Oct. 5, 2015 at 8:00am
Growing & Learning at KidsQuest Children’s Museum
By Jenn Boesenberg, KidsQuest Guest Experience Coordinator and Museum Educator
What is my favorite part of working at a
non-profit children’s museum? I love
seeing the growth of our visitors! Whether it is children that comes a few
times a week, or a kid that is new to KidsQuest; watching them grow and evolve
is my absolute favorite part of educating the next generation.
Read more →
Sep. 28, 2015 at 8:00am
From Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences
Understanding emotions, desires, and intentions of other people is a gradual process. As soon as a child is born they begin the journey of discovering their emotions and how to control them, while also learning to understand what others may be feeling.
Read more →
Sep. 21, 2015 at 8:00am
Developmental Concerns & Your Child
By Ann Nolan, Washington State School District Psychologist
Parents know that their infant, toddler or preschool child will meet development milestones within a range of months. Some babies coo, make eye contact and seem to interact within weeks, while others may take a month or more. Some toddlers begin walking at nine months, others not until 16 months. Some preschool children develop fine motor skills that allow them to copy designs at 30 months, while others are still struggling at 60 months. It might seem to you that your child is demonstrating delays in one or more development areas including social, fine motor, gross motor, language, or learning. You might find that you are comparing your child’s skills to his or her siblings, playmates or preschool friends and are becoming concerned that your child might be demonstrating serious delays. At what point should you act on your concerns? Where exactly can you go to have your concerns addressed?
Read more →
Sep. 14, 2015 at 8:00am
by John Ito, Director of Exhibits & Facilities at KidsQuest Children's Museum
Every year at the summer’s end when school is back in session we take an introspective look at who and what we are. The museum, that is. The living, breathing entity that is KidsQuest needs a spa treatment after being open almost every day since school got out. Some new adornment and content to entice our audience with new ideas for play are a necessity. New stuff and a step up is both the result of and a part of how we grow and learn. We owe it to ourselves and our visitors to push and evolve what is happening inside our walls.
Read more →
Sep. 7, 2015 at 8:00am
The Practice of Listening to Children
By Lauren Haggenjos, Teaching Artist
There’s no denying it: listening to a kid is a totally
different experience—full of unexplained pauses, distracted stares, and
incoherent mumbles. And as a teacher, a camp counselor, and a teaching artist,
I can tell you those instances pop up when you least expect it. Regardless,
holding a conversation with the next generation isn’t just a way to learn
what’s happening on the Disney channel nowadays; it’s an opportunity to see the
world with a fresh perspective and to model the best discussion habits. Here
are three ways to navigate the often confusing world of kids’ conversations.
Read more →
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.
Read more →
Aug. 24, 2015 at 8:00am
Community Award: KidsQuest Children’s Museum
KidsQuest Children’s Museum will receive a solar energy system for its new downtown Bellevue location in September!
The system is a donation from A&R Solar as part of the Solarize Bellevue campaign, which provides discounted community pricing to city residents on solar systems for their homes and businesses. A&R Solar’s installation crew will dress in superhero outfits to install the 16 solar panels on the steep metal roof of the museum. The public is welcome to drop by, take photos, and learn more about the museum and solar. We hope to see you at 108th Avenue NE and NE 12th Street. The 4.5 kW solar energy system will serve as a powerful environmental teaching tool, and help offset the museum’s overall energy costs.
Read more →
Aug. 17, 2015 at 8:00am
Ready, Set, September!
By Tamasha Emedi, Primary School Teacher
On almost every social media site I’ve visited, I’ve come across lists: 10 ways to cut an apple, 47 different responses to Season 5 of Lost, 18 ways you are pouring milk wrong. That being said, I hope this list is a little more helpful! Here is a list of four ideas to prep your primary (K-3) kiddo and yourself for September.
