Castle Memorial Building 1525 Bernice Street Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
IN A NUTSHELL:
- Suitable for keiki 1-9
- Stools and mini staircases so small toddlers can still be hands on
- Nice breezy area outside for a picnic lunch
- The exhibit is loud and children with sensory issues might be bothered by the noise, or take a moment to get used to it.
- At least three or four individual exhibits were out-of-order, if not more.
Sesame Street Presents: The Body is a temporary exhibit at the Bishop Museum’s Castle Memorial Building. It includes interactive and educational hands-on multimedia games featuring keiki’s favorite Sesame Street characters. Keiki learn about everything from fitness, digestion, hygiene, healthy eating habits and more. It is a great way to get kids to have fun learning and especially exciting if they are fans of Sesame Street, but plan your visit soon as the exhibit leaves Bishop Museum July 30th, 2012.
When we first entered the Castle Memorial Building, my normally fearless daughter grabbed onto my leg for dear life. Certain exhibits within “The Body” are very loud, particularly for little kids who might have sensory integration disorders. My daughter usually does not flinch at anything. Living a block away from a fire station she can sleep through anything. But there is a bit if a chaotic volume to the exhibit, although we were both used to it within a few minutes. It might just be the contrast from the serene and quiet museum quality of the Hawaiian Hall next door.
But for the record, if you were going to the Bishop Museum to check out the Transitions and Tradition: Hawaiian Immigration exhibit on the second floor, expect to sporadically hear the Count yell out “PANCREAS!” or “STOMACH! You have ONE stomach”
Once my daughter got over her initial shy-ness, she was all over the place and the exhibit was set up nicely for that. Individual features are perfectly suited for even the youngest walker up to to the elementary-aged child. Children who can not yet read or fully understand the processes within the body can still do puzzles, sort plastic fruit at the “mini mart” or hang out on the bean bag chairs at Elmo’s World.
In the first room, keiki can learn about the face, and exercise, including a fun activity requiring them to pedal, kick, and jump to sound off a buzzer. There is also a musical organ stationed by The Count, who sings out short informational songs about the organs in the body when children press the keys.
My two-year-old loved the “Hands” station in the second room, which featured a puzzle for children to place wooden fingers on their correct location on the hand, a lighted box for making shadow puppets, as well the braille alphabet and sign language. One thing I have always appreciated about Sesame Street is their ability to seamlessly be inclusive of all children regardless of their abilities or special needs. There was also a stationary wheelchair in the front room, where children could exercise their arms the way one who uses a wheelchair might, and try to race through an imaginary “park.” Unfortunately this was out of order, although my daughter did not seem to notice and still wanted to sit in the wheelchair and practice moving the wheels.
Another favorite exhibit was the hygiene “bathroom” area, which featured three realistic sinks with a bar of soap, a tooth brush, and a hair brush. A video screen asked children various questions requiring them to touch the appropriate hygiene tool. Even if children touched the wrong tool, the screen will still react appropriately with “I supposed you could brush your hair with a tooth brush, but there is a better tool for it. What do we use to keep our hair from getting tangled?”
For older kids who love gross stuff, there is a giant nose with pretend snot, and the digestion exhibit ends with the simulation of an actual bowel movement, complete with fart sounds followed by a toilet flush.
Towards the end, there was a complete deli/mini mart, where children could design balanced meals incorporating the appropriate food groups, or just pretend to go shopping and play with the cash registers.
It took us less than an hour to play with just about everything in the Sesame Street exhibit, and that is including the twenty minutes my daughter insisted on doing at the hand and hygiene stations over and over. Given the price of entrance at the Bishop Museum, I would definitely recommend taking advantage of more than just the Sesame Street exhibit during your visit. Have a picnic in the outdoor grassy area (I’ve heard their lunches are amazing, although we brought a lunch box from home). Head over to the Science Adventure Center, which is also perfectly suited for keiki.
Check out our post on the Bishop Museum for information regarding the keiki-friendliness of the rest of the museum as well as prices, or visit the Bishop Museum website to plan your trip around the planetarium and volcano presentations at: http://www.bishopmuseum.org