After lunch, we headed back inside the museum and decided to check out the Amazing Backyard Adventures special exhibition. It is a hand-on exhibition, designed for children aged 8-12 years to explore the science of the natural world just outside their doors. As three out of the four kids with us fell in the 8-12 age range, we decided it was just the thing, but although they enjoyed it, my kids Josh (9) and Alana (11) found it a little young for them. Surprisingly, the favourite part for all four kids were the dress-ups, with cute outfits for little frogs, spiders, beetles, snails, and other creepy-crawlies that you might find in your backyard. All the kids (even Josh) enjoyed dressing up!
Next we headed to "Search and Discover", a behind-the-scenes look at the work of the museum. I'm pretty sure that this section was the absolute favourite for my budding scientist Joshua. There were plenty of drawers full of insect specimans, stuffed animals everywhere, lots of skulls and microscopes to study specimans for yourself. Josh loved the fact that everything was touchable! He's not a fan of look-but-don't-touch! He loves to investigate by picking things up, feeling their textures, looking them over and seeing "what they do" or "how they work". Unfortunately we eventually had to pry him away; the skulls and taxidermied animals were giving Emelia the "freakies", especially when he helpfully showed her how the lower jaw on a human skull could open and close!
Next we checked out "Planet of Minerals", with plenty of sparkly and shiny crystals and rocks of all types. Once again, the best bit (especially for Josh), was the touch table (no surprise), allowing the kids to touch, feel and examine special pieces from the collection at close range.
My sis-in-law Michelle decided it was time for her and the girls to head home, but the rest of us decided that we had time to look over the skeletons.
We decided that it was just as well that Emelia wasn't there, as she would probably find the skeletons too freaky, but the rest of us enjoyed comparing the structures of the skeletons of different types of animals. in particular, we found it fascinating to see how a turtle's spine is connected to its upper shell, while its leg bones are connected to the lower shell!
And that's our visit to the museum. A great day was had by all :)