Small Wonders at the Indiana State Museum :: CityMoms Report

//Small Wonders at the Indiana State Museum :: CityMoms Report

With thanks to the Indiana State Museum for the invitation, we sent CityMom Katie to checkout the Museum’s brand new youth programming. Katie’s family enjoyed the new Small Wonders preschool class and are telling all of their adventures. Take it away Katie…

My festival-loving family has been to several events in the Indiana State Museum lobby, but we actually had never been inside the museum itself. So when we got the chance to check out the brand new Small Wonders class, we were super excited to see what the ISM had in store for us.

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Upon arrival, we were greeted in the lobby by Miss Hayley, one of the Small Wonders class instructors and the Early Childhood programs manager at the Indiana State Museum. Once all the littles and their grownups had arrived, our group made its way to the elevators. The class we attended was held on the 3rd floor in the Creativity Studio, but the permanent home for Small Wonders will be on the 2nd floor in the education center {the part that looks like a beautiful, old brick school}. The space will have brand new preschool furniture, sensory tables, easels and onsite bathrooms {yes, please!}.


HEADED TO DOWNTOWN INDY? READ THIS: A new playspace on the downtown canal? Yes please.


Mr. Evan, the ISM’s early childhood specialist, was waiting for the kids outside of the studio space and welcomed them all inside. Each child chose a circle mat to sit on, and there were chairs behind the kids for their adults. Hayley and Evan introduced themselves again to the children and explained that we would do four things in the class: story time, activity stations, a game, and an art project, in that order. For a child like my daughter who struggles with anticipation {and honestly for my own anxious personality}, knowing beforehand what is going to happen really helps her enjoy activities.

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

The theme of our class was Butterflies and Moths, so Evan held up a photo of each and asked the kids to say which they thought was the butterfly and which the moth. After a brief discussion, he started with our storytime book for the day: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Now, if your kids are anything like mine, they’ve heard this book before {maybe lots of times!}. I was wondering if my kids would pay attention, but the story time was so interactive that every child was completely engaged. Evan let the kids contribute throughout the book, asked them questions, and acted out parts of the story with them.

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Next, it was time for stations.

The kids were free to choose the stations they wanted. My son made a seed ball out of clay, soil and seeds that he got to take home so we can plant it in our yard. My daughter made a caterpillar using patterns of beads on a pipe cleaner. They also had a sensory bin with soil, shovels, and creepy crawlies, and a table with real mounted butterfly specimens that the children could examine with magnifying glasses.

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

The game we played was really adorable – the children had to be butterflies who wanted to drink nectar from a flower. Each child received their own straw to use as their proboscis {that long, straw like sucker you see curling out of a butterfly’s mouth!} and chose a different colored flower attached to a plastic cup.

When the music started, they had to fly around like butterflies, and when it stopped they had to find their flower and, without using their hands, drink water from their flower using their “proboscis” {I’m pretty sure my son cheated}.

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

Small Wonders Indiana State Museum - theCityMoms

After all that activity the kids were ready to settle down for the art project.

They were making their own butterflies out of coffee filters and clothes pins. In order to give the coffee filter wings bright colors, each kid got to use a pipette to drop vibrant water colors onto the filters and watch the colors spread and blend together. We put the filters on clean paper plates to dry, and each child got to take home their butterfly.

My Cliff Notes review on the class?

What most impressed me about the class was the amount of individual attention each child received. Throughout all of the activities, the instructors spent time actually sitting down with each kid, asking them questions about what they were doing, and listening attentively to the information the kids wanted to share. None of the activities were too long, so we stayed on the mark for the 3 – 5 year old attention span. The Butterflies and Moths theme was well done and all of the activities were cohesive, age appropriate, and related to the theme. Small Wonders will take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will have a new theme each month {look out for Five Senses, coming in August!}, so there will always be something new to enjoy!

MORE INFO: The Indiana State Museum is located at 650 W. Washington Street, in downtown Indianapolis. Small Wonders classes will be offered monthly and a full schedule may be found here on the Indiana State Museum website. These programs are tailored for children ages 3-5, however their sister program, Young Explorers, follows the same curriculum, offering courses for children ages 4-6. Pricing varies from $9-10/member children and $12-13/non-member children. Visit the Indiana State Museum website for additional details or call {317} 232-1637.  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Windes de Puente has been a member of theCityMoms for as long as we can remember! As momma of Isabel and David, she’s a frequent hostess for our monthly outings to splash pads, parks and Newfields for the wee Wonders preschool art class.

We can also safely say that Katie is never seen without her bright smile. She’s a frequent contributor to theCityMoms bank of local photos as she wields a keen eye with her iPhone, and we’re blessed to have Katie on our team of volunteers and writers.

2018-07-20T12:00:09+00:00July 20th, 2018|
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