Read more →
Aug. 10, 2015 at 8:00am
Summer Camps at KidsQuest Children’s Museum
By Chauntae Richardson, KidsQuest Children's Museum Educator
Summer Camps at KidsQuest Children’s Museum are in full swing, but just a few months ago camp instructors were thoughtfully creating their curriculum and anticipating all of the rich learning and fun exploration that will be taking place. As the Science Explorers summer camp instructor, I planned each of my camps (from Chemistry and chemical reactions to creating explorative lessons that combined Physics and art) knowing that in addition to learning about science, we would also focus on learning “soft skills” and executive function. These skills promote social and emotional development, along with encouraging Kindergarten Readiness.
Read more →
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. 20, 2015 at 9:09am
7 Summertime Games To Play With the Whole Family
By Jane Blanchard
Mid-summer is here and hopefully you have not yet heard the dreaded phrase ‘I’m Board’. Keep boredom at bay and encourage outdoor physical fun. Here are seven games that the entire family can play!
Read more →
Jul. 13, 2015 at 8:00am
Supporting Nonprofits with Pride
By Christopher Bean
I am a homegrown Washingtonian from a small town in Kitsap County. Though I was not raised in the big city, I was raised with a big heart. I grew up with an influence in the importance of education and philanthropy as my mother was (still is) an extraordinarily patient teacher and my father always encouraged me and my brother to donate our time to causes we believed in such as church, school, the local Special Olympics chapter, Lions Club, and other community organizations.
Read more →
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.
Read more →
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. 22, 2015 at 8:00am
Hiking is fun! (repeat after me) Hiking is fun!
By Mike Nolan, School Counselor and Outdoor Enthusiast
One thing I've learned after raising three children: you have to give them your time. And giving them your time is a lot easier, and much more enjoyable, if it's spent doing activities that you both enjoy. Now that my kids have grown and I am a grandfather of a four year old, it’s my turn to go back and relearn some of those parenting techniques, acquired through trial and error, which served me so well a generation ago.
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.
Read more →
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.
Read more →
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.
Read more →
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!
Read more →
May. 21, 2015 at 12:26pm
Parent Advisory Group
At the Department of Early Learning (DEL), we believe parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. The DEL Parent Advisory Group (PAG) is a sounding board for decisions, ideas and questions that shape the future of DEL. Parental involvement in decision-making is the key to having policies and programs that support families’ strengths and needs.Read more →
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.
Read more →
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 10:10am
The Smiles Have It!
Did you know healthy teeth contribute directly to your child’s overall health? That’s why the American Dental Association recommended every child see a dentist regularly beginning by age one! Healthy teeth and gums are both a result of and contributor to better nutrition in children. When a child has healthy teeth, they will be able to choose foods that are better for them, instead of just mashed potatoes, pudding and ice cream. Plus, when your child is in pain from oral health problems, it affects his/her ability to concentrate and affects school attendance. The University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry (CPD), is ready to care for your child every day.
Here are a few tips to help keep your child healthy:
1. Brush twice a day, for two minutes each time
2. Offer a healthy diet, rich in protein, fruits and veggies
3. Floss between teeth
4. Visit your dentist regularly
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. 11, 2015 at 11:26am
Get Creative: Sidewalk Art, It’s Not Just a Kid Thing!
is a fun and creative way to make art while spending time outside. Sunny days in the Pacific
Northwest are numbered and we want to be able to take advantage of them. Spring and Summer are great times for children to be able to build critical thinking skills and
problem solving techniques, while doing something fun and engaging like making
are some exciting ways to engage in the arts in an outdoor environment, and
guess what, you too (parents) can get on your knees and join in the fun!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. 28, 2013 at 1:38pm
Friendships are important. By making and playing with friends, children develop their social and emotional skills. They learn rules about social behavior. They experience different emotions like happiness, rejection, and fear. Friendships are also important for your child’s physiological development and for their self-esteem. Simply put, making friends is important. However, not every child is naturally social or outgoing. Here are some ways to help your child make friends: Read more →
Aug. 26, 2013 at 1:58pm
Animal Explorers Camp
Last week at KidsQuest was Animal Explorers summer camp! Our explorers were very busy all week learning about animals and even got to meet a real animal!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 →
Aug. 14, 2013 at 1:51pm
Science Explorers Camp
Last week at KidsQuest was Science Explorers summer camp and we explored all things science! Our explorers were very busy all week learning and becoming junior biologists, chemists, physicists, paleontologists, and geologists!Read more →
Aug. 7, 2013 at 12:14pm
This year at Bellevue Art Museum’s ARTSfair, KidsQuest provided a fun activity that incorporated abstract art and imagination – “Picture Writing: Collage Inspired by the Art of Eric Carle.” Read more →
Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:42am
Storybook Theater Camp
Last week was KidsQuest’s Storybook Theater summer camp and our campers were very busy! They learned about different story characters and costumes, and created and performed their very own play!Read more →
Jul. 26, 2013 at 9:20am
Do You Like Scavenger Hunts?
