Curious Kids' Museum

Curious Kids' Museum Curious Kids' Museum AND Discovery Zone Where everyone plays as they learn!

Curious Kids' Museum has "TWO" locations. The museum on the Bluff caters to younger children, infants to about 10 years old. Discovery Zone is located below the Bluff. Discovery Zone has a climbing wall, water table exhibits, walk on water exhibit, and a traveling exhibit gallery.

#museumtoyouOutdoor Crayon RubbingsYou have probably done this at some point in your life. Peal an old crayon, then take...


Outdoor Crayon Rubbings
You have probably done this at some point in your life. Peal an old crayon, then take a sheet of paper, set it on a surface with an interesting texture, and rub the crayon over the paper. With various colors and shapes, kids can make their own unique masterpieces. We challenge you this week, to take this outside and find awesome textures in brick patios/sidewalks, wood fencing or deck boards, leaves, tree bark, or flowers! We'd love for you to tag us in your "Patio Picassos" if you post them!

#museumtoyouTic-Tac-Toe Rocks!We love tic-tac-toe because it teaches kids a lot of valuable skills. Kids learn logic, re...


Tic-Tac-Toe Rocks!
We love tic-tac-toe because it teaches kids a lot of valuable skills. Kids learn logic, reasoning, creativity, strategy, coordination, visual skills, motor skills, concentration, taking turns and how to be a good loser. Another great thing about tic-tac-toe is that you can play anywhere, with anything! There’s no required game board or small pieces, no batteries to charge or dice to lose. You can write with a pen/paper, a dry erase board or just by using your finger in the sand. Our favorite outdoor craft twist to the game is to paint river rocks to serve as the X’s and O’s and leave it on the patio or deck so you can play outside. You can paint a grid onto a wood slice so you could take your board anywhere you wanted, or, if you don’t have a board to use for the grid, there are tons of ways to make a board! Use four long sticks for the outline, draw a grid on the sidewalk with chalk or use 9 large leaves to designate the spots.

Make rock collecting fun
If you want to make your own DIY painted rock tic-tac-toe board, start by collecting the rocks for your game pieces. Take your kids to a creek (or even just a dry creek bed) and let them explore the area and collect the rocks they want to use. Explain to your kids that round flat rocks work best and show them a few good examples and let them choose their own. Give each kid a small bag and tell them they can bring home as many rocks as they can carry! Once home, pick the best ones, clean them with dish soap and let them dry outside.

Let them pick the colors
When painting the rocks, you can use regular craft paints in any number of bright fun colors. You can use just 2 colors (all X one color and all O another color), or you can decide to mix them up. Even if you choose 9 different colors and then painted two rocks (one X and one O) each color, this might add an additional element to the game. Maybe part of the game is that they have to use rocks in colors that haven’t been played on the board yet, so that each of the 9 spaces contains a different color rock. Just make it fun and find ways to incorporate their creativity into the game!
Put the rocks on paper plates or newspaper and let the kids paint them by themselves. Just know that the rocks will need multiple coats of paint to fully cover. After you get the rocks fully coated (top and bottom), let them dry overnight. The next day you can paint X’s and O’s on them with black paint. In order to keep the paint from chipping/scratching off, lightly spray them with a coat of Mod-Podge or any other type of clear coat you feel comfortable with (or skip this step).

Play anywhere
Once your rocks are painted and dry, you’re ready to play! The rocks make it easy to play over and over again and with either a portable board, or one drawn on the sidewalk or at the beach, you can easily take the X's and O's rocks with you! These tic-tac-toe painted rocks are a fun craft, easy for kids to make and don’t require a lot of prep work from parents. And at the end of the day, you’ve got a great game that they can play for years! Have fun!

#museumtoyouHopefully, you were able to check out yesterday's post and make some walking sticks to inspire your kiddos t...


Hopefully, you were able to check out yesterday's post and make some walking sticks to inspire your kiddos to go on a hike! As promised, today we'll share some themed hike ideas that are so fun!

