A few weeks ago we visited The MAD Museum in Stratford upon Avon with some of my family. The MAD Museum showcases Mechanical Art & Design, or ‘kinetic art’ – a variety of artwork where movement is a intrinsic part of the piece. The museum is relatively small, but it’s really hands-on meaning that all of the children (five in total, aged around 18 months to 6 years, not including ‘Baby I’ who is a little young!) were able to enjoy and access the museum in their own way.
We had so much fun that we were inspired to have a go at some things of our own.
First up, a marble maze. We used stickle bricks to create the maze, and had a go at tipping the maze to get the marble through from beginning to end. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but worked well enough.
Once we’d finished with the marble run, T wanted to make a fairground. The set we own came with some circular pieces which can turn, so we used these to create our ‘rides’. First, a windmill-type ride, and then something akin to a merry-go-round! The latter involved some trial and error for T figuring out how to stop the arms falling off the moment they were moved!
Finally, we used cardboard tubes and wooden blocks to create a simple marble run, with a robot figurine at the end to be knocked over.
All of these activities involved a fair bit of adult assistance, but T enjoyed helping and making suggestions. We haven’t done a lot of this kind of thing before but I definitely intend to do more of this kind of play in the future! What are your favourite toys for encouraging construction and engineering?