Aug. 29, 2016 at 8:00am
Manage Stress & the Transition to Kindergarten
By Charlene L. Montaño Nolan, Doctoral Student, Learning Sciences and Human Development
I’m ready for Kindergarten to start, but is my kid?!
Since she turned five-years-old, our daughter has been asked if she’s excited for kindergarten to start. She was exuberant in her answer at first, but as the weather begins to cool- so has her enthusiasm. As a parent who is sending their child off to formal schooling for the first time, I hope sharing my experiences will make the transition easier for you.
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Aug. 15, 2016 at 8:00am
Attachment: Relationships at the Earliest Stages
From Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
Everyone has seen a baby cry when its mother walks away or the screaming toddler begging for its father to return. Attachment is easy to observe, but how does it develop and what can it impact later in life? University of Washington's I-Labs helps answer these questions and show that attachment is a highly important developmental piece.
By the first year in a baby’s life attachments have been formed. While basic needs drive a lot of interaction between infants and adults, that is not the sole basis for early relationships. In the 1950's Harry Harlow led a study using baby monkeys and two surrogate man-made monkeys to test the basis for early relationships. One surrogate was made of wire and one of soft terrycloth. Half of the animals could feed on each surrogate. However, all of the monkeys bonded with the soft terrycloth surrogate, because they enjoyed the warmth and comfort. Babies often bond with their mothers or those feeding them; they also form attachments to fathers and frequent caregivers as they find comfort in those relationships as well. Read more →
Aug. 8, 2016 at 8:00am
Early Childhood Classes
Get the inside scoop on fall classes!
Summer is starting to wind down, and with fall comes classes at KidsQuest! KidsQuest Children's Museum has a variety of early learning classes for children nine months to five years old. Each class has a different format and unique goals. Out of the five options one will be the perfect fit for your family!
Busy Hands is a class that offers parents a way to connect with children before they are talking. Jamie Bonnett, KidsQuest Children's Museum Associate Director of Education, developed this class after her studies in child development and linguistics. Parents and kids alike learn ASL skills to increase communication and understanding. The course will also help find ways to keep those busy baby hands learning and engaged. Read more →
Jul. 11, 2016 at 12:40pm
Summer Camp at KidsQuest Children's Museum
By Chauntae Kukowski, KidsQuest Museum Supervisor & Educator
Science Explorers Camps, for children ages 3-5, have just concluded for this summer! This year each of our camps focused on introducing different sciences to young children. We dug into Biology (plant and animal), Chemistry, Paleontology, Geology, and Physics in a variety of ways. While each day camp is packed with rich learning about our topics through exploration and play, the other learning experiences (often unexpected by parents) are improved social skills and greater Executive Function, both of which lead to Kindergarten readiness.
Read more →
Jul. 4, 2016 at 8:00am
Fireworks Four Ways - Art Activities At Home
by Andi Koller, KidsQuest Museum Supervisor & Educator
Looking for something new to try out with your kids this holiday weekend? Here are some Independence Day inspired crafts that guarantee a full day of fun, rain or shine!
1. Colorful Spray Bottles
It’s amazing how such a simple action, like using a spray bottle, can turn into hours of exploration for kids! This one can be challenging for toddlers, as they are developing necessary fine motor skills, but with a little encouragement, you can help them succeed.
Materials: spray bottles, liquid watercolor, a wipe-able surface or the sidewalk
Read more →
- Fill up spray bottles with about 90% water and 10% liquid watercolor
- Show your child where they can spray (we use a plexiglass wall, but easels and the sidewalk work great!)
- Spray away! Practice using the trigger on the spray bottle, mixing colors, or wiping away.
Jun. 20, 2016 at 8:00am
Nutrition and Fertility
by Erika DeRooy, RD, CD, Registered Dietitian
So often we think that a baby’s health starts from the moment of conception – however, emerging research shows it actually starts long before. So, let’s learn more about what you can eat to help increase your fertility and the health before you are pregnant.
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May. 29, 2016 at 8:00am
Got a science question?
Ask Dr. Universe, the coolest cat in science.
Kids ask great questions about our world and how it works. But what do you do when an answer is nowhere to be found? Ask Dr. Universe!
Dr. Wendy Sue Universe is the world’s most inquisitive cat. She teams up with her friends at Washington State University to tackle tough questions from kids around the world.
Read more →
May. 9, 2016 at 8:00am
KidsQuest is here for you this summer!
By Jenn Boesenberg Museum Educator
KidsQuest Children’s Museum made the big announcement last week that we will close our current museum space on November 27, 2016 and open at our future location on January 12, 2017. Until then KidsQuest will have awesome activities at our current location all through the summer and fall. Plus, KidsQuest is doing a ton of outreach around King County this summer.
Did you know that KidsQuest Children's Museum puts on hundreds of outreach events year round? This summer I will be leading many different programs that you can visit, as well as going into preschools and summer camps to enhance students' learning. It is very exciting to complete KidsQuest activities in new places - possibly even in the sun! While you may not be able to see us at your camp or school this summer, there are many places to see KidsQuest this summer other than at the museum. Read more →
Apr. 25, 2016 at 8:00am
Five Tricks of the Trade: Storytime
by Heather Paul
Every Tuesday afternoon, I turn into a rainbow.
I enter the restroom at work in my professional attire, and exit a few minutes later in a rainbow tie-dye tunic and shawl. A goofy headband with springy pink, green, and orange bopper tubes, and a large tie-dye backpack complete the ensemble. A child who recognized me in my costume on my way to KidsQuest called out, “Look Mom! It’s the Storytime Lady.”
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Apr. 18, 2016 at 8:00am
By Penny Walter, M.A. Education, Penny's Puppet Productions
Puppets have been part of human history since the first caveman acted out his morning hunt with two rocks. A puppet is an inanimate object animated; it is as simple as that. Puppets are a part of every culture. They teach social and emotional skills while telling stories and entertaining.
