Is this exactly "nature"? What's more natural than understanding how our AMAZING bodies work and how to keep them healthy? My older boys went on fieldtrips here this school year and have asked to go back several times. They also share interesting things they learned there about healthy eating, such as how many teaspoons of sugar are in soda, how much sleep we need, and how we should take time to play outside every day. My husband went as a chaperone and had a great time! He liked the technology integration (geeky dad, yes!).
I guess it's the teacher in me that always has to look at the educator's information on websites. These often include information to discuss before visits, activities to do while at the museum, and other follow up activities. Even if I'm not "formally" teaching, I find these to have good ideas and the plans become springboards for activities and discussions or help me relate what we are doing to my children better.
Teacher Lesson Plans
Places for "planting" vegetables and flowers . . .
A tree house . . .
There are shopping carts and a grocery store/farmer's market nearby, complete with scales and a cash register. The kids love collecting all the healthy food to sell to other children and parents.
The toddler area was great. A couple of school groups came in, so we scooted over to the toddler area. You have to sign in to go to this area and take off shoes or put on booties. However, it is entirely made for little ones! This area reminds parents of the importance of play, the development of the brain, and how to engage with your child. While we are our child's favorite toy, there were also some pretty neat toys in there, too. There was also literature about child development which can be helpful.
While fairly simple, the balls going through tubes was a hit!
Natural elements were painted on the walls. Our youngest loved the mirrors and this soft area. It was nice to have a place to escape when the larger kids came into the museum.
There are places to look at x-rays and interactive computer games.
There is even a small climbing wall.
The whole museum is based on healthy living. I was working on my balance and brain development here.
Into the brain and eyes . . . there were also many opportunities for movement with hula hoops and the such. There is a dentist area and dress up place as well.
Find Healthworks! Kids Museum on Facebook.
As this is centrally located in downtown South Bend, we took advantage of our location and also visited The Dino Store and Made in Michiana while we were down there. There are several other great things to check out while down there. I encourage exploring other areas in conjunction with the trip downtown. We also see HealthWorks! Kids Museum at many outreach opportunities, such as the Kids Expo, Science Alive, and other area activities. They always encourage healthy choices and taking care of our bodies!