Molly played hooky on Tuesday. We went with our cousins to the Children’s Museum, so I’m not talking about a devious day off of preschool or anything. Now I know I’ve proclaimed my love for several different places, spaces, and people on this blog in the past, so I hope that doesn’t take away from the following declaration because I really mean it – I LOVE the Children’s Museum of Phoenix (and I’m not getting paid to say nice things about them on the internet, although I would not turn down a free pass if anyone out there is wondering….).
Simply put, it is one of the most well thought-out, clever places I have ever taken my kids. There’s this huge climbing structure built out of chicken wire, milk trays and g-d knows what else that stretched over two stories high. There’s this crazy wall of tubes that sucks in scarves only to shoot them out from various outlets seconds later. My description may be poor, but trust me – mesmerizing!
The noodle forest, the ice cream cart, the car wash, the fort building room, the play kitchen, restaurant and grocery store…..We could have stayed for days – make-believing, creating, discovering, exploring…..
I asked the kids what their favorite part was, and each said “all of it.” I don’t know if I could name my favorite either, but I have to say I think the art room is just divine. They always have tables set up with little craft projects, but the main attraction is obviously the huge rocket ship sitting atop a drop cloth surrounded by buckets of paint just waiting for kids to have at it. They must change the color of paint each day because you can see the layers of wild painting creativeness. Tuesday’s color was pink, and the kids couldn’t get smocked up fast enough. Pink paint was everywhere – hair, noses, ears, shoes, backsides….and it was deliciously FUN! And you know what it wasn’t – gendered. Not one parent, child, or teenager working the art room said one word about pink being a girl color. Because it’s just paint, and paint is just fun!
I didn’t even think about what a non-issue the pink paint was until I looked back at the pictures. Nothing in the museum was gendered in any way, yet every kid in there was engaging, constructing, inventing, designing, playing, and loving every bit of it.
So what’s the deal Mattel? Do you really need to make different toys for boys and girls? I saw a whole lot of common ground on my trip to the museum. I’m certain you could be so clever!