Read more →
Apr. 4, 2016 at 8:00am
Building early brain development? There’s an app for that.
By Devon Love, Public Health, Seattle & King County
What do you get when you cross technology with brain science? One really cool concept for building strong, healthy minds. This concept – part app, part tool, part resource and part initiative – is called Vroom.
The Vroom App
In a nutshell, Vroom’s mobile app is designed to give parents and caregivers suggestions for activities that will help them interact with their little ones in ways that foster brain development. The tips in the app are curated for tots at every stage in the critical brain development period, from newborns to five-year-olds. For each tip, the user also gets some insight as to why the task helps the brain grow.
Read more →
Mar. 28, 2016 at 8:00am
Tri-Museum Early Learning Collaborative Caregiver Survey
Join the Conversation
There’s always lots of exciting things happening at KidsQuest Children’s Museum! Some of them (new programs, exhibits, or our exciting relocation project) are very visible to the public. However, there’s also a lot happening behind the scenes that our patrons don’t always get to know about. For example, KidsQuest is currently part of the Tri-Museum Early Learning Collaborative.
Read more →
Mar. 21, 2016 at 8:00am
Baby Scientists: Building Your Child’s STEM Skills Through Play
Amelia Bachleda, Outreach and Education Specialist with Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at University of Washington
You’ve arrived, suddenly, on an alien planet. Everything is different. Every creature is strange and fantastic. How do you puzzle out the rules of this new planet, or begin to understand its languages and customs?
If you are anything like a human infant, you will watch your new habitat with care as you try to take it all in. You will keep track of different events that you see, looking for patterns and rules. You may even try to engage with the creatures around you, by looking, pointing, and making new sounds.
Read more →
Mar. 7, 2016 at 8:00am
Pysanky Egg Workshop
By Jamie Bonnett, Associate Director of Education
It’s that time of year again when you will begin seeing colored eggs all around. The most common eggs in this country are hardboiled, dipped in dye and hidden for children to find. But there is a wonderful ancient Ukrainian art form of egg decorating that tells a story using designs and heated wax called Pysanka. It is beautiful, intricate, and enjoyable to learn how to do.
Read more →
Feb. 22, 2016 at 8:00am
7 Questions for choosing the right day camp for your child!
By Alison Luk, Associate Director of Education, KidsQuest Children's Museum
There’s still a chill in the air, but for many families, it’s time to start thinking about summer activities! If day camp is on the agenda for your family this summer, here are some questions to ask to help you find the perfect fit for your camper!
Read more →
Feb. 15, 2016 at 8:00am
A Parents’ Guide to Science: Wondering, Guessing, & Testing Ideas
By Megan Doerr, Principal Scientist, Governance, Sage Bionetworks
As a parent, you have approximately a billion things to worry about each day. How can you (easily) foster your kids’ interest in science? Science happens when we link together three steps: wondering, guessing, and testing out our guesses. The great news is your kids are probably already doing a fair amount of wondering, guessing, and testing every day. Read more →
Jan. 4, 2016 at 8:00am
Get to Know an Artist!
Meet EssexDebs coming to KidsQuest for an Art-tastic Evening
Sculptors, musicians, and actors…oh my! The Pacific Northwest is home to a wide variety of talented artists and fantastic arts educational organizations. We’ve asked some of them to share the creativity at the annual An Art-Tastic Evening on January 27th at KidsQuest Children’s Museum!
Read more →
Dec. 28, 2015 at 8:00am
Help Your Child Learn About Philanthropy
Philanthropy is a complex topic to explain to a child. In this season that is often focused on "getting," it may be the perfect time to broach the subject of giving. Teaching your child about philanthropic works can help increase self-awareness, encourage empathy and empower a sense of self-worth. Read more →
Oct. 26, 2015 at 8:00am
Volunteer with ILABS!
University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
Want to learn more about the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS)?Read more →
I-LABS is an interdisciplinary research center on early learning and brain development. We study social and cognitive development. We explore questions such as: why do infants enjoy social interactions? How do toddlers learn about the emotions and goals of others? And what makes children enjoy math?
Oct. 19, 2015 at 8:00am
Make Spooky Black Light Gak
By Alison Luk, Associate Director of Education, KidsQuest Children's Museum
The KidsQuest staff is an enthusiastic bunch, and few things get this team more excited than Halloween! Crazy costumes, devious decorations, and terrifying treats! Oh my! We love to incorporate a little glowing science into our festivities. Want to conduct a glowing chemical reaction experiment using household materials? Check out this black light gak experiment! It’s a great way to practice measurement and following a recipe. You can also use it as an opportunity to build scientific thinking skills. Have your child make a “hypothesis” about what they think will happen before each step or ask them to describe their observations after each step.
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Aug. 31, 2015 at 8:00am
Copy Cats & Cognitive Benefits
The Power of Leaning Through Imitation
We have all seen babies put phones to their ears, pretend to feed stuff animals and mimic facial expressions. Young children imitating adults is not only adorable; it is also an important learning tool. With imitation babies can communicate, expedite trial-and-error learning, learn from everyone around them and understand about intentions and goals.
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Aug. 3, 2015 at 8:00am
New Program: Parents’ Night Out
By Alison Luk, Associate Director of Education, KidsQuest Children's Museum
When we develop new programs at KidsQuest Children’s Museum, our education team considers a lot of factors. What needs in our community are not being met? Which new curriculums and methods align with our play-based educational philosophy? What can we do to better support parents in their role as educators? Will everyone have fun?
The parents that we serve are amazing advocates for their children. They seek out exciting educational opportunities, make sure their kids get plenty of time to learn through play, and they read everything they can about how their kids learn. It looked to us like these parents might need a break!
Read more →
Jul. 27, 2015 at 8:00am
Why the First 2,000 Days Matter
Information for this blog post came from The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), at University of Washington.
