WOW! Children’s Museum hosts a variety of art, science, dramatic play, and practical life exhibits for children ages 1 to 11 years old. Many of our exhibits are created in-house by staff members, volunteers, and collaborators. WOW! believes in employing the talents and skills of our community to design creative environments that engage children and families in unique learning experiences.
Experience the physics of pulleys by pulling yourself up to the ceiling! Which chair is easiest? Which chair is fastest?Explore
Watch a performance on our Stage, or create your own! Lights, scenery, and costumes can be used to follow one of our scripts, or use the props to enact your own imaginative scenarios.Explore
Move your body to rhythm and sound as you put on a costume and tap dance to the music! Or take a calmer path and try some new poses in the Yoga nook.Explore
The Art Room provides arts and crafts activities for children that spark imagination, creativity and fun. Explore art with a variety of materials from paper and markers to string and paint. Replicate one of our examples, or create something totally new!Explore
Experience the properties of sound and light. Draw with light, color with shadows, or play a tune with light beams!Explore
Where does food come from? Explore local resources or buy produce and other goods at the market. Take turns being the customer and cashier to ring up the purchases!Explore
It’s time for your check-up! Explore the medical field through play by taking on the role of health care provider or patient.Explore
Practice money recognition, counting, basic math skills, and learn about saving and spending at the Bank. Pretend to be a bank teller or a customer to make deposits and withdrawals through the drive-up windowExplore
Explore the properties of air and wind! How high can the big blower push a scarf? Can you suspend a ball in an air stream? How does a windmill turn?Explore
Explore the growth of plants in our real garden or the pretend greenhouse.Explore
Outside on the patio, move a solar panel to catch the sun and make the fountain run! Look for the Heliostat that shines a beam of sunlight into the Museum to light up the Rainbow Room.Explore
Climb, slide, explore, and play at the Toddler Beach! This exhibit space is designed for our youngest vistors ages 1-5 years old.Explore
WOW! Children’s Museum believes in the power of play and that play helps develops critical foundational skills that benefit children in school and beyond. Informal play is being threatened at schools and at home, with children becoming more scheduled and having less freedom to play. WOW! plays a critical role in our community by providing informal play experiences in a safe and educational environment. Within our Museum walls, children explore exhibits about a variety of subjects, including STEM, art, music, dance, theater, health, and practical life. Our exhibits are designed to stimulate healthy child development and to be engaging to children and families. With exhibits based on bubbles, light and sound, wind, art, health, market and food, theatre, dance and yoga, banking, solar energy, pirate ship, gardening, and a dedicated toddler space, the Museum is full of ways for kids to explore, discover and imagine!
WOW! uses measurable standards for Museum exhibits to guide future design and prioritize renovations for current exhibits. The majority of the Museum’s exhibits are created, designed and built right here in Lafayette, CO in our on-site workshop. Our design process allows us to gather valuable feedback from visitors so we can create exhibits that engage children and allow them to learn while doing.
What does it take to build an exhibit from the ground up?
Are we improving an existing exhibit or starting from scratch? What does the museum need? What would visitors like to see? What community resources are available?
Our Exhibits Team researches learning objectives for the exhibit, best practices from other museums, and what kids and families would find fun! During the design process we solicit feedback from select visitors and community members to be sure that we will meet our Play, Learn, Imagine goals.
We make sure to prototype our exhibits using a scaled down version of exhibit components to check for things like safety, durability, and achieving learning objectives. Exhibits components typically go through several rounds of prototyping. Real kids test in the real museum environment whenever possible, as they always manage to do something unexpected!
Our Exhibits Team will analyze the prototyping data and finalize the exhibit design. Now for the fun part – building! We build exhibits in our on-site workshop or use local fabricators whenever possible. Our Education Department will create programming that complements school curricula.
We regularly evaluate all of our exhibits to determine whether they meet our standards of interactive, safe, educational, and fun. The results of these evaluations help us figure out what we need to improve in our existing exhibits.
Design, Test, and Evaluate steps are repeated until we and our visitors are happy with the final exhibit!
By following these steps and utilizing resources available in the community, it is our goal to to design creative exhibits and environments that engage children and families and get them learning through unique hands-on experiences!