Step into the Pages and Back in Time at the Magic Tree House™ Exhibit at the Magic House
by Chelle Dohrmann
Kids have the opportunity to step into the pages and back in time with the Magic Tree House™ Exhibit, recently opened at The Magic House. KidsOutAndAbout was fortunate to get a sneak peak at this educational and interactive exhibit, developed by the Magic House and based on the best-selling children's book series by Mary Pope Osborne. Whether or not your kids are familiar with the escapades of brother and sister Jack and Annie, this exhibit has something for everyone!
You will begin in the magical, travelling Tree House, lined with books to assist you on your adventure! The exhibit uses three particular books in the series, Thanksgiving on Thursday, Civil War on Sunday, and Twister on Tuesday to focus on three different time periods in American history. Within each section, you will find cothing to dress up in the time period of the book; pages from the books line the walls; and lifesize characters will "read" a few passages from each book to you with the press of a button. Children and adults alike can play games from each era and solve puzzles to help Jack and Annie along on their adventures. While I don't want to give away the entire experience, some highlights from each section include:
- In Thanksgiving on Thursday,"row" to shore, climb on Plymouth Rock, harvest food from a garden, cook it over a fire to use at your Thanksgiving Feast as the Pilgrims once did.
- In Civil War on Sunday, take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon ambulance, learn about Clara Barton while comforting soldiers in a makeshift hospital tent, play checkers on a board carved from a tree trunk, break codes in secret messages.
- In Twister on Tuesday, step into a classroom from long ago Pioneer days and read from McGuffey's "Eclectic First Reader", hide in a storm shelter, scoop coal and ring the bell in a train engine.
The exhibit is ideal for both girls and boys ages 2-12. If you have children who ARE familiar with the book series, they will love stretching the stories into real-life experiences. For those children not familiar with the stories, there is still much to be gained! While the Magic Tree House series is fictional, they are based on events that really happened within our history. The books, and thus this exhibit, are a fun, interactive way to teach our children about real events. What better way to learn than while having fun - and that is truly what the Magic House is all about! So while you're there, take the time to explore the many wonders the Magic House has to offer together with your child - you won't regret it and your kids will thank you!
The Magic Tree House™ Exhibit originally was developed in 2012 and has been brought back now, tying in nicely with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. The current exhibit opened October 4, 2014 and runs through February 1, 2015. Entrance to the exhibit is included in regular Museum admission ($10 for ages 1 and above)
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Chelle Dohrmann, Editor of KidsOutAndAbout-St. Louis, is a wife and mother of two avid readers.