When holding a new baby, it is hard to imagine them starting kindergarten. However, it only takes 2,000 days before the average child is heading off on the school bus. Clearly, a lot needs to happen in those 2,000 days. Let's reflect on brain development in those first five years and what parents can do to help.Read more →
The brain is busy growing each day. When babies are born, their brain is only one-fourth the size of an adult's brain. By age three a child’s brain has grown to 80 percent of its adult size. By age five the brain is 90 percent of adult size. That’s right; your child’s brain will increase by 65% in the first five years of life!
Jul. 6, 2015 at 8:00am
Let Your Kids Play in the Mud
By Janelle Durham, MSW, Parent Educator for Bellevue College and author of www.gooddayswithkids.com
It’s so easy to find excuses for not letting your child play outdoors. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s too sunny. It’s raining. They get so dirty. They could get hurt. Parents worry they’ll get bored when “stuck” outside with the kids. It often seems easier to stay indoors.
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Jun. 29, 2015 at 8:00am
Learning the Sounds of Language
Language Development with I-Labs
This week we are wondering how young children learn a language. Turns out language learning starts before a baby is even born! From the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy, a baby can hear language. An infant’s exposure to their mother’s native language while in the womb allows them to identify their own “home” language right when they are born.
Read more →
Jun. 15, 2015 at 9:04am
Bringing Back Music
By Nathalia Palis, IMF, MT-BC & Children's Recording Artist/Entertainer
Did you know that the sense of hearing starts to develop in the sixth week of pregnancy and by week twenty-four a fetus can turn their head to familiar sounds? All the while listening to a steady beating drum and humming of his/her mother’s voice. Maybe this is why I have always been so passionate about singing to my children and using music as a teaching device.
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Jun. 5, 2015 at 10:57am
KidsQuest: One Activity Brought to Life with Boundless Imagination
By Nicole Frymier, KidsQuest Children’s Museum Educator
The museum floor at KidsQuest is never dull. Even if we are about to close and there is just one toddler in the backyard, you can be sure amazing play is still happening. As an educator, interacting with visitors out in the museum is a valuable opportunity to help learning through play. Whether it’s building catapults together to demolish targets, or stacking the blocks in the wheelbarrow to carry across the museum, I’m always ready to follow a child’s lead when it comes to what they want to explore that day.
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Jun. 1, 2015 at 11:13am
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
By Carla Johnson Municipal, Market Assistant at Republic Services
Republic Services pioneered comingled recycling in the Northwest and is passionate about educating our communities to be great stewards of the environment. Educating kids is our top focus. With that in mind, here are some ideas about how to start the conversation and empower children in making a difference.
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May. 25, 2015 at 9:46am
Bringing the World to Children and Families
By Alison Luk, Associate Director of Education & ExploreStore Manage
Last week, five KidsQuest team members participated in the Association of Children’s Museum’s 2015 InterActivity conference in Indianapolis! The conference’s theme, Bringing the World to Children and Families, focused attention on what it means to be a children's museum in a time of increasing connectivity. The staff presented and attended educational sessions with almost 1,000 other children’s museum professionals. Presentations and workshops covered topics like pedagogy, early learning, the latest developmental research, events and programs, community engagement, and more. The team also had the opportunity to expand their skills in areas of museum operations including fundraising, financial management, exhibit design, outreach, staffing, and evaluation. The conference was a wonderful opportunity for KidsQuest’s staff to share their knowledge and expertise and get lots of ideas about how they can help the museum serve our community in even better ways!
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May. 18, 2015 at 9:54am
Don’t be Dramatic, it’s just Play!
By Charlene L. Montaño Nolan, Doctoral Student, Learning Sciences and Human Development
The Importance of Play
Children learn much about the world through exploration and discovery; encouraging play helps children develop their own problem solving skills and social skills, as well as physical development. Offering children opportunities to play in a safe environment gives them the chance to develop skills necessary for school-readiness and important life-lessons.
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Apr. 21, 2015 at 9:50am
Read more →
When Kesten walked in the door to Rainier Community Center on a Thursday in November 2014, she did not expect to see such a large scale celebration. The community center’s basketball court was filled with people, some in blue T-shirts sitting at tables, surrounded by curious kids and adults. Kesten had brought her 5 year old son Leo, and he had never seen anything like this! He ran from one table to the next, bubbling with curiosity. Everything looked so colorful and fun! At each table he discovered something different. There were cards, dice, guessing games, strategy games - no two tables were alike. But they all had one purpose. Every table, every game, every volunteer in a blue T-shirt sporting the Zeno logo, was there for one reason - to bring together the entire community in a celebration of math. Kesten and Leo had walked into their very first MathFest and they were experiencing math like never before.
Apr. 14, 2015 at 10:06am
Parenting an infant? Caring for such a young child is full of so many brand new experiences. Whether you are parenting your first child or not, making the adjustment is sometimes easy and sometimes not. When parenting stress is compounded by conflicting advice, lack of sleep, differences in opinion with your parenting partner, and a baby who can’t talk and who may be crying, crying, crying for some unknown reason, it is always helpful to establish your parenting priorities and your parenting compass to ease those difficult moments. By making the harder moments better, the bond between the parent and child grows stronger and those “falling in love” moments between parent and baby will happen more often.Read more →
Apr. 1, 2015 at 11:13am
Listen to Me
Why Won't My Young Children Listen
When we were
growing up parents used to say, “Obey Me!”
Now we tell
children to listen:
“Get your shoes on.”
“Put your toys away.”
“Stop fighting with your
“Eat your dinner.”
“Go to bed.”
telling is not effective, a parent might turn to pleading or demanding. The
volume can go up. The emotions can escalate. Then, parenting frustration creeps
in…Read more →
Mar. 18, 2015 at 9:09am
Board Games That Build Math Skills!
Playing board games is not just a fun way to spend time together. Playing board games also helps kids (and adults!) build important skills. Games let kids practice social skills like taking turns and losing gracefully, strategic planning skills, communication skills, and more. Many board games are also big learning opportunities for math skills. Check out some of these fun picks for great mathematics skill building fun for the whole family!Read more →
Mar. 3, 2015 at 10:13am
Kindergarten Readiness – It’s not just ABCs and 123s!
