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A Visit to the New Playscape Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

A few times each week Vivi will ask me if we can “see dinosaurs.” The kid is fascinated with the giant dinosaurs at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. She loves going to the museum even though a lot of the exhibits are bit too mature for her toddler legs and mind to handle. The museum has historically had an area specifically designated for toddlers, but that area had been under construction and unavailable each time we’ve taken Vivi to the museum.

I didn’t get a chance to go to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis back when toddlers and babies area of the museum was open. The times I got to go Addie was always too interested in hanging out in the old Barbie Exhibit or riding the carousel on the top floor. But one thing that was consistent when the topic of the toddler area came up when talking with other parents who went to the Children’s Museum was that the area designated for toddlers was remembered with fondness.

Somewhere along the line the Children’s Museum decided to build a new area in the museum for toddlers and babies call the Playscape Exhibit, and we got the opportunity to have a tour the Exhibit a few weeks ago. After Addie and Vivi played in the new Playscape Exhibit, I came away disappointed that such places did not exist when I was a kid. This area for kids under five is pretty spectacular and it’s something every family in the Indianapolis area and anyone who is visiting the Indianapolis area should take there kids for a visit.

Here are a few pictures of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’s Playscape Exhibit from our visit:

  • Pictures of Our Trip to the Playscape Exhibit 1 of 12
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    Click through to see a few pictures from our visit to the Playscape Exhibit at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

  • Water Play 2 of 12
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    The first thing the kids will likely see as they walk into the Playscape Exhibit is the giant water exhibit. It has several boats, nets, and other toys for the kids to splash and play with. The exhibit also provides little waterproof jackets to keep the kids dry Vivi refuses to wear the jackets. Instead, she prefers to get soaked from head to toe, but as Casey always says, "Kids dry off."

  • Boats 3 of 12
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    These are some of the boats that can be found in the water exhibit. As you can see, Vivi was fascinated with the boats and she loved to have the boats put upright in the water so that she could dump water on them and tip them over.

  • The Perfect Size 4 of 12
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    Everything in the Exhibit is the perfect size for toddlers. In the other areas of the Children's Museum, Vivi has had a tough time reaching the exhibits, but in the Playscape area everything is the perfect size just for her.

  • Butterflies 5 of 12
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    There is an area in the Playscape Exhibit that is specifically designated for toddlers. There are a series of little machines in that area of Playscape that blow around little cloth items shaped like leaves and butterflied. Vivi was fascinated with the butterfly machine.

  • Butterflies Fly 6 of 12
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    All of the cloth butterflies are placed in the cylinder and then a button is pushed and all of the butterflies fly out of the cylinder and into the air.

  • Puppet Show 7 of 12
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    In the toddler area there is a log where the kids can go into and put on a puppet show for the other kids. Here, Addie is putting on a puppet show for Vivi who is sitting on the outside of the log where Addie is sitting.

  • Music Area 8 of 12
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    There is also a room with all kinds of drums and xylophones that the kids can bang on and try to make music with. It's also a great way to teach kids how sound is made and how different materials create different music.

  • Sand Play 9 of 12
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    Similar to the water exhibit, there is a sand exhibit. The kids can play in sand using different tools like brushes and rollers. The rollers have different patterns on them so they create different patterns in the sand. There are also some wheels that the kids can turn while pouring the sand on the wheel or while running the rollers over the sand on the wheel. Vivi's favorite tool was the sifter pan. She would have me fill the pan with sand and then hold it high in the air so she could watch the sand fall to the exhibit in a cloud like stream.

  • Building Ramps 10 of 12
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    There is an area where the kids can use balls to see how different obstacles affect the balls as they roll. Here, I set up a foam track for Vivi to roll balls down and eventually some other kids came over and played with the track as well.

  • Leap Frog 11 of 12
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    My favorite area of the Playscape Exhibit was the series of lily pads.This exhibit is full of giant lily pads that are attached to poles that reach to the ceiling. The lily pads are surrounded by netted wire so the kids cannot fall out of the exhibit. The kids lily pad by lily pad to different areas and different heights of the exhibit. There are multiple directions the kids can climb as they explore the lily pads. I was hesitant to put Vivi in this exhibit at first, but the thing is designed with toddlers in mind and Vivi mastered the lily pads like a champ.

  • A Boat at the Top 12 of 12
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    Located at the top of the lily pads are a few boats that the kids can climb into and look down at their parents in. Vivi didn't have the courage to make it all the way to the boat, but it was no problem for Addie.

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