DINOSAUR event an extravaganza
The Tree Fort Children’s Museum of Moses Lake hosted over 400 childrenFor Goodness Sake
The Tree Fort Children’s Museum of Moses Lake hosted a one-day pop-up event at Garden Heights Elementary on February 29, 2020. This event exceeded attendance expectations with over 400 children and 200 adults present. Children’s museums are cultural institutions that offer hands-on, informal learning experiences in the arts, humanities, and sciences. They are dedicated to encouraging curiosity, promoting childhood, and inspiring imagination.
Activities at the dinosaur-themed event included an Experiment Bar to conjure your own personal volcanic eruption or trap an insect in amber-colored slime. Also available was a one-of-a-kind dinosaur Smell Puzzle, to match the shapes of the puzzle with the smells they produce, a Dig-pit to rustle up fossils, parent-child Face Painting, Dino Library, and Dino Dramatic Play area to assume your reptilian identity for the day.
Many participants said their favorite activity was the Giant Magna Tiles - a set of colorful geometric magnetic manipulative tiles. “The Tree Fort was able to purchase the giant Magna Tiles because of a grant awarded to us by the Columbia Basin Foundation”, Tree Fort Treasurer Jenelle Ottmar said.
Our non-profit is growing month by month with community and foundation support, and we are very excited about the future of our emerging Children’s Museum and what that will contribute to our beloved community.” Also on display was a large sample of non-smelly dinosaur poop. “In its fossilized state Dino feces is called coprolite”, Tree Fort President Missy Roark explained. “The coprolite is on loan to us for our event from local resident Larry Huck. We can’t do what we do without our volunteers, friends, and sponsors.”
Children’s museums are places where children learn through play. Everything is hands-on and interactive, and children can explore at their own pace and in their own way alongside their caregivers. Exhibits can be touched, handled, played with, climbed on, crawled through, and experimented with in any way a child likes. Children’s museums are vibrant, engaging, and ever-changing spaces. They are often anchor attractions in their communities, as well as meeting places for families, resources for schools, and popular destinations for tourists. The Tree Fort Children’s Museum in Moses Lake is classified as an emerging children’s museum, offering large and small scale “pop-ups” while they raise community interest and engagement for a permanent facility.
The next events scheduled by The Tree Fort Children’s Museum include a series of garden pop-ups, in partnership with the Master Gardeners of Grant/Adams Counties and the Master Gardener Foundation. The garden series will be held on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 9:30 to 12:30 pm May –October. Parents and children will participate together to learn about Starting a Garden, Pollinators, Good vs. Bad Bugs, Soils, and Composting, Weeds vs. Good Plants, and Harvest.
Each session includes a short and educational lecture by a Master Gardener, followed by a themed craft or science activity with the Tree Fort Play Guides. Participants can register through the City of Moses Lake Parks and Recreation office or online at https://apm.activecommunities.com/moseslake/Home. Also coming up in summer 2020 is a literacy promotion event, Imagine Your Story, at the Moses Lake Public Library. The Tree Fort will publish the date and details on their website at TheTreeFort.org and Facebook page.