Kindergarten readiness! It’s a concept at the forefront of the minds of many parents and caregivers. We play games to help our children learn letters, match colors, identify shapes, and count. But did you know that many of the most important skills required for success in Kindergarten are the “non-academic” ones? As Dr. Barbara Smith from the University of Colorado-Denver and Health Sciences Center describes, “Science has established a compelling link between social/emotional development and behavior and school success.”Read more →
Feb. 23, 2015 at 2:06pm
Visiting an Art Museum with the Whole Family
Art museums can inspire wonder, foster creativity, build
community, and provide a platform for dialog for visitors of all ages. Whether
you've never been to a museum before or you’re a frequent visitor, below are
some suggestions for before, during, and after your next museum adventure to
help make it a fun and engaging experience for the whole family. Read more →
Feb. 6, 2015 at 2:56pm
Hands on History
Eastside Heritage Center provides hands-on history experiences as part of KidsQuest Children’s Museum’s $1 Third Thursdays every month from November through April. Make sure to also join us for our next few hands-on history programs, "The Log Cabin Experience" Thursday February 19th, and "Remembering the Past, Looking to the Future: Personal Time Capsules" on Thursday, March 19th. These programs are made possible through the support of 4Culture. Read more →
Jan. 28, 2015 at 12:39pm
The Power of Music in Language Learning and Literacy
If you've attended a library story time recently, you may notice that librarians do much more than read books out loud. Modern story times have music, singing, rhymes, and lots of movement! Music is a natural and fun way to take advantage of the power of rhyme, vocabulary, repetition, and rhythm to aid in language learning, and in so doing, getting ready to learn to read. And, busy parent note: music is also something you can easily fold into your day!Read more →
Jan. 22, 2015 at 12:09pm
This funny word has been popping up in the museum world and
exciting educators for a while now. It is exciting because it allows creativity
and science to mix organically at any age. The definition of tinkering is, “to
make small changes to something in order to improve or repair it” (MacMillan
Dictionary). Tinkering creates wonderful learning opportunities as children
engage in the work that is in front of them.
Tinkering allows for more than one right answer, generates
new ideas, and requires a lot of hands on learning. Tinkering is about seeing
how things work, using familiar objects in new ways, or building new things;
these are all concepts that we LOVE here at KidsQuest Children’s Museum. Read more →
Jan. 14, 2015 at 1:26pm
Three Cheers for Process Focused Art!
When it comes to art and kids, you’ve probably heard, read, or thought about the process vs. product debate. At KidsQuest, we wholeheartedly embrace process focused art. But what does that look like, and how can you try it with you child?Read more →
Dec. 16, 2014 at 1:43pm
Gift Ideas for Future Engineers!
Having trouble finding the perfect gift for a niece or nephew, grandkid, or the new baby in the family? Check out these KidsQuest staff picks that are perfect for little engineers of all ages. All of these fun gifts have been approved by our Education team and are available in the KidsQuest Children's Museum gift shop!Read more →
Feb. 25, 2014 at 10:26am
Parent Resources: The Within Reach Program
Developmental screening is important for all kids. 1 in 6 kids has a developmental delay, and only 30% of those kids have delays detected through parent observations and regular checkups. Read more →
Nov. 7, 2013 at 1:04pm
Taking Time to Read When You're Out of Time!
We all know that reading is important for our kids and that we, as adults, don't get to read as much as we would like. But what does that really mean? Read more →
Oct. 30, 2013 at 12:56pm
Staying Safe This Halloween!
It's that time of year when your child's imagination takes over and the costumes come out. Here are some tips to staying safe this Halloween! Read more →
Oct. 22, 2013 at 1:36pm
Magical Music or Terrific Technology?
Imagine making music just by waving your hand in the air! It's not magic. It's a Theremin! Read more →
Aug. 16, 2013 at 11:12am
Getting Ready for School - It's More Than ABC's and 123's!
You already know that getting ready for school means more than buying a fresh pack of crayons and attending “Meet the Teacher Night”. School readiness starts years before the first day of kindergarten, but what does school readiness really mean?Read more →
Jul. 5, 2013 at 9:19am
Seattle’s weather can be pretty dreary sometimes, so when the sun comes out, most people scramble to catch some rays before they disappear. But before you head outside, make sure you protect yourself and your children from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation can cause sunburns in the short term (ouch!) and repeated exposure can cause skin cancer or damage your eyesight.Read more →
Jul. 2, 2013 at 3:07pm
Our Dino-Mite Dino campers had a very busy week last week becoming paleontoligists! Campers excavated bones, explored carnivores and herbivores, constructed a dinosaur skeleton, explored challenges for dinosaurs, and built volcanoes. Our campers also created their very own dino-story!Read more →
Jun. 19, 2013 at 10:40am
all know that kids don’t just learn in school, but all year long! In the
summer, learning often looks different – more natural, more joyful, more
physical, more like “just play”. Summer is a great opportunity to cut back the
busy schedule. It can be hard to say “no” to another birthday party, or summer
camp, or swim lesson. However, long periods of unscheduled time are essential
for kids as they engage in the high quality play that helps them learn best!Read more →
Jun. 13, 2013 at 4:00pm
Live on NPR's Science Friday
I-LABS' Dr. Patricia Kuhl
On the heels of publication of new research from I-LABS showing that brain responses in 2 year olds with autism broadly predict how well these children will learn language and even think and behave later in childhood, Dr. Patricia Kuhl will be interviewed on NPR’s nationally acclaimed program Science Friday
, broadcast live from the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.Read more →
Jun. 5, 2013 at 2:22pm
Strategies for Tackling Seasonal Allergies
A lot of kids have been coming in to clinic with symptoms that look like seasonal allergies in the past few weeks. Hay fever (or allergic rhinitis, as known to the physician crowd) can show up as itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, sore throat, or throat clearing, to name a few complaints. As a general rule, it takes a few years of exposure to pollen to develop symptoms, so we typically do not see seasonal allergies in infants and early toddlers. Serial colds are much more common in that group.Read more →
May. 29, 2013 at 12:58pm
The Life-Changing Power of Hope
I recently attended the Association of Children’s Museums Interactivity Conference along with KidsQuest’s Director of Advancement, Shelley Saunders; Exhibits & Education Director, John Ito; and Museum Educator, Jamie Bonnett. It was a fascinating, inspiring, educational and motivating week! Special thanks again to Children’s Museum Pittsburgh for hosting.Read more →
May. 28, 2013 at 1:04pm
Scientists at Play!