Here at KidsQuest, our mission is to create learning through the power of play and exploration, so we’re all about using scavenger hunts to teach important lessons. Read more →
Jul. 22, 2013 at 12:45pm
Last week was KidsQuest’s Science Squad Summer Camp! Our campers used their scientific knowledge to conduct experiments about everything from DNA to electricity.Read more →
Jul. 16, 2013 at 3:25pm
Imagination Explorers Camp
Last week was KidsQuest’s Imagination Explorers Summer Camp! We kept our imagination very busy by exploring everything from beneath the sea to outer space!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. 26, 2013 at 10:26am
Outdoor Arts & Crafts
If your child is crazy about arts and crafts, but you’re not crazy about seeing them spend their summer days inside, try these fun outdoor arts and crafts activities:Read more →
Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:41am
Art Explorers Camp
Last week was the first week of summer camp at KidsQuest and our Art Explorer campers were very busy! Our explorers learned about colors, shapes, textures, sculptures, and made new friends!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. 17, 2013 at 9:25am
Happy Father's Day!
Poor dads. They often get the short end of the parenting stick when their children are young. They don’t carry the baby during pregnancy or give birth (although they may be lucky in this regard). They can’t breastfeed. And it’s still a very mom-centered world for the few dads that stay at home with their kids as the primary caregiver. Some of this is starting to change, but it can still be hard to be a first-time dad (for a great article on stay at home dads or to join a dads only meet-up group, check out PEPS – Program for Early Parent Support
).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. 7, 2013 at 10:29am
It’s my birthday today! (Really, it is!) I’ll be spending this birthday celebrating with a spunky 90 year old women who happens to share my birthday, my Grammy!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. 10, 2013 at 11:20am
Your community needs you! Schools can't do it alone. Promote learning by supporting your neighborhood children's museum. 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 →
May. 1, 2013 at 10:00am
This Spring... Rethink Dirt!
Like dust bunnies under the couch, the evidence in favor of dirt is piling up! This once loathed enemy of the homemaker is now being embraced as a simple preventative for allergies, type 1 diabetes, and other immune diseases. Check out this article
from The New York Times for just one of many arguments for bringing more dirt into our lives.Read more →
Apr. 25, 2013 at 11:00am
Short Family Vacations
It seems like everyone’s schedules are so full these days, and I am guilty of this as much as anyone else! While it may be hard to set aside the never ending to-do list, taking a weekend every few months to do just that can leave the whole family more relaxed and ready to take on life.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. 9, 2013 at 3:18pm
Weaning Your Child Off Their Thumbs
Thumb-sucking is a pasttime that can start in the womb. Babies suck on their thumbs because it soothes them and helps them to relax, especially before bed or when they’re upset. While this behavior is completely acceptable for babies and toddlers, it’s important that parents help wean their child off of their thumbs by the time they reach 4 or 5 years old.
