Thomas & Friends have stopped at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City to help kids explore the concepts of STEM. The new Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit is designed for kids 2-8 and encourages play while emphasizing concepts in science, technology, engineering and math. With a number of hands-on activities and role playing features, kids get the chance to engage in the Thomas & Friends’ setting and themes.
Are the kids getting stir crazy yet? In the winter months, our family enjoys taking advantage of the local museums and indoor facilities to stave off cabin fever. We have a few ideas on how to stay busy and have fun this winter, including this fun Thomas exhibit at LSC.
A few months ago, we were invited to a media event where we had the chance to explore this cool Thomas exhibit. The exhibit includes Knapford Station, the Sodor Steamworks and more.
Visitors are transported to the Island of Sodor, where they engage in fun, active, and meaningful STEM experiences:
- Climb into the Thomas Model to explore the inner workings of the engine, helping to refine physical abilities such as hand-eye coordination
- Visit the Loading Zone to design and test different ways to arrange cargo onto the train car
- Build upon time telling abilities by understanding what the hands and numbers of the clock represent at Tick Tock, Fix the Clock
- At the Train Table visitors imagine, plan and execute various innovative track options for trains to navigate through to accomplish tasks
- With Every Part Has a Purpose, children remove train parts and problem-solve by choosing replacement parts to come up with a solution
- Help Get Percy Going by observing, analyzing, concluding and reflecting on how Percy’s engine makes and uses steam energy
My train aficionado and I enjoyed an inside look at the exhibit at a fun media event. After a storytime with Sir Topham Hat and playing with cool Thomas toys, we headed to the Thomas & Friends exhibit on the fourth floor of LSC.
Once you walk through the doors of the fourth floor, you’re immediate greeted by the huge oversized train table. The train table extended over half of the exhibit itself, with enough tracks, nooks and crannies for many kids to enjoy. Though we found it to be crowded at times, the train table itself was one of the highlights for my 5 year old. He liked crawling under the table to head to one of the interior play spots. There were many trains to play with at the train table, but at times since it was such a popular feature of this exhibit, there were no trains to be had. Although, after a few minutes of waiting, kids switched it up and took turns with the trains.
I loved the Every Part Has a Purpose zone, where kids had the chance to learn about the different train parts and use their problem-solving skills to figure out how it works. A interesting social aspect about this feature is that kids had to take turns with other kids, since this section is smaller. As we all know, this age group isn’t the best at taking turns and everyone has different feelings about sharing. Busy exhibits like this reinforce those differences!
Learning is Fun
There’s so much to learn and do at the Explore the Rails exhibit at LSC. If you or your kids are Thomas and Friends fans, the Explore the Rails exhibit is worth checking out. Depending on your kids’ interests and attention spans, you could potentially spend several hours at this exhibit role playing and learning about trains. With the cold weather, this would be a great way to spend those winter days entertaining toddlers, preschoolers and everyone in between!
Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails will be at Liberty Science Center until May 18, 2018. Be sure to check out this fun exhibit while it’s in the station!
Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails is included with general admission tickets ($21.75 for adults, $18.75 for seniors 62+, and $17.75 for children ages 2-12). Museum members and children under 2 are free. Liberty Science Center is open daily except Mondays in the fall and winter except on holidays.
Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails is included with general admission tickets ($21.75 for adults, $18.75 for seniors 62+, and $17.75 for children ages 2-12). Museum members and children under 2 are free. Liberty Science Center is open daily except Mondays in the fall and winter except on holidays. Check LSC.org for hours and other details.