Imagine a sophisticated laboratory filled with test tubes, a worker in a white coat operating an electron microscope, a room of computers crunching complicated equations. Are you thinking about science? Experimentation? Discovery?Read more →
May. 23, 2013 at 11:59am
Benefits of Singing and Dancing
I love brainstorming new and fun ways to stay active and exercise. One day I thought to myself, “I wish there was some way to combine my favorite reality TV shows with exercising.” Luckily for me, singing and dancing are great ways to gain the same physical and emotional benefits as exercising. Both singing and dancing help you stay healthy and happy. Read more →
May. 20, 2013 at 11:36am
All Praise Is Not Created Equal
I recently finished reading Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman's book "NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children." The opening chapter reminded me of something that, as educators, we often take for granted: all praise is not created equal. In classes, workshops, staff trainings, and our daily interactions with visitors, our education team strives to give the right kind of praise. Read more →
May. 7, 2013 at 9:42am
Become an Inventor!
Have you ever made or invented something that you thought of? I imagine that you have. Everything from making sandwiches to space travel happens because of inventiveness.Read more →
Apr. 18, 2013 at 12:04pm
Eastside Farm Life
Join Eastside Heritage Center on Thursday, April 18th from 5pm-8pm for more hands-on history fun! We will be featuring our brand new chicken coop complete with look-alike chickens and eggs. There also will be the corn shelling machine with grinders to make chicken feed. Read more →
Apr. 15, 2013 at 10:18am
Using Citizen Science to Engage Children in Nature Play
Engaging children in inquiry and nature play allows them to make early connections to the world around them and to help instill a sense of curiosity and wonder.1 Families play an important role in science education outside the learning in the classroom where only 5% of people’s science learning comes.2 Research has found that children, with the help of an adult, can make observations that are equal to and often be even better than scientists because of lack of assumptions and prior knowledge.3Read more →
Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:51am
Favorite Children's Books
Reading is an integral part of a child’s development. It improves a child’s vocabulary, helps develop their imagination, and teaches children about the world around them. Reading is not only enriching to child development, it is also fun! Children go on adventures when reading about an inspiring train engine or their favorite family of bears. As fun and education books may be, every child has their favorite book. Below are a few children’s books that are the favorites of some KidsQuest staff members. Read more →
Mar. 27, 2013 at 10:36am
Bubbles, inventing, and forces….oh my! What do all of these exciting science concepts have in common? They’re all themes from QuestClub at KidsQuest Children’s Museum?Read more →
Mar. 21, 2013 at 11:54am
Remembering the Past, Looking to the Future: Personal Time Capsules
Join Eastside Heritage Center
on Thursday, March 21st from 5pm-8pm at KidsQuest Children’s Museum for some hands-on history fun! Remember the past and look to the future by making a personal time capsule using a traditional canning machine. Read more →
Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:15pm
Dads Meet-Up: Cardboard Contraptions
Dads Meet-Up: Cardboard Contraptions series focuses on S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and fosters children’s imaginations, focusing them on problem solving and cooperative play. Children will also enhance their fine and gross motor skills. This class is beneficial in a child’s life because one-on-one time with a male figure will help their social and emotional development, while nurturing healthier relationships and ultimately helping your children become more compassionate individuals.Read more →
Mar. 18, 2013 at 2:22pm
What is a kid kit?
A kid kit is a staff led activity designed to increase staff and visitor engagement. These fun and educational activities allow our staff to explore a wide variety of important early learning concepts while using interesting tools and materials (and having a really good time).
KidsQuest staff tries to do at least three kid kits every day because we love getting the opportunity to interact with our visitors in fun and educational ways. Read more →
Mar. 14, 2013 at 9:22am
Learning a Foreign Language
We all know that children are constantly soaking up everything around them, and this especially holds true to language learning. It’s even been shown that exposure to foreign language can improve children’s attention spans and standardized test scores. What’s even more remarkable about this is the changes that happen to infants’ brains in the first SIX MONTHS of life! Read more →
Feb. 27, 2013 at 12:18pm
Foods That Children And Parents Love
There aren’t a whole lot of things parents and kids can agree on; bedtime, acceptable toys and when it’s time to leave KidsQuest are topics often up for debate. The one thing you don’t want to disagree with your youngster about is the food they eat. Read more →
Feb. 19, 2013 at 11:01am
Easy Ways to Help Your Child's Motor Skills Develop
As a child who grew up running and jumping and playing for hours on end it is great to know as an adult that all this running around was wonderful for my brain and my concentration at school! It sounds crazy but it is true. Motor development (the way we move in our bodies) is directly connected to how we learn.Read more →
Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:09pm
Clean Teeth Are Happy Teeth
Dental health can affect your overall health. Most of the bacteria in you mouth are beneficial, but without proper care, your mouth’s protection may be compromised and allow harmful bacteria into your bloodstream at a higher rate. It’s important to instill dental health practices in children as early as possible, but properly caring for your child’s teeth can raise a lot of questions. Here’s a bare-bones guideline for milestones to look for in your child:Read more →
Dec. 26, 2012 at 3:27pm
Importance of Early Learning Classes
KidsQuest's Early Learning Classes nurture the curious nature of your child and help build the early learning foundation vital to success in school and later in life.Read more →
Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:53am
Children & Technology
Technology is all around us. Tablets, smart phones and computers are just some of the tools that are becoming common items in our homes. Items in our homes tend to end up in our children’s hands and the question then becomes, “How much technology is too much for our children?” This topic has continued resonate with parents and educators alike. What does this mean for children’s learning and development?Read more →
Oct. 17, 2012 at 2:42pm
Fun Autumn Activities
I’ve been writing a lot lately about how the simplest activities are often the best. A walk in the crisp autumn air is one of my favorites. Strolling around your neighborhood can be one of the most educational, satisfying, and cheapest ways to explore fabulous fall! Plus, it’s a great way to get those bodies (both tiny and adult size) moving.Read more →
Aug. 30, 2012 at 10:49am
Back to Basics: Why Everyday Activities are Awesome
We did some amazing experiments at least week's Science Explorers Camp. We made a giant volcano erupt, mixed up a chemical reaction to blast off a rocket, observed real animal pelts, and explored everything from pipettes to petri dishes. However, one of my eager campers reminded me that sometimes the simplest experiences can teach us the best science lessons.Read more →
Aug. 10, 2012 at 1:36pm
Make Your Own Gak!