There can be dental issues that arise from thumb-sucking beyond 5 years old, including:
• Development of a lisp
• Improperly aligned teeth
• Teeth pushing forward or buck teeth
All of these dental risks can be prevented with early intervention by parents who can help their child slowly stop depending on their thumbs for comfort. If your child is vigorously still sucking on their thumb by 3 years old, some things you may want to try to encourage them to slow down the habit are:
I don’t think I’ve met one child yet who doesn’t get excited about the possibility of a reward. Use a calendar to track the amount of days your child doesn’t suck on their thumb, or only limits the habit to bedtime. At the end of a week take them someplace special, like the playground or park (or KidsQuest!). Once they get to two weeks, three weeks and a whole month, increase the rewards. Parents can help their children track their success by letting them put up a sticker at the end of every day they go thumb-free. Just remember, once they start sucking on their thumb again they start fresh and new. Place the rewards at the end of every week so that they know what they’re working toward to help entice them!
2. Introduce Them To A New Comfort
Introduce your child to a new comfort toy, like a stuffed animal or a blanket. Some children may already have such an item that brings comfort to them, so encourage them to concentrate more on hugging their stuffed animal or cuddling with their blanket rather than sucking on their thumbs for bedtime or when they’re sad or anxious.
What Not To Do:
Putting band-aids, mittens or yucky-tasting ingredients on your child’s fingers may seem like the only route to go, but this may upset your child more than help them. You should be encouraging them to stop, not punishing them.
If your child still proceeds to suck on their thumb beyond 5 years old, then you may want to consult your doctor or dentist to see if there is anything they can do to help. Most children will stop the habit on their own by this age. Once they are around children their age and in school a majority of the time, they will have far more things to think of than their thumbs.
Guest Post provided by Rory Mycek, a contributor for TopDentists.com, the dental resource site of Everyday Health and partner parenting site, WhatToExpect.com.
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. 28, 2013 at 2:29pm
New Summer Camps!
Question: Which of the following people is most likely to conduct scientific experiments?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 →
Mar. 5, 2013 at 4:51pm
Birthday Ideas from the ExploreStore
Here at KidsQuest, we are birthday experts. After all, we do host over 360 birthday parties every year! As the ExploreStore Coordinator I get to chat with patrons about some of the clever ways they use their purchases for birthday celebrations. Here are some of my favorites.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. 22, 2013 at 1:03pm
Family Fun Fitness
One of the many benefits of being a child is that fitness is fun! For kids exercise can and should be synonymous with play. As a Museum Educator, I find that I get some of my best workouts right here at the museum while leading our visitors in activities. (StoryTime can be great cardio!) So, here are a few of my favorite movement games that you can try at home. There’s nothing like moving and grooving with some pint-size exercise partners to make working up a sweat, less like a chore and more like a party!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 →
Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:28pm
Valentine's Day Arts & Crafts With Nature
It’s almost time for one of my favorite holidays, Valentine’s Day! Why do I love this often over-commercialized and over-sugared celebration? It’s a chance to pause, be thankful, and sincerely say “I love you” to all of the most important people in your life. Here are a few fun (and free!) ways to help your kids take a moment to say “I love you” to grandmas, daddies, big sisters, and all of those wonderful people that they have in their lives!Read more →
Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:25am
A Child's Best Friend - Their Favorite Stuffed Buddy
Stuffed animals often provide children with a friend, co-conspirator, and secret-keeper extraordinaire. My own teddy bear still means a lot to me. Here is our favorite adventure together:Read more →
Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:28am
Tips and Tricks to Eating Vegetables
As the luster of the New Year starts to wear off, it can be nice to remind ourselves of the goals or resolutions we set, specifically the ones related to eating well, and eating well means eating our vegetables. Daily suggested serving sizes have changed over the years. The Harvard School of Public Health website
has some great information on why, what, and the amount of vegetables you should be consuming daily. For kids, the 5 a day rule is a good guideline: 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.Read more →
Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:02pm
Become a KQ Volunteer
Throughout the museum, you can find adults exposing children to new experiences every day. Striving to teach empathy (taking turns), reinforcing cultural norms (tidying up after yourself), and supporting local non-profits (your entire visit!) are all important steps that caregivers can take to instill values in children. Just as our children learn from our examples, our young adults (or not-so-young-anymore-adults) learn from our nation’s leaders.Read more →
Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:49am
Meet KidsQuest's New Director of Education & Exhibits!