1. Rainbow hike: What kid (and adult) doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? A rainbow hike is a good mix of exercise and finding things. Draw all the colors of the rainbow on your “map” and take the kids out to find objects from the entire spectrum.
2. Measuring hikes: Grab a tape measure and take the kids out to learn more about the world around them. You can measure everything from blades of grass, to mushrooms, to more docile insects, the circumference of trees and whatever else you come across!
3. Bubble hikes: Who doesn’t love bubbles? Get the kids together and create a magical walk in the woods with tons of bubbles!
4. Pajama hike: Have the kids put on their jammies and take them out for a fun hike with one of the most popular kids books out there - Llama, Llama Red Pajama!
5. An alphabet hike - Begin with the letter “A” and identify something on the trail that begins with “A” then work your way through the alphabet, passing through each person in the group sequentially, so everyone is engaged and constantly looking for the next thing.

#museumtoyouWith such great weather, we suggest you get out and enjoy it by taking a family hike. Before you go, why not...


With such great weather, we suggest you get out and enjoy it by taking a family hike. Before you go, why not make some walking sticks? They are a perfect incentive to get kids outside, and can be so fun to find and decorate. Using washi tape, ribbon, markers, flowers, buttons, bells, rope - whatever you can decorate a stick with!

See the pictures of example walking sticks, and then come back tomorrow for some fun themed hikes that we'll share.

#museumtoyouShadow Tracing - Looks like it's going to be a wonderful sunny day in southwest Michigan, so we thought we w...


Shadow Tracing - Looks like it's going to be a wonderful sunny day in southwest Michigan, so we thought we would suggest some shadow tracing! This can be done either inside or outside, and works with tons of items. It can be done with paper and pencil/crayon/marker, or with sidewalk chalk on the pavement. We've attached several pictures of examples; toys, fences, humans, plants, beautiful lace curtains - the possibilities are endless! Tag us in your photos!

#museumtoyouSidewalk Chalk SaturdayMore fun outside with sidewalk chalk! Follow along on the numbered picture, with the ...


Sidewalk Chalk Saturday

More fun outside with sidewalk chalk! Follow along on the numbered picture, with the explanations below.

(1) Long Jump: Draw a series of horizontal lines and challenge your kids to jump as far as they can, marking where they land. Then see if they can beat their farthest jump. Add variations like a running start, jumping backwards or on one foot to keep the fun going.
(2) Follow Me: Use active instructions for your kids to follow while navigating a custom course – we love this example from Matty Angel, but you can get creative and add some of your own!
(3) Walk the Line: Test your child’s balance, coordination and concentration just by drawing a line - a crazy line if you'd like! (Pic via The Pinterested Parent)
(4) Line Stretch: Try drawing 2 lines and have your children keep their feet on both…make the lines zig and zag so they have to stretch! (Do you have a Walkie Chalkie? It comes in mighty handy for this one.)
(5) Obstacle Course: Draw squiggly lines to follow, straight lines to jump over, spirals to spin on! The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. We love these course ideas from Playtivities (and check out their video for further inspiration!)

#museumtoyouSun prints and diffusion - let's have some fun in the sun and explore diffusion!Diffusion is the movement of...


Sun prints and diffusion - let's have some fun in the sun and explore diffusion!

Diffusion is the movement of something (molecules) that move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. To see diffusion in action, try this simple science experiment for kids. Drop a little bit of liquid watercolor or food coloring in a glass of water. At first, the drop of paint is concentrated in one area but as it moves throughout the water it eventually is spread evenly throughout the glass turning the water the color of the paint. This is diffusion.

Now, let's see if you can use diffusion and the sun to create a print on watercolor paper rather than canvas.

Materials: watercolor paper, liquid watercolors, pipette, water, paint brush, scissors, and black construction paper.

