The Bay Area Discovery Museum, at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, is pure delight for pre-schoolers and their parents, grandparents and other care partners. We discovered the museum when our grandson turned three.
Special exhibits abound. Our favorite time to explore the museum is when it opens, by 9 am, because he has more energy and so do Grandma and Grandpa. After the first visit, we invited another set of grandparents and their grandchild. By the third visit, we met up with a third set of grandparents and their grandchild. We had known the elders since our now adult children were tots.
Our young explorer likes to run through the multi sensory hanging streamers and the straw huts maze, climb up 1000 stone steps, and explore the outside pirate ship. Children can get rowdy on pirate ships. I crawl into the pirate ship’s cramped lower quarters, follow him through the hanging streamers and straw huts maze, and climb the stone steps with him. It’s fun to explore, but he has OI, which means his bones can break easily. These activities can be dangerous for a pre-schooler with disabilities, maybe also for some other young children. We guide him (not an easy task) to safer indoor and outdoor movement and art experiences at the museum.
Fortunately, opportunities for active learning, both indoors and outside, are endless. Museum-trained guides of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities provide a hands-on, multisensory exploration, while encouraging risk-taking, collaborative problem-solving, and creative thinking. Our 3-year old explorer loves STEM.
By 11 am, he is exhausted. We promise to return again soon.