Blasting into Summer at COSI

The family and I have been working on the summer bucket list, as time permits, and this past weekend we had the opportunity to take the girls to COSI for the day. Just about an hour drive from Dayton, Columbus always has things going on and COSI is a favorite no matter what time of year for a quick day trip.

It worked out that we could go while the Big Machines exhibit was out. Kids (and adults) got the chance to climb into all sorts of construction equipment and even get to work the arms on a few of them. It’s an annual event so it won’t be back until next June but Farm Days, August 9-13, will feature tractors and combines, a chance to meet farmers, and even get to milk a fiberglass cow. Check back on COSI’s website every so often to find out what special exhibits are being planned.

My oldest, Kelsey, loved getting right into the chairs and making things go. Folks from Operating Engineers Local 18 were on hand to help kids get in and out of the equipment and show them how to use the arms. It was great for kids to see both men and women skilled at working with these powerful machines.

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Back inside, we spent the most time in three exhibits: Be the Astronaut, Gadgets, and Little Kidspace. In between we checked out fun hallway exhibits, activities, and shows that had the girls building arch bridges and learning about recycling different materials, feeling electrostatic shock, identifying insects, and making a drum beat in time with their heart beat. Kelsey just really excited about the High Wire Unicycle so we may have to look into that more next time we visit.

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Be the Astronaut is part of COSI’s Cosmic Summer programming running through September 4, 2017. In addition to the interactive exhibit, there is a giant screen movie and planetarium show exploring the future of space exploration. This particular exhibit is geared towards older kids and adults more than my two, but they still enjoyed the touch screen puzzles and trying to fly space crafts and rovers.

The girls have been interested in all thing space lately so this was a great chance to let them pretend to be astronauts for a little while. My husband had fun flying space crafts, too. With plenty of stations, there was no waiting around and everyone got to play on any style of console they wanted. We capped off our day with some astronaut ice cream from the gift shop.

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The girls could have spent all day in the Gadgets exhibit (Facebook Live video here) if we had let them. They had a blast while learning about motion and mechanics. The girls launched balls across the room, pulled themselves up with pulleys (video here), explored how gears work, and made their own creations with large foam pieces.

We spent a good amount of time in this room and still didn’t see every display. We’ll have to make time to check out the Gadget Café next time, too, to get to take apart an appliance.

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I definitely see why a membership to COSI would be a good investment. Little Kidspace was yet another space the girls could have spent all day in. It’s designed for kids 6 and under to give the youngest kiddos a space without older kids. It has several play spaces to pretend to be everything from an ambulance driver, to life on a farm , to housing construction.

We more or less made a beeline straight to the end with the water and art spaces. My girls have always enjoyed playing with water – at home a bucket of water can entertain them for three hours! In the Splish Splash area they experimented with floating items, directing water flow, and filling and dumping. For the older infants, they have a table with built in chairs and little streams of water that was honestly the best thing to sit and watch all day.

The art space was another big hit with open invitations to paint, make collages with found items, and play with color mixing. Kelsey jumped right on the climbing wall every chance she got. When it was finally time to go, we had to show a slip of paper that we received on the way to ensure we were leaving with the same number of kids we came in with.

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A couple of tips to help you plan your visit to COSI:

  • Parking fills up quick. This may be elevated once they finish construction on the new underground parking, but for now, be prepared to walk a bit.
  • You can pack a lunch or but one. They are tables to sit out inside and out to eat. There are plenty of restaurants in Columbus and near COSI but if you don’t want to leave the building, keep it simple and order from the quick serve onsite. They have a few kid friendly options that make pictures with food and a selection of meals for adults and other snacks.
  • Bring a bag. You won’t want to need to go back to the car if you can help it or lose anything so bring a backpack or tote to let yourself be hands free while hanging on to the hats, snacks, and odds and ends the kids pick up. They do also have storage lockers available for rent.
  • Do a little research. Take a look at the exhibits on the website before you head out and pick a top three of exhibits your family would be most interested in. There are so many things to see and do you may not get a chance to see and do all of it. At the same time, don’t be surprised if an area catches their attention and you end up spending 30 minutes at one activity.