Meet John Ito, KidsQuest's brand new Director of Education & Exhibits! In a very busy children's museum like KidsQuest, the Director of Education & Exhibits helps keep all the programs and exhibits in the museum up to date. Keep reading to learn more about him!Read more →
Jan. 3, 2013 at 2:25pm
New Goals for a New Year
A new year means lots of New Year’s resolutions. While you’re setting goals for you and your family, the education department at KidsQuest Children’s Museum is also busy goal setting for 2013! Check out what you can look forward to in the coming year.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. 20, 2012 at 10:18am
Healthy Eating During the Holidays
Here at KidsQuest Children’s Museum, we celebrate the holidays like many families do – with lots of food! It seems that every day, one of our own staff or grateful parents provides the office with some type of yummy snack, from apples and oranges to cookies and cake. So when there are so many tasty temptations, how do you make sure your children continue to eat healthy over the holidays?Read more →
Dec. 11, 2012 at 1:51pm
Keeping Warm in the Winter
‘Tis the season for…icy rain and chilling winds! Here’s a delicious recipe for keeping both little and big bodies warm!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 →
Nov. 28, 2012 at 11:44am
Great Gifts at the ExploreStore
Shop Our One Day Super Sale!
Every year we search far and wide for the best toys and gifts to make your holiday shopping easy! Check out some of this year’s top picks.Read more →
Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:33am
Thanksgiving Food Favorites!
Thanksgiving is the ultimate holiday for children who love food (which is all children)! There are so many delicious servings on the table at one time; each child’s eyes grow three times their size as they put enough food on their plate for the entire family. Once they, somehow, gobble down their plate of food they know what their favorite part was and go back for more. Everyone has their favorite Thanksgiving Day food, and below are a few of KidsQuest staff’s favorites!Read more →
Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:39am
Meet KidsQuest's New Director of Advancement
Meet Shelley Saunders, KidsQuest's brand new Director of Advancement! In a nonprofit organization like KidsQuest, the Director of Advancement helps raise money to support the museum by procuring donations and grants. Keep reading to learn more about her! Read more →
Nov. 7, 2012 at 11:12am
Rainy Day Activities
Is cold wet weather keeping you indoors? There’s tons of fun to be had in your home by rediscovering some of the “non-toys” in your home that make great….well….toys!Read more →
Oct. 31, 2012 at 9:41am
Family traditions are a great way to get everyone together for some quality family time, and Halloween has some of the most fun traditions! Here are a few stories from the KidsQuest staff about their favorite Halloween activities…Read more →
Oct. 25, 2012 at 2:25pm
Sparking Your Child's Creativity
There are so many exciting opportunities for children to explore their creativity these days: painting class, art camp, after school engineering club, and more! With all the fun packed into those hectic schedules, sometimes there is one very important opportunity that gets forgotten, the chance for open-ended and child-directed artistic creation. So, what’s a parent to do?Read more →
Oct. 23, 2012 at 9:28am
Halloween Costumes for Kids
I have a Halloween confession…I’m a sucker for clever and pun-based costumes. Yes, those hordes of Tinkerbelles and Spidermen are cute, but when I see a kid holding an umbrella with stuffed cats and dogs pinned all over them, I can’t stop smiling. “It’s raining cats and dogs!” they say, and I just chuckle, because it’s just so punny! This year, why not step out of the store-bought costume box, and try one of these clever ideas for you or your kids!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 →
Jul. 19, 2012 at 10:19am
How Music Affects Children
Children have a natural love for music. They enjoy singing along to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and tweaking it to “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Music also plays a huge role in our culture. We hear music everywhere from restaurants to commercials, with different types of music serving different purposes.Read more →
Jul. 13, 2012 at 8:46am
Think three year olds can't show empathy and compassion? Think again.
