Do some grocery shopping, become a veterinarian, tune up a car, preside over a trial, and learn the importance of recycling—it’s all part of the educational fun of Explorers Crossing, where kids discover their potential to be whatever they dream of.
Providing the perfect place to role-play, the Grocery Store features a “refrigerated” dairy section, the Junior League Deli where children can build a healthy lunch that integrates concepts of caloric intake and portion control, a screen that features videos with healthy eating tips for families, an assortment of shelving and bins stocked with colorful produce, and registers that beep as children “scan” items upon checkout. Designed to provide a true-to-life grocery experience for children whose favorite activities include imitating grown-up behavior, the Grocery Store also has a strong focus on nutrition and healthy choices for families.
Cassano's Pizza Kitchen
Continue the role-play in the Cassano’s Pizza Kitchen, where features include a kitchen prep area and pizza “oven” stocked with all of the “ingredients” for making pizza so that children can assemble and serve their special version of this Dayton favorite each day. With pieces specially created to teach children about colors and shapes, as well as learning about fractions and numbers, children will be able to add layers of sauce, cheese, and other toppings – all in a stain-free environment!
The Good, The Bad and The Bugly
Visit our play house that has some “pest” problems. This house is being invaded by ants, bees, and mice. What can you do to keep these critters outside and out of your house? The bugly house can give you some ideas. Children and adults can learn how to keep animals out of their house in a humane way and have fun at the same time. Children will immerse themselves in a bug’s life through interactive computer games and a high-powered, kid-friendly microscope. Have a “bugly” good time learning about camouflage and mimicry while exploring a bug’s-eye view of natural history.
The Impact of Humans on Wildlife Displays
Before you visit the animals in the Charles E. Exley, Jr. Wild Ohio Zoo, discover our newly-designed cases at the edge of the Grocery Store. Each display discusses humans’ impact on wildlife and how wild animals have influenced our lives throughout history. The “Power of Tea” display gives insight into the plight of birds during the Victorian Era during which it was fashionable for women to wear birds on their hats. Two high-society Boston women held tea parties in order to inform other ladies about the slaughter of birds for the hat trade. This soon started a movement to protect birds and later led to the creation of the Audubon Society. The other displays discuss topics such as protecting sea turtles from getting caught in nets, endangered and extinct species, amphibians’ fight for survival, and how wild animals are coping with habitat destruction.
“Guilty as charged!”
It’s not unusual at all to hear this phrase being shouted in Explorers Crossing, nor is it unusual to hear the crash of a heavy wooden gavel! In the Court House area, children have a unique opportunity to learn about the legal system in an exciting, fun, and completely hands-on way. Here, role-playing with your children allows them to participate in and understand each aspect of a courtroom trial. Your child can experience what it’s like to act as a witness, serve as a juror, defend the innocent, prosecute the guilty, and even preside over the entire proceedings as a judge. If the defendant is proven innocent, he or she will walk away freely; if not, he or she can be temporarily placed in a mock jail cell. Follow the three sample “cases” posted on the courtroom wall or invent your own trial scenario!
As children move from each area of the courtroom experience, they will gain a better understanding of what each aspect of a trial truly entails. As children become active participants in all aspects of the trial experience, they will learn how to approach things from different angles, to consider both sides of an argument, and to be fair and open-minded.
Does your child love animals of all types? If so, then the Veterinary Clinic is just the place for you. This child-friendly area is organized into several smaller “rooms”: a waiting room, an exam room, and two other areas to be used in any way your child can imagine. Here, role-play with your child as he or she selects an animal, places it in a small animal carrier, and has you wait for your appointment in the waiting area. Then follow your veterinarian into the exam room, where he or she will consult an “animal care sheet” that allows for an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s problem. Once diagnosed, your vet will send you and your pet on your way—provided that you promise to follow his or her detailed post-visit care instructions, of course.
In the Veterinary Clinic, foster your child’s love of animals and contribute to a real sense of accomplishment; your child is sure to gain self-confidence as you support and interact with him or her in such a positive way.
We all know the importance of recycling, but in the Recycling Center, kids can really get involved in the entire recycling process. Here, read and discuss posters explaining recycling with your child, and then put that knowledge to use. Place items on a conveyor belt and decide whether or not the item is recyclable. If it is, discuss the item and determine what material it’s made of; once you’ve labeled its composition, take the item to a scanner to read its UPC code and find out if you’re right! “Recycle” the items that are recyclable and “discard” the ones that are not—enjoy some interactive play with your child, all while emphasizing the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Do you know how many bags of trash the average American family produces in one week? Visit the Landfill to find out! Here, you’ll climb through a model landfill, discovering what happens to your trash once you throw it away. See what happens when you discard things that could be recycled, study the layers of a landfill’s soil, and even experience what methane gas smells like. Don a trash collector’s outfit loaded up with sandbags to imitate the weight of a day’s worth of trash, watch an informative video, or press a button to watch the path of trash, from garbage bag to landfill and beyond. In the Landfill, you’ll learn how important it is to reduce trash, reuse non-disposable items, and recycle everything you can.