Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Visit to Birdwell Island: Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog

Back many years ago, when I was a volunteer at the Minnesota Children's Museum one of the special exhibits I remember was Clifford the Big Red Dog. Fast forward to today, and Clifford is back at the Minnesota Children's Museum! I was really excited to be able to take my girls on a little adventure to Birdwell Island to visit Clifford The Big Red Dog this time around. 

Tip: We made our trip to the MCM on a Friday night, which is a great time to explore the museum. I think I've mentioned it before, but it is worth saying again. A trip to the museum on a Friday or Saturday night, when the museum is open until 8pm, makes a great family date night. The crowds are smaller, so it's easier for the kids to explore.

As we explored the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog exhibit, I took note of the signs next to the different play areas. For example, in the restaurant area there was a sign about working together. The signs were helpful for me to think about when talking to Miss A and Little J about their play.

The first area where the girls wanted to play was the restaurant. Miss A and Little J pretty naturally took different "jobs" at the restaurant. Miss A took my order, Little J cooked and Miss A took my money. Miss A really liked the money. She's working on counting to higher and higher numbers, so the play money was extra fun for her. As the girls played, I added in comments like, "I love to see you working together to get me my food."

Doesn't Miss A look excited to be a restaurant employee...
I promise she was actually enjoying herself :)
They continued working together as they were feeding Clifford, filling his bowl with giant dog bones, but I also talked to them about what a big job it is to take care of a dog and how you have to be really responsible.

Shortly after feeding Clifford, Miss A was distracted by the stage. No surprise there. The stage area had costumes, instruments and a big screen showing Clifford and some friends making music together. Miss A was quick to join in, and helped Little J find things too. We stayed in this area for the longest.

Before we left the girls had to check out Clifford's doghouse. Inside the doghouse there was paper, scissors and crayons to write letters and draw pictures that could be posted on a big board, delivered around the island or taken with for delivery. I loved the sign in this area because it encouraged being kind. The sign in the picture is hard to read but it says, "Creating special pictures and letters for loved ones can brighten a person's day. When you make another person feel better you are being kind." This reminded me so much of my dear friend Miss Heather, who sends me and my girls super fun mail all the time, so it really connected with me and Miss A (Little J was just excited to be drawing).

Overall, we really enjoyed our visit to Birdwell Island. You can read more about the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog exhibit here!

Full disclosure, my family and I are provided with a free membership to the Minnesota Children's Museum in exchange for being a Smart Play Ambassador.  Of course, all opinions are completely my own.

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