Have you ever watched strangers turn into friends? Imagine that joy times ten! This week of summer camp was one of those times that remind me why we do what we do here at KidsQuest. I got to watch as ten strangers turned into friends who laugh together, play together, and truly care for each other. What made watching this miraculous friendship transformation so special was that most of these new found friends were just three years old.Read more →
Jul. 5, 2012 at 9:42am
Get Your Kids Moving
Active outdoor activities for all
Seeing the summer sun shine always makes me want to get moving! Active summer fun such as kicking a ball around or running on the beach isn’t just great exercise. Activities like these help kids develop gross motor skills. Gross motor skills involve the large muscles of the body that let us do things like walk, sit upright, and throw a ball. Mastery of these skills won’t just make you fit. It will also assist in a lot of surprising ways. Did you know that a child’s ability to maintain upper body support will affect his ability to write? Or that children who are more confident in gross motor skills are more aware of personal space?Read more →
Jun. 28, 2012 at 10:24am
Summer Break: Traveling With Kids
Traveling with the whole family on summer vacation is a great way to freshen things up and spend some quality time together. However, it is no secret that kids can be difficult to travel with. Every family has their own vacation story of a sickly son on an airplane or disgruntled daughter on a road trip. Don’t become that family! There are easy tips and tricks to use that will make this summer vacation a stress-free fun time!Read more →
Jun. 22, 2012 at 11:00am
First Time at Camp?
Don't worry - those tears will turn into smiles sooner than you might think.
Pigtails, check! Snack, check! Optimistic mom, check….and tears, tears, tears!
Not everyone was excited to attend their first day of camp on Monday. One particular camper was new to the drop-off experience and not happy about it at all. Bracing herself, mom left with a big hug and a kiss, but my little friend wasn’t feeling so brave, and the tears just kept coming. However, as a teacher I know it is often stories that start with tears that end up being the best and most rewarding experiences.Read more →
Jun. 18, 2012 at 10:36am
Kids & Pets
Considering adding a pet to your already full house? Studies show that pets can reduce stress, provide lessons in responsibility, and contribute to self-esteem and self-confidence. Researchers are also now looking into a range of childhood development issues, to see how pets help with childhood obesity, childhood trauma and autism.
A good relationship between a child and his or her pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication skills, compassion and empathy. Pets can:
Read more →
- be safe recipients of secrets and private thoughts
- provide lessons about life (reproduction, birth, illnesses, accidents and death)
- provide a connection to nature
- teach children how to respect other living things
- increase physical activity
- provide love, loyalty and affection
Jun. 14, 2012 at 9:34am
Fun Father’s Day Activities for the Whole Family
A father’s time spent with their child is very important to the child's development and maturation. It helps children become compassionate individuals for the rest of their lives. Fathers also impact life lessons not learned in school. They are teachers without the apple, coaches without the whistle. 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 →
May. 17, 2012 at 8:20am
ExploreStore’s Best Toys for Kids Ages 0-7 (and grownups too!)
The KidsQuest ExploreStore features fun interactive toys, games, and kits that reflect KidsQuest Children's Museum's focus on art, science and technology. But age guidelines on toys can be deceiving. Check out our staff picks for educational toys that best suit each stage of childhood - great for gift giving, even better for busy moms. Read more →
May. 9, 2012 at 9:47am
50 Great Experiences at KidsQuest
50 ways to make KidsQuest Children's Museum even more fun!
If it's your first time visiting KidsQuest you might be a bit overwhelmed and wondering: Where should I start?
Or you may have been to KidsQuest dozens of times already, and are looking for fresh ideas and new ways to explore the museum. Either way, this list is for you. Below are 50 great things to experience one at a time, a couple each visit, or all at once (although you may be here for awhile!).Read more →
Apr. 24, 2012 at 2:59pm
Free Outdoor Activities for All Ages
Who needs toys when you have nature to play with?
Celebrate Earth Week by exploring the wonders of nature! Try some activities that are environmentally friendly, fun, and free. Don’t be afraid to get dirty as you get up close and personal with the great outdoors!Read more →
Apr. 20, 2012 at 9:33am
Why Volunteer at KidsQuest?
KidsQuest is lucky to have such an amazing team of volunteers. They come from all walks of life, but are here for the same reason – to help better themselves while enriching the lives of children in their community.
