Project-based Homeschooling: My five-year-old’s Grocery Store

INK Museum’s pretend grocery store

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to take my five-year-old to the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, or INK Museum, in Gainesville a few times. It was fun going there with him without his brother (who was attending a class next door). We also had the opportunity to meet a friend of his there a few times too, so that was extra fun.

It’s important for my youngest child to get to do some things without his brother because big brother can certainly influence him. Sometimes this good, but sometimes, it isn’t. For example, when my oldest was this age, he did not care a flip about playing make-believe in INK’s exhibits. Instead, he was more interested in the trains, airplane, musical instruments and building supplies. However, his younger brother liked all that and the opportunity play pretend, although he was very specific about where he wanted to play pretend. Mostly, it was in the grocery store.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. He is a great help to me and his dad at the real grocery store! He wanted to shop twice, and I think he would have been content to stay in the store, if I had not reminded him we had a short time to see the whole museum.

After going to INK a few times and seeing how much he enjoyed the grocery store, I asked him if he’d like to make a grocery store in his room, and he was thrilled about that! So we worked on this for awhile, saving some recyclables and adding to the store whenever we could. He got a little carried away, and eventually I had to tell him he had enough groceries!

We also have a toy cash register, which isn’t in the photos. I had some baskets that I gave to my son in lieu of shopping carts. He also wanted to make some shopping carts, and we worked hard on that one day. We never finished because after trying out different supplies, we couldn’t figure out how to make the wheels work. But we may try again, if my son wants to.

We added more groceries (recyclables) over time. Now those shelves are full!

Big brother mans the pizza parlor in the grocery store. Later we wrote all the pizza specials on that big easel.

We played grocery store a few times, and our friends enjoy playing in it when they came over. Now it’s a little messy and neglected. But I’m sure we’ll clean it up and play again. 🙂

Our Summer Vacation Part 4: The Kohl Children’s Museum in Greater Chicago

I promise this is the last post about our summer vacation!

When we decided to check out the Kohl Children’s Museum, we knew absolutely nothing about it, but when I called their telephone number, the recording told me that it is one of the Top 10 Children’s Museums in the Country.  I can see why!  It’s a beautiful place and far surpasses the INK museum, which we have here in Gainesville – not that I’m dogging INK.  I love it too, and I’m very happy to have it near us.  But the Kohl museum – Wow.  The water room BY ITSELF was worth the effort of going.  Just look at it…

The Kohl Children’s Museum is the ultimate place to play make-believe, and it had similar exhibits to the INK museum, such as a grocery store, vet clinic, diner, and music room, but it had a lot more science in it too.  My kids are still young, so they liked the hands-on exhibits such as the water room, sandbox, music room, microscopes, etc.  I have to say that this museum is beautiful too.  Aesthetically pleasing in every way.  I loved the colors and quotes on the walls.

I wish I could show you more photos, but it was pretty crowded that day, so it was hard to keep other kids out of the frame.

Speaking of crowded, someone there told us we were lucky because it was NOT crowded that day.  What?!  My husband and I said we’d hate to go when it WAS crowded.

Part of the museum we missed, so if we ever go back, we might have to visit again.

There were cool places to explore outside too…

The Kohl Children’s Museum is a definite MUST SEE if you have young kids and visit Chicago.

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) Museum in Gainesville, Georgia

We had a great time today at the INK Museum in Gainesville.  It was our first visit, and I’m sure we’ll be returning many times!  We met some homeschoolers we know there, and since it was homeschool day at the museum, the admission was half price ($4).  (First Tuesday of every month is homeschool day.)  My youngest was free because he is (just) under two.  You can view the website at http://www.inkfun.org/.

Above is a photo of my four-year-old’s favorite room: the music room.  There’s also a real fire engine, police car, and airplane to sit in. My youngest loved the airplane, and I think he would have sat in it all day, if we let him.

This is the ultimate place to play make-believe!

They also have a children’s size grocery store, which was a huge hit with my kids, and there’s also a vet clinic, bank, radiologist clinic, playroom, toy trains and much, much more.  If you live in this area and have kids, you must go.