery of Art on their “must-see” list. My daughter loves to wander around the museum and look at the works of art. Right now she is a fan of Edgar Degas, the mobiles of Alexander Calder, and the still lifes of Martin Johnson Heade. She is still trying to understand Grey Monolith by Hans Hofmann and is convinced Hans goes to her preschool. In fact, she is certain that she has "seen that artwork outside one of the classrooms..." Help your artist "figure it out" with the Faber-Castell Young Artist Paint Set.

If a trip to DC is not in your immediate future, please visit the Smithsonian Institution websites. All of them have resources for children and many of them have virtual tours you can experience from the comfort of your home. We are always checking on the pandas and the flamingos through the National Zoo’s animal webcams. Virtual visits can be full of learning and fun too!

Have a great weekend! And don't forget to have fun learning! - Ashley

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