At KidsQuest, summer camp means science experiments, artistic creations, stories, games and, oh, so much museum fun. This week’s Animal Explorers Camp was no different, but when one of my campers commented: “I wish I had gak at my house,” I thought, why shouldn’t you? We love making gak in camp, both in big batches for our swimming sea creatures and in small individual cups for making gak monsters! So, here’s our favorite gak recipe. Now you can create some of the fun of KidsQuest summer camp at home!Read more →
Jun. 1, 2012 at 3:31pm
KidsQuest Staff Hard at Work...Playing!
What’s roaring, buzzing, shaking, bouncing and oozing in the KidsQuest party room? The KidsQuest party staff! Read more →
Apr. 11, 2012 at 9:25am
Why I Love NanoDays
An expert tells us what exactly is so great about nanotechnology (and KidsQuest!)
Children are often told they are too small to do or understand things, but children have an amazing power: they can show adults a different way of viewing the world. Nanoscience, the science of the small, is changing the way scientists and engineers view the world too. At this scale, the materials we see and use every day have vastly different properties. They can change color, become water resistant, or conduct electricity. Nanotechnology utilizes these new properties to create new products and improve materials we use every day like computers, electronics, medicine, cosmetics, and clothing.Read more →
Apr. 6, 2012 at 8:45am
Hands-on History: Eastside Farm Life
Bellevue as a farming community
One hundred years ago, the city we know as Bellevue was a farming community. There were a variety of crops grown including lettuce, squash, corn, strawberries, and even grapes. Spring was the beginning of the growing season as the days grew longer and warmer. It was also the time when baby chicks were hatched. Corn was dried and the kernels were removed and ground for feeding, as the chickens could not eat whole kernels.Read more →
Mar. 28, 2012 at 10:16am
What are Pysanky?
The History, Legends and Art of Making Ukrainian Eggs
A pysanka (plural: pysanky) is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using beeswax and dyes. Pysanka is often taken to mean any type of decorated egg, but it specifically refers to an egg created by the written-wax method and utilizing traditional folk motifs and designs. There are several other types of decorated eggs in Ukrainian tradition, including:
- Krashanky – boiled eggs dyed a single color (with vegetable dyes), that are blessed and eaten at Easter.
- Krapanky – raw eggs decorated using the wax-resist method, but with only dots as ornamentation. They are traditionally created by dripping molten wax from a beeswax candle onto an egg.
- Malyovanky – created by painting a design with a brush using oil or watercolor paints. It is sometimes used to refer to coloring (e.g. with a marker) on an egg.
- Nakleyanky – created by glueing objects to the surface of an egg.
- Lystovky – created by dyeing an egg to which small leaves have been attached.
All but the krashanky and lystovky are meant to be decorative (as opposed to edible), and the egg yolk and white are either allowed to dry up over time, or removed by blowing them out through a small hole in the egg.Read more →
Mar. 1, 2012 at 9:03am
Make a Personal Time Capsule!
Eastside Heritage Center brings Hands-On History to KidsQuest
Today we think nothing of opening a can of some exotic or out of season food. We rely on tin cans to bring us products from all over the world. Not that long ago supermarkets were not as well supplied as they are today, especially during the winter months. To save money and to make sure certain fruits and vegetables were available beyond the summer months, many people turned to canning their own produce. Here on the Eastside, people could take their garden products and can them safely at local canneries.Read more →
Feb. 23, 2012 at 1:23pm
Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth
Making a Dental Health Plan for Your Kids
When do I start flossing? How often should I brush? When should I start looking for a dentist?
There is so much to think about when it comes to kids. Figuring out the appropriate health routines can be enough to drive you crazy. Below are the basics for making a dental health plan for your child so that you can get them started on the right path to strong, healthy teeth.
Read more →
Nov. 4, 2011 at 10:01am
Early Settler Life
Think you know your history? What about the history of daily life for early Washington settlers - maybe not so much? Luckily Eastside Heritage Center will be at KidsQuest tonight for some hands-on learning. Read on to refresh your history knowledge and then join us tonight from 5-8pm!Read more →
Oct. 26, 2011 at 8:56am
Halloween is Coming!
Get ready with some spooky and kooky ideas from the KidsQuest staff...
Leaves are dropping, grocery stores are filling up with candy, and horror movies are in full force at the theaters. Let's face it - Halloween is all but here. This year, the KidsQuest staff has put together some ideas for ways to celebrate the season with little ones, minus the sugar headache and horror stories.Read more →
Oct. 19, 2011 at 11:51am
QuestClub - Why science is so important!
