the i.d.e.a. museum

IMG_1823 IMG_1816_2IMG_1822 IMG_1819 IMG_1824 a few days back, our little crew took a little trip to the i.d.e.a. museum in mesa. ben and i were trying to plan an afternoon with the kiddos and tossed around the idea of going to a pumpkin patch but, well, that seemed a bit played out. we then moved onto the usual list of museums and play centers and other exhibits. been there, done that. and then, aha! ben said, "hey, how about the i.d.e.a. museum?" and it was done.

elinor was really excited. i think she was under the impression that we were going to disneyland, so i was worried that this particular trip would be a bit of a let down. (she has been moving into the disney-movie-love phase of childhood so we have been talking a lot about all that stuff and taking a looksie at the calendar trying to plan out the inaugural trip. summer vacation, perhaps. or maybe her 4th birthday? we'll see...) BUT, since she doesn't yet understand how magical disney is, the museum was magic to her.

we bypassed the itty-bitty kids area (forgot our socks) and moved straight into the arts and crafts and technology and exhibition area and jumped in.


elinor played with the massive tech interaction toy like a pro. kids and tech. it is wild. (i feel like an old person as i type this. like i should be calling her a whippersnapper or something.) she knew exactly what she was doing and was swirling all the letters around the screen to match them and spell out words. like she had been doing it her whole life. mama and papa supervised and marveled.


we built houses from recycled materials and decorated them like crazy. we did some freeform art. sketching and coloring, even using iPads as a canvas. from station to station, elinor's eyes widened more and more. and then, we entered the sound dome. it picks up on movement and translates it to rainforest sounds that swirl around you. the idea is that you connect movement with sound instead of sight with sound. that was a blast. elinor and i jumped and danced and twirled and ran in circles and laughed at the wild sounds around us. we totally need one of these for our backyard...


and to round out the trip, all aboard for the train exhibit! this was surprisingly cool. elinor isn't super obsessed with trains...but that might have changed. she got to dress up like a conductor, build a locomotive, collect stamps from the learning stations, design her own "elinor express" toy, create a railway system. if it was anywhere in the train world, we did it.


after we had our fill of activities, we took a stroll around downtown mesa before heading home for snacks and naps.

we will for sure add this to our museum/outing/learning/playtime arsenal. until next time, i.d.e.a. museum!