Our volunteers have a variety of interests and passions that can be applied during their time here at KidsQuest. Many of our volunteers excel in art, science, and math and wish to pursue careers in education, pediatrics, and non-profit development. 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. 20, 2012 at 1:59pm
10 Things To Do With Leftover Easter Eggs
Eggs aren’t just for hiding!
If having an egg hunt is one of the annual traditions at your house then you know what’s left over after the thrill of the hunt has waned…lots of plastic eggs. What do you do with all of those plastic ovoids? Use them for some fun science and art activities!Read more →
Mar. 8, 2012 at 12:00pm
Finding a moms group can be hard...especially if you're a dad.
A father’s time and presence in their child’s life is very important to their emotional development. All studies agree children need ‘dad time’ which helps children develop healthier friendships and become more compassionate individuals throughout their lives. A good opportunity to spend some quality one on one time with your child is at bedtime, by recounting the day’s events or reading a book together. This is a great way to connect and deepen your relationship.Read more →
Mar. 5, 2012 at 4:30pm
3 Simple Ways to Get Your Child Moving
Did you know that when your child is running around they are also learning? All that movement helps both sides of their brain connect. Try these fun and simple ways to encourage your child to get moving. 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 →
Feb. 16, 2012 at 10:28am
Why I Love Members-Only Events
On Monday, KidsQuest hosted its 3rd Annual Members-Only Valentine’s Party, and we had a blast. Thanks to our wildly inventive and wonderfully creative education department, there were some great themed activities including ooey gooey pink gak, glittery spin art, shaving cream hearts and a special Valentine’s Day “post office” where families could make and address their own Valentine’s Day cards.Read more →
Jan. 2, 2012 at 11:12am
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
What to do indoors
It’s raining, it’s pouring, and it’s time for some fun! Don’t let the weather get you down. Embrace it for a fun filled day of water exploration!Read more →
Dec. 16, 2011 at 12:49pm
Top 10 Toys of 2011
(According to KidsQuest)
Still got some Christmas shopping to do? Check out these ideas from KidsQuest's Museum Educator and ExploreStore Coordinator (who is of course the authority on this sort of thing)!Read more →
Nov. 17, 2011 at 11:49am
Kids & Art
(It doesn’t have to be perfect)
Most children love to paint. It is a time when they get to control their environment and master new skills. At first it is all about experimenting with the brush. How does the brush move over the paper? What marks does it make? Then the learning moves on to cause and effect. Holding the brush a certain way will create different lines. Mixing two colors will make a new color. What a great discovery! Sometimes children will simply mix all the paint colors together and it will look like nothing to an adult. This is them learning how to interpret art. They are experimenting and trying to figure out if what they do will always have the same effect. Read more →
Nov. 11, 2011 at 3:01pm
Give a Little, Get a Lot in Return
What have you done to prepare yourself for the food/family/present extravaganza that's fast approaching? Here's an even better question: what have you done for someone else this year? 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. 14, 2011 at 8:02am
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We've got answers.
We often get questions about museum policies and procedures, both from our member surveys and in the museum’s comment box. If you have something to say and leave your contact information along with the comment, be assured that we will get back to you. And if you have a question or concern during your visit, please feel free to talk to the staff about it – we are always there to help.
But for those of you who are curious, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions: 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. 17, 2011 at 9:14am
Five Days of Fanciful Fairy Fun!
Last week we were lucky enough to hold a second Fanciful Fairies Camp, this time with camp instructor extraordinaire (and fairy expert!), Anne Zanatta Kline! Here she gives us a little playback of what happened: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. 20, 2011 at 12:19pm
The Picture Perfect Party
Nowadays, kids’ parties are not always simple affairs. For those of you ready to go all out, below are some fabulous ideas to get you started. 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 →
Jul. 13, 2011 at 9:37am
Get Paint-y in the Great Outdoors!
Easy, messy, outdoor fun for the little artist in your life
Love to paint with your kids but don’t love the mess? Summer provides the perfect opportunity for taking the fun outside. You can paint in your swim suit and hose yourself off when you’re done with your messy masterpiece!Read more →
Jul. 11, 2011 at 1:22pm
We Love Farmer's Markets!