Step 1: Prep your paper by taping it down to a plastic tray or cookie sheet tray.
Step 2: Cut out different size shapes from a sheet of black construction paper.
Step 3: Use a paint brush to cover your paper with water.
Step 4: Using a pipette or eye dropper, drip dots of watercolor paint onto the wet paper. Observe how the paint moves once it touches the wet paper. Repeat with other colors as desired.
Step 5: Dip your black construction paper shapes completely in water. Lay the black shapes on top of your painting.
Step 6: Set your painting out in the sun to dry. Drying time will vary but will probably take at least an hour. Once the paper is completely dry carefully peel off your black paper.
How did your print turn out?
The Science Behind It: The black construction paper blocks the sunlight causing the surrounding exposed painted paper to dry quicker. The watercolor paint moves from underneath the black paper (an area of high concentration) to the surrounding dried area which is a low concentration. This process is called diffusion.

#museumtoyouExhibit: Bubble ChamberOur bubble chamber makes a really big bubble right around you! If you get a good stro...


Exhibit: Bubble Chamber
Our bubble chamber makes a really big bubble right around you! If you get a good strong pull that makes a good bubble, you can even blow bubbles out of the bubble you are in! Here's a fun at home, bubble blowing activity!

Bubble Painting - Seems like there are always half full bottles of bubble solution around that inevitably get poured into another bottle. But those half full bottles are perfect for bubble painting!

- non-toxic tempera paint
- bubble solution
- bubble wands or plastic straws (just be careful with the little ones, sometimes a straw means "drink" not blow!)
- cups or small bowls
- construction paper or card stock
- tablespoon

- Add three tablespoons of bubble solution and two tablespoons of paint to a cup (or add the paint to the bubble solution in the original bubble solution container).
- Mix the paint and bubble solution together.
- Place a piece of paper on the grass (or a table - but this is a messy project).
- Dip the bubble wand or a straw into the bubble paint and then blow out bubbles so they land on the paper.
- Allow to dry before hanging up the colorful bubble paintings!

Bubble painting can be done in the house, but we highly recommend covering the table or work area to keep the mess to a minimum. This can be a very exciting project for the kiddos and the soapy paint solution tends to splatter as the excitement grows! Way less stress if you take it outside.

- If you don’t have any pre-made bubble solution, you can easily make your own with a little water and dish soap! Combine two tablespoons of dish soap (Dawn or Palmolive work best) and one tablespoon of water.
- Use this project as an opportunity to experiment with mixing colors. Have the kids predict what would happen if they mix yellow bubbles and blue bubbles, etc.
- Turn the bubble painting prints into cards! Just fold in half or cut out some shapes to add to a blank card.

#museumtoyouPhases of the Moon - edible scienceWe just experienced a "strawberry moon" on June 5th, 2020, but have you e...


Phases of the Moon - edible science

We just experienced a "strawberry moon" on June 5th, 2020, but have you ever heard of an Oreo Moon 😂?
What is a Strawberry Moon? June’s full Moon—typically the last full Moon of spring or the first of summer—is traditionally called the Strawberry Moon. The name, Strawberry Moon, originated with Algonquin tribes in eastern North America who knew it as a signal to gather the ripening fruit of wild strawberries. Alternative European names for this Moon include the Honey Moon and the Mead Moon. It has also been called the Rose Moon, given that many roses come to life during this part of the year!

Let's look at the phases of the moon, using sandwich cookies!
Check out the attached picture/chart (or go here to see it bigger )and create your own using cookies. Look up all of the phases of the moon and discuss.

#museumtoyouEdible Science Experiments - Let's make sugar glass!Making sugar glass can help answer the question, "How is...


Edible Science Experiments - Let's make sugar glass!
Making sugar glass can help answer the question, "How is glass made?" Well, glass is made in a factory, where they get lots of tiny little grains of the purest sand, and heat it up until it is so hot that it becomes molten, and then it turns into glass.
“What does molten mean?” Molten is when something is so hot that it turns into a liquid. Different things become molten at different temperatures. Water becomes molten at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Sand needs a much higher temperature to become molten.
“But why doesn’t glass look like sand?” Hmm, that’s a trickier one to explain. Perhaps it’s easier to demonstrate. We’re not able to make actual glass in our own kitchen, but we can make a very close replica – edible sugar glass!
Just like real glass, sugar glass is made from tiny opaque grains (of, in this case, sugar) which when molten and allowed to cool, transform into an amorphous transparent sheet, which is solid yet brittle. What does amorphous mean? We’ll get on to that later. First, let’s try making the stuff.