We had a great family day at COSI and I want you to get the chance to take your crew there for the day, too! Gather your crew and explore space through the eyes of an astronaut, with three amazing experiences this summer at COSI.

Enter to win!

Two winners will get a four pack of tickets to COSI! To enter, just visit COSI’s website and then come back here and comment on what your family would be most interested in exploring.

Enter HERE through Rafflecopter to make it official and earn extra entries. Giveaway ends on July 11, 2017 at 11:59pm. Good luck!

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Domesticating Michelle was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

Domesticating MichelleCOSI Ticket Giveaway

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Above and Beyond for Kids

Today I had the pleasure of getting a tour of the new patient tower at Dayton Children’s Hospital. I’ve been watching this new part of the building in progress off the side of the highway so it was very exciting to get a sneak peek inside. While my girls have not ended up needing treatment at Dayton Children’s Hospital to date, it is where we would go should we need specialized pediatric care so I’m happy to know that they have the best facilities and newest equipment possible.

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Modern Design

The modern design and kid-friendly features greet you at the main entrance with spaces for kids to be kids in the lobby. Parents and kids alike were having fun playing with the centerpiece of the lobby, The Dragonflyer – an homage to the dragonflies buzzing around Huffman Prairie, where the Wright Brothers tested their flying machine, with bike wheels as feet and biplane wings. The lights on the wings and spinning propellers as eyes carry over into the Take Flight Gallery.

Looking up in the lobby gives you a view of the four large sky lights that are framed by color changing lights. Up on the fourth floor is the Sky Deck, a play area with soft flooring, xylophones, and seating around the sky lights so you can peek down into the lobby. You can also see work by local artists hanging from the ceiling and on every stretch of wall throughout the lobby. In fact, the walls the art hangs on is a building made by local companies and workers, putting money right back into the local economy. Even driving to and from the building, you can see the hospital has spruced up the whole block.

The theme of the building is things that fly and touches of theme are carried throughout. From the floors to the artwork, to the handles on the doors to inpatient rooms, each floor has a different icon and associated color to help families find their way around.

Inpatient Rooms

The inpatient rooms are state of the art. Regardless of the purpose, each room has TV’s that can pull up patient information and medical staff can send informational videos to that room. Patents can even order their meals and notify personnel if something needs to be addressed in the room. The hospital will employ two robots that use UV light to kill the last of the germs that may be left in a room after cleaning between patients. They really seem to be putting lots of patient feedback into the design of the room including many more single rooms.

For some of the rooms where kids will have longer stays will be single rooms, not only can kids watch TV and movies, they can bring their gaming systems from home to connect and play. The rooms have couches that pull out to sleepers for parents and have family refrigerators. They will also be offering room service so parents and caregivers don’t have to leave to the room.

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On the NICU floor, chairs pull out to sleepers and each baby gets a live feed for parents to log into and share with family. I didn’t realize that since babies can have extended stays some parents may opt to go back to work and save leave for when the baby comes home. What a great tool for parents to stay connected to what is going on with their little ones. Close to my breastfeeding heart is the Milk Lab where Mom can leave milk for baby.

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Some PICU rooms have adjoining rooms for instances where there may be multiple children from one family needing care at the same time. We also shown that the boom and other equipment have been integrated into the ceiling to free up floor space and take the weight of IV bags. They also showed us the tablets outside of each room that remind medical staff of what type of protective gear they should be wearing or other reminders for that patient.

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Caring for the Whole Family

On top of all the thought put into the equipment and function of the rooms, the hospital seems to have really put a lot of effort into making things as easy for families as possible. Plenty of lounge spaces, play room spaces, family bathrooms, a treadmill for families to utilize, separate TVs for parents to look at (there’s only so many times you can watch Frozen), and, most importantly, a staff that tries to make a difficult time as easy as possible.

See It For Yourself

Dayton Children’s Hospital is having a community open house on June 11, 