For those of you who visit Science Museum of Virginia regularly – like my family! – you have come to expect hands-on STEM learning exhibits for children that incorporate early childhood education principles, encourage curiosity, and help kids learn through play.
Science Museum of Virginia’s current exhibit, Wild Kratts: Creature Power!, not only aligns with those expectations, it exceeds them.
If you have a Wild Kratts fan in the family, you will appreciate the easily identifiable aspects from the PBS Kids show, like the Tortuga and creature power discs. My children are devoted fans (even wearing Wild Kratts-inspired Halloween costumes!), and the learning connections from the television screen to the immersive exhibit are so powerful! Of course, you don’t have to catch up with Wild Kratts prior to your visit (the show debuted in 2011), but I would recommend it to give your children some background knowledge.
Exploring Wild Kratts: Creature Power! at the Science Museum
Our first stop was the Tortuga, where my children had to work together to complete their mission. Just like in the show, teamwork, persistence, and knowledge are put to the test. My son was so proud to see his name on the screen after completing the challenge. To add to your child’s experience, dress up in one of the Creature Power suits beside the Tortuga!
As a nod to the Kratt brothers’ frequently used expression – Good teamwork, bro! – there are several opportunities for children to practice cooperation. One of their favorites was: working together to use a catapult to launch food (stuffed insects) to a bullfrog. After several tries, and some frustration, the bullfrog finally got his food! My kids were so excited, and so was I! It’s impactful to watch your children collaborate to accomplish a goal.
I was so impressed with the different ways children are encouraged to move their bodies throughout the exhibit. My children loved “activating jaguar power” and crawling through a Tropical Rainforest, while trying to sneak up on spider monkeys. Then, from sliding on their bellies like penguins to swinging like spider monkeys, those gross motor skills were put to work – all while having a ton of fun!
The entire exhibit inspires imaginative play. My six-year-old son created his own story about leopard seals trying to out-swim orcas, as he jumped from iceberg to iceberg while learning about predators and prey.While the exhibit is geared toward ages three to nine, my ten-year-old had fun as well. As a nature lover, her favorite aspect was Your Neighborhood, where she listened to and read about cicadas, woodpeckers, and other animals we are likely to hear in our own backyards.
Overall, we loved the exhibit so much that we will be returning. Until then, we’ll just do as the Kratts’ advise, and keep on creature adventuring, using those essential life skills honed during our visit: perseverance, teamwork, and curiosity. When you visit, block about an hour for the exhibit.
Wild Kratts: Creature Power! runs through January, 21, 2024, and is included with your Science Museum of Virginia regular admission price or membership.
How All Families Can Enjoy the Science Museum of Virginia
Now is the right time to investigate the notion of giving fun and experiences for the holidays, instead of more stuff. #GiveFunNotStuff Since Wild Kratts runs through the holiday season, you could wrap up a Science Museum of Virginia family membership and package it with a Wild Kratts book or t-shirt for the kids. Visit their membership page for more information.
As a member of the Museums for All national initiative to make quality museum learning experiences available to everyone, the Science Museum offers a reduced-rate membership for limited-resource families. For $25, two adults and all children under eighteen in the household receive a year of free regular admission. Details at Museums for All.