Farmer’s markets and children’s museums might have more in common than you think.Read more →
Jul. 7, 2011 at 1:15pm
Imagination Explorers Camp
What an imagination you have!
Last week we celebrated summer with Imagination Explorers Camp. Our explorers spent the week getting to know each other and exploring their imaginations with circle time, discovery stations and free play in the museum. Read more →
Jul. 5, 2011 at 12:47pm
KQCM Volunteers Enjoy Microsoft Partnership
It’s always important to give back to those who give to you
In June, KQCM volunteers enjoyed food, laughs, and learning through play - the Microsoft way! We held a volunteer appreciation party at the Microsoft Store, and the store's staff guided us through various Kinect games where volunteers danced, dipped, and jumped through obstacle courses. 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 →
Jun. 20, 2011 at 2:29pm
Help create learning through the power of play!
Something BIG is happening on June 23rd. If you regularly visit museums, go to shows, or volunteer at a food bank or community center, you might have noticed that every nonprofit you know is talking about the same thing – The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG challenge.Read more →
Jun. 17, 2011 at 10:26am
A Father’s Day Wish: An End to the Arms Race
Why can't we all just get along?
No, my Father’s Day wish has nothing to do with geopolitics. The warring parties are our two-year old twins Khalil and Ariadne. Last weekend, my daughter patted me on the knee and said quite seriously, “Khalil hit me with a spoon.”
“That’s not good, honey,” I said. “Khalil, did you hit your sister with a spoon?”
“Yes!” he said gleefully. Read more →
Jun. 13, 2011 at 3:08pm
Dogs, cats, birds, oh my!
Have you ever met a dog that speaks German? How about one that knows sign language? Join us for Animal Encounters Storytime, and you’ll get the chance!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 →
Apr. 13, 2011 at 11:52am
Meet a Museum Educator!
Say hello to Jamie, the newest member of the KidsQuest team!
You might have noticed a new face here at KidsQuest, perhaps teaching your kids about bubbles at a Saturday Science Hour, or helping to bring wacky and amazing experiments to QuestClub, KidsQuest's after school science program. This would be Jamie, KidsQuest's newest Museum Educator! Read more →
Apr. 7, 2011 at 8:58am
Secrets of the Egg-straordinary Egg Hunt
Ever wonder how we get prizes into so many eggs?
Imagine stuffing 5,000 plastic eggs for KidsQuest’s Egg-straordinary Egg Hunt. How do we do it? Is it a very special bunny or a well-caffeinated staff? In fact, KidsQuest's eggs come from an exceptional organization in Springfield, Missouri, and are filled and assembled by some very amazing people!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. 24, 2011 at 10:45am
Staff Stays Safe During Go Healthy Month
It's that time of year again...
Last week, KidsQuest’s floor staff completed their CPR training for the year. Almost all of our Visitor Experience team is now certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED for infants, children, and adults. Read more →
Feb. 17, 2011 at 3:30pm
I Heart Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day gets a lot of flack for being a holiday invented by greeting card companies, but you don’t have to purchase a card (or chocolates, or flowers) to make Valentine’s Day special for your kids. 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 →
Dec. 14, 2010 at 2:00pm
Happy 5th Birthday KidsQuest!
This Sunday KidsQuest Children's Museum celebrated its 5th birthday with $5 admission all day and a special members-only party from 10am-Noon. Members had a blast making birthday crowns, playing Pin the Candle on the Cake and decorating our five tier paper birthday cake (come by the museum to check out the results in person—it's on the front desk)! 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 →
Oct. 1, 2010 at 3:34pm
Explore, Play, PARTY!!
Fall means pumpkin carving, leaf raking and a whole mess of holiday preparations, from Halloween costume searching (or sewing!) to Thanksgiving meal planning. If someone in your house has a birthday coming up too, you may be feeling a bit...frazzled. Rain? Check. Wind? Check. Party in the park? Maybe not.
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 →