To make edible sugar glass, you need:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- pinch of cream of tartar
- butter (or spray oil)
- parchment paper
- cooking thermometer

What to do:
1. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and grease with butter (or cooking spray).
2. Measure out the sugar, corn syrup, water and cream of tartar into a large saucepan.
The kids can help with this part. You might want to point out how the sugar looks like fine white (opaque) grains of sand at this point.
3. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, until it reaches 300 degrees F.
This part is best done by an adult – firstly because 300F is very hot. And secondly, because this part is not very exciting and requires a lot of patience. The key word here is to heat the mixture “slowly”. If you heat it too fast, it will start to caramelize and become yellow. Once the water has boiled off, the temperature will start to rise. The amount of time this takes may vary – it’s more about the temperature reached than the time taken. A candy thermometer which clips onto the saucepan would be perfect, but you can also use a hand-held cooking thermometer, and that will work just fine. For reference, it takes about 40 minutes (on average) for a batch to reach the target temperature.
4. Take the molten sugar glass off the stove and pour onto the lined baking tray. Try to spread it across the baking tray as much possible – the thinner the mixture, the thinner your sugar glass will be. Don’t touch it! It will still be incredibly hot. Let it sit for an hour to cool.
5. After it's cool, call the kids over, because this is the fun part! Carefully lift the sugar glass off the tray, and peel back the baking paper. Notice that the opaque sugar has turned into transparent ‘glass’.
Drop the glass onto the baking paper, and watch it shatter into shards, just like real glass! (Be careful, some of those shards may be sharp enough to cut.) Taste it! It’s very sweet.
6. Store any left over sugar glass in a sealed container in the fridge. Because sugar glass is hygroscopic (meaning it attracts water from the surrounding environment), it will quickly soften and lose it’s brittle quality if exposed to humidity.

Fun Science Fact: Real glass is created by heating sand (which is mostly silicon dioxide) to 1700°C (3090°F). Wow, that’s really, really hot! When the molten sand cools, it transforms into a special kind of substance called an amorphous solid. Usually when things are solid, their molecules and atoms are arranged in an orderly structure. With amorphous solids, the molecules are arranged in a disorganized structure, which is more like the structure you’d usually find in a liquid. It’s this disorganized structure that makes amorphous solids transparent and brittle. You can simulate creating glass in your kitchen by melting sugar instead of sand. Molten sugar turns into another amorphous solid, called edible glass or candy glass, and has a glassy, translucent appearance.
Please note: Mixing together pantry ingredients is a fun (and often tasty) way to explore chemistry with kids in your own kitchen. This activity is only suitable for kids with the comprehension skills to understand the difference between edible sugar glass and regular glass, in that broken pieces of regular glass are not to be touched or put into their mouths. Molten sugar is VERY hot and can easily scald. We recommend adults stir and pour the molten sugar, with kids only observing this process.

#museumtoyouExhibit: Lighted Peg WallRead the book or YouTube read aloud: Hello, Red Fox by Eric CarleIndoor Activity: E...


Exhibit: Lighted Peg Wall
Read the book or YouTube read aloud: Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle

Indoor Activity: Edible Glitter Recipe
Materials: Ziploc snack baggies, sugar, food coloring, and a measuring cup.
Measure 1 cup of sugar (each) into the desired number of baggies (however many colors you want to make). Then add 8 drops of food coloring per bag for each color. Zip the baggies shut and mix until all of the sugar is fully coated.
Now you can sprinkle a little bit on whatever your little one likes (and you allow 😉).

Outdoor Activity: Color Scavenger Hunt!
Materials: a paper bag for each child playing with a list of colors made with markers.
This game is so versatile because it can be done anywhere: in the backyard, in the neighborhood, on a camping trip, or in the car!
Color a small square for each color you want to include, on the outside of the bag. Pass out the bags and the fun begins by finding something that matches all the colors on the bag (put the item in the bag as you find it. When everyone is done, sit in a circle and share your results by color!


415 Lake Boulevard (2) Locations 333 Broad St
Saint Joseph, MI

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00


(269) 983-2543


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