Science education sometimes takes a back seat with the push of reading and math being so strong, but science is a part of our daily life. Everything we do and deal with in life is science: cooking, playing ball, growing a garden, understanding how technologies work, watching a rain storm and more. Understanding science helps kids appreciate and relate to the world around them.Read more →
Oct. 7, 2011 at 9:59am
The Benefits of Sign Language
Not talking? Not a problem.
It’s never too early or too late to begin sign language with your child. For infants, you can begin anywhere from six to ten months of age. It will take a younger child longer to produce the signs than an older child, but exposing them to sign language early on is great way to help them understand the signs receptively before they do expressively. Recent studies indicate that by using signs in tandem with spoken language, parents can start the process of two-way communication with their babies as early as eight months and enhance the verbal language development of their babies in the process. Read more →
Sep. 6, 2011 at 4:17pm
Focus on Family: Focus on Health
Teaching your kids to cook - daunting but worth it.
How do you teach your kids about healthy eating AND make dinner at the same time? Get them involved. You know the phrase “Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you'll feed him for a lifetime?” It’s like that. EXACTLY like that. Read more →
Aug. 26, 2011 at 9:04am
The Importance of Play
The number one answer we get when we ask patrons why they purchased their membership is: "My children love the museum." We love hearing that. We all want to make our kids happy. But playtime is important in other ways too - it helps foster healthy minds and healthy bodies.
Want to learn more? Below are some highlights from an article by Kim Mulford from USAToday about the importance of play.Read more →
Aug. 24, 2011 at 11:07am
Storybook Theater Camp
Oh, the drama...
You know summer is coming to an end when camps are all over, classes are on the horizon, and it's almost time for the older kids to go back to school. As one last reminder of how much fun we had at summer camp this year, our Storybook Theater teacher, Anne Zanatta Kline, is going to give us the rundown on what happened in her August camp.Read more →
Aug. 10, 2011 at 9:39am
Art Explorers Camp
I love art. It’s perfect for children, giving them the chance to use their imaginations, create, problem solve, count, work on their fine motor skills, learn about color chemistry, and so much more! It’s limitless what you can do with a little paper and paint, or glue and recyclables.Read more →
Aug. 5, 2011 at 10:42am
Where’s the Math? Everywhere!
Great activities to keep math going all summer long!
Learning math is not limited to the one-hour-a-day, five-days-a-week, nine-months-a-year school experience. Math is everywhere around us and we need to take advantage of that with our children. The more they see math in their everyday surroundings, the more comfortable they’ll be with it. Here is a list of things you can do to make math engaging and meaningful for your children. These activities barely scratch the surface of what you can do - you’re limited only by your imagination.Read more →
Aug. 3, 2011 at 10:15am
We had a VERY magical week last week. Not only did we get dramatic with our Storybook Theater camp, but we also welcomed some very fanciful fairies into the museum for five days of fairy stories, fairy songs, fairy dances, fairy crafts – everything fairy! Read more →
Jul. 27, 2011 at 9:17am
Last week was the highly anticipated Dino-Mite Dinos Camp (and I do mean anticipated – this camp has been sold out since April!). Our Dino-Mite mornings were devoted to circle time, storytime, discovery stations, social interaction, museum playtime, experiments and, of course, lots and lots of dinosaurs! Read more →
Jul. 18, 2011 at 2:24pm
Museum on the Move!
On the go with the KidsQuest van...
Have you spotted the brand new KidsQuest van yet? Be on the look out, because we are packing up and heading out to a school near you this summer! KidsQuest Children's Museum is on the move with our Field Trip to Go program, and we are filling up classrooms with fascinating ooey-gooey science experiments, inventing our own modes of transportation, investigating local wildlife and even doing our own prehistoric digs!Read more →
Jul. 15, 2011 at 1:01pm
Animal Explorers Camp
What do Animal Explorers love best? Take a wild guess.
I’ll give you a hint:
OINK! MOO! HONK! TWEET! Read more →
Jun. 29, 2011 at 1:25pm
Nature Explorers Camp
Last week was anything but dull at KidsQuest – the new Waterways exhibit opened, we had a furry visitor at Animal Encounters Storytime, and it was the very first week of summer camp!Read more →
Jun. 24, 2011 at 1:14pm
It's Always Sunny at KidsQuest
It's finally summer!
Summer is special here at KidsQuest, and a time when we get to do all sorts of things at the museum that we don't do during the school year. Here are some highlights:Read more →
May. 26, 2011 at 9:02am
Wrapping up another year of Discovery Tots...
...and looking forward to Summer Camp!
We’ve just wrapped up another memorable year of our Discovery Tots classes! We witnessed a lot of exciting milestones, from “my first finger painting” to “my last class before kindergarten”. Lately, I’ve also seen a not so exciting milestone that lets me know classes really are ending. It’s the anxiety on a parent’s face as the scheduled activities end and they think, “What are we going to do all summer!?” Don’t Panic! Remember, fun and educational play activities don’t need to be complicated. You just need a little creativity! Here are some great ideas that you can enjoy with you children (some taken straight from our class curriculum).Read more →
May. 18, 2011 at 9:06am
Adventures in QuestClub
Apr. 27, 2011 at 11:15am
Recycled Paper 3 Ways (+4 Ideas to Try at Home!)
Shred, Rip, Tear, Splash!
Apr. 19, 2011 at 9:12am
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
How KidsQuest Reduces, Reuses and Recycles - And How You Can Too!
It’s almost Earth Day, and everyone has “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” on their minds. Here at the museum we try to make environmentally conscious choices not only during Earth Week, but all the time. We find that making small changes works the best, and is a great way to get kids involved. After all, we don’t care for the Earth just for ourselves—we do it for our children.
Below are a few small ways KidsQuest celebrates Earth Day every
day:Read more →
Mar. 30, 2011 at 9:03am
Recycled Art Week!
Get cookin' with recycled crayons!
