Kids learn about deforming — reshaping an object — in “How People Make Things” at the DuPage Children’s Museum through Jan. 27.
‘How People Make Things’
♦ Through Jan. 27, 2013
♦ DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St., Naperville
♦ Admission: $9.50
♦ (630) 637-8000;
DuPage Children’s Museum pays tribute to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” with the traveling exhibit “How People Make Things,” which runs through Jan. 27. Created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and inspired by the factory tour segments of the classic children’s show, the interactive exhibit brings manufacturing to life through familiar objects.
“Fred Rogers really took complex issues and made them understandable,” said Brianne Bromberek, DCM marketing manager. “We are really all about providing interactive experiences that stimulate curiosity, creativity and problem-solving skills in young children. This exhibit specifically brings the manufacturing process to life. . . . [It] brings to life the people, ideas and technology that transform raw products into finished products.”
Kids will learn about four manufacturing processes — molding, cutting, deforming (reshaping an object) and assembling — and how they’re used to create things like crayons, Matchbox cars, baseball bats and mitts, and other items.
Kids also will be able to use real factory tools and machines.
“They don’t just walk through and see how things are made; they’re the ones that are going to be making it,” Bromberek said.
Highlights include using sculpting tools or a 3-axis mill to cut wax, a die cutter to cut a pattern of a horse or a box to take home, an injection molder to make a take-home spoon, a rolling mill to deform a penny and assembling a golf cart or a replica of a “Mister Rogers” trolley.
The exhibit “helps children to appreciate that the objects in their life were made through human ingenuity,” Bromberek said. “Oftentimes we find that children can feel removed from how common items in their life are made, like their toys and clothes and things like that. So this exhibit just kind of reinforces those ideas.”
In addition to hands-on activities, “How People Make Things” showcases several factory tour videos from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” that run continuously alongside displays of products featured in the videos.
Also on tap at DCM is a refreshed version of “Trains — All Aboard Art!” Interactive features include an on-board camera, cargo loading, designing tracks, wooden train tables and a usable crane. A child-sized train based on cubist Gino Severini’s “Red Cross Train,” an 8-foot-wide hidden-pictures mural of Don Stewart’s “Steam Train” and find-and-seek cards keyed to train art posted on exhibit walls are among the new art elements. The exhibit runs through August 2013.
♦ Get ready for winter fun with Snow Much Fun, the Chicago Children’s Museum’s annual celebration of the season; it opens Nov. 7. Make a snow fort, ice skate and have a snowball fight — all indoors. Admission is $12. The CCM is at 700 E. Grand. Call (312) 527-1000 or visit chicagochildrensmuseum.org.
♦ Two stroller tours remain this year at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago: 11:30 a.m. Nov. 7 and Dec. 5. Parents and caregivers can take an hourlong tour of the museum with tots in tow; included in admission of $12 (free for kids 12 and younger). The MCA is at 220 E. Chicago. Call (312) 280-2660 or visit mcachicago.org.
Jennifer Burklow is a local free-lance writer.