Ontario Science Center | The Life of K: Ontario Science Center

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ontario Science Center

Our museum membership, the 3 museums 1 card membership that gets us into the Science and Tech museum, the Aviation musuem, and the Agriculture museum in Ottawa, also gets us into museums in other cities. Back in December I took Little K to the Telus Spark Center in Calgary and last weekend we all got to explore the Ontario Science Center while we were in Toronto.

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Running, because that's what museums are good for.

It was Sunday morning so we had breakfast and quickly celebrated Little J's birthday with J's Toronto family, packed the car, and headed out. We knew that if the Ontario Science Center was anything like the museums in Ottawa, the kids would love it. I think I'd say they liked it even better!

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The huge machine called the Rhoads Sculpture.

The kids could have spent all our time right here. There were 6 or so spots where you set balls in motion and they went through the machine and did different things: some made bells ring, others bounced around, and some made a ball on a string go round and round the top. It was incredible to watch, mesmerizing really. (Update: It's called the Rhoads Sculpture and is described as an audiokinetic sculpture where rolling balls create sounds and movement.)

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They love these things now!

Okay, so maybe they wouldn't have lasted the entire time there. They quickly jumped behind these astronaut guys to have their picture taken and then it was off to the Kidspark area.

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Running to Kidspark.

Kidspark reminded me a lot of the Telus Spark Science Center in Calgary and I wonder if they're actually the same concept or if it's just a coincidence. Anyway, it was a huge room with big white clouds hanging from the ceiling with a million and one things to do and learn about.

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Playing with bones.

The kids are 2.5 and 4 so they are more at the playing age. They learn by doing and so they played. With everything. There were bones to put together, a human torso to fill, a check-up station. Further along was this wall of red pegs. I've seen smaller toys like this but this was huge and smoothing out one panel and putting your face in was irresistible.

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Little J points to his head. You can also see his arms and hands.
There was a tunnel with mirrors that reflected everything and three different coloured spotlights whose light you could mix together on the wall. There was this steam machine that released a puff of steam when you pushed down on the top. Think huge smoke rings floating up over and over.

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Push *puff* Push *puff*

There was a hot air balloon that inflated and slowly deflated that J really liked.

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There was a dark room that showed you on the wall.. like your reflection, but digital and like you had Foxtrax (remember that where the hockey puck would have a tail of light on it and it was so annoying?) This turtle's tank made up one wall of a little area that had something in it but I can't remember what. Little K was mesmerized by the creature.

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I don't blame her.

In the middle of the room was a big water area with a section all about bubbles, but the big attraction was where the water flowed down and you could use plastic pieces to alter the flow. J loved it and made a super fast run and sent boat after boat down.

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Kidspark not just for kids.

J was also fast enough to get a water cyclone going.

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Beyond the turtle was a section about animal prints and a cave with wall paintings and fossils. This wall of photos was actually up in a tree. When you flipped up the picture you could see the whole animal. I don't think the kids understood but they still flipped every picture they could reach.

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Flip flip flip!

After that we decided to keep moving and see what else there was. I'm glad we did because there was another room with so many fun things to do. First there was an area with lots of sound makers and a little room with a stage set up and music pumping. The kids enjoying this spinning thing... I would have too if I was little. I think it would have made me sick if I'd gone on it now.

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Around and around and around.

There was a big house that needed building. All the bricks were actually foam blocks that came off. I watched kids put them on and take them off over and over. Such an interesting things to see. I'd want to do it once and get it done, but they were happy to just play.

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Sending up blocks.
The next big section had lots and lots of ramp and track pieces that you put together however you wanted and sent little red balls down. J and I were excited when we could get the ball to jump onto another track.
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Building a ball rollercoaster.
There was more in that room, like a big grocery store type area and a toddler section, but we moved on to the space area. The coolest part was a ride-on air powered chair. You controlled where the chair went with jets of compressed air and had to move towards targets.

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We explored the rest of the space area pretty quickly because it was getting towards lunch time. I wish we'd been able to spend more time at the Science Center because I don't think we saw even half of it, but the parts we did see were really fun, especially for the kids. I'm so glad our museum membership gets us in for free so we were able to enjoy our last morning in Toronto doing fun things with the kids. Win win!

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