As the Senior Museum Educator I have a reputation for doing strange things. You may find me screwing flamingos onto poles (for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party), stirring sand into paint (to make textured paintings), or even dropping a dozen eggshells into various liquids (to demonstrate their effect on tooth enamel for dental health week). Luckily, the rest of the staff is very understanding and has yet to comment on the towering pile of toilet paper tubes, broken toys, left over party decorations, and other bric-a-brac that is taking over my desk! They know that it can only mean one thing: Recycled Art Week at KidsQuest!Read more →
Mar. 8, 2011 at 8:36am
The Mad Hatter's Tea Party!
I’m late! I’m late for a very important date!
Make sure you aren’t too late for the craziest, zaniest, wildest party of the year, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! Follow KidsQuest down the rabbit hole as we host a wild party full of silly fun inspired by Alice in Wonderland
!Read more →
Feb. 11, 2011 at 3:24pm
Teddy Bear Clinic
So many stuffed animals, so little time...
Teddy Bear Clinic was last Saturday and we saw our fair share of dogs, cats and teddy bears. Thanks so much to Group Health and Overlake Hospital for their support, and to Dr. Nohle, who shared his experience on his blog yesterday!Read more →
Feb. 8, 2011 at 4:13pm
Science @ The Discovery Station!
Explore scientific concepts in a fun new way!
Children start thinking like scientists at an early age. They knock over blocks to see what will happen or roll a ball down the stairs to watch it bounce. Sometimes, however, a child’s scientific investigations can leave parents baffled (When your child takes 15 minutes to wash their hands, because they’re exploring bubbles or uses all of your baking supplies to do some “chemistry” in the kitchen.) If these stories sound familiar, you need to check out Science Hour at KidsQuest Children’s Museum.Read more →
Nov. 16, 2010 at 4:34pm
Field Trip FUN!
Hair raising screams! Experimenters in goggles. Oozing substances! No, you haven't wandered into a mad scientist's laboratory. It's just everyday fieldtrip fun at KidsQuest Children's Museum.Read more →
Sep. 7, 2010 at 12:39pm
Eats & Beats w/ Brian Waite Band
Our final concert of the summer was awesome!
Dinner and a show, a classic Saturday evening brought to life here at KidsQuest Children's Museum. Around here, we call it Eats & Beats. For dinner; pizza from Jet City Pizza with lemonade for only $3 a person, mmmm...does it get much better!? How about family time and great music!! The marvelous Brian Waite Band, with their wonderful stage show was a fast favorite for the kids (and adults) with rock, funk, blues, even some reggae! The crowd was on their feet the whole night!Read more →
Sep. 7, 2010 at 12:06pm
KidsQuest's Early Education Classes
It's back to school fun for kids and parents too!
It's back to school time, and just because your little ones aren't school age yet, doesn't mean they (or you) should miss out on the fun! Yes...fun! We offer a variety of early learning classes at the museum that focus on learning through fun, play, and experimentation.Read more →
Jul. 21, 2010 at 12:21pm
Family Adventures in Claymation!
Check out the video we made last workshop:)
Tim Burton's stop motion feature film The Nightmare Before Christmas
is one of my favorite movies, so I was thrilled when we decided to do a Family Adventures in Claymation workshop at the Museum! This quirky animation technique uses a camera to capture still images of clay figures. In between each frame the characters are moved ever so slightly. When the frames are played together, animation is achieved!Read more →
May. 28, 2010 at 9:35am
Adventures in Homeschool Science...
I was lucky enough to visit KidsQuest's Homeschool Science class as they tackled a very brave feat: worm dissection
. Each student got their own long, thin, crawly thing (although, fortunately, they were no longer crawling), plus rubber gloves, safety goggles, plastic knives and dissection tongs. Here's how it went...Read more →
Apr. 20, 2010 at 4:10pm
Hand sanitizer doesn't kill E.coli, 4th grade science project finds
From King 5 News
Thought you might find this article interesting...
OLYMPIA, Wash. - It has become second nature: see hand sanitizer, pump hand sanitizer onto your hands.Read more →
Health officials have promoted the use of hand sanitizers to help fight outbreaks of diseases and germs, but experts say it doesn't work on everything. Now, an Olympia fourth grader says she can prove it doesn't work on E.coli.
Apr. 16, 2010 at 9:16am
National Volunteer Appreciation Week!
No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others.
Volunteers continue to be a vital part of our organization! From helping a child create art at the craft table, to mailing our membership cards, volunteers affect all levels of operations at KidsQuest Children's Museum. Read more →
Mar. 23, 2010 at 11:57am
Letting Your Toddler Set the Pace
A recent article from
My mom gave me a subscription to "Real Simple" a few months back and as soon as it arrives in the mail I sit down with a cup of coffee and read it cover to cover. I love all the idea guides, articles and suggestions that really do fall under their Life Made Simple
mantra. Although I'm not a parent yet, this article struck me as particularly interesting and possibly pertinent to our blog readers. It's not on the web yet - but you can find it here!Read more →
Oct. 9, 2009 at 10:55am
Volunteering is important!
Did you know that our team of volunteers have dedicated over 3,000 hours of community service to KidsQuest 2009 alone?
KidsQuest has strong volunteerism roots starting with our founding board in 1997. Volunteers continue to be a vital part of daily operations at the museum. Aside from our volunteer Board of Directors, volunteers help maintain exhibits, prepare and facilitate arts and crafts activities, assist with office tasks, and enhance the overall experience of our visitors. It's clear to the staff here at KQ how important volunteers are to us, but I wanted to find out just how important KQ is to our volunteers.Read more →
Sep. 25, 2009 at 2:31pm
Field Trip to NWAYM!
This past weekend I had the opportunity to head south to A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village
for the Northwest Association of Youth Museums' Annual Conference. A.C. Gilbert's is a wonderful, fun-filled place to explore and we thank them for hosting this year's conference. NWAYM provides a great opportunity for museum professionals from more than 25 museums to learn from our peers, collaborate to make our museums better, and explore the museums we may not have visited before. We share stories, talk about our future goals and projects, and bring in professionals to suggest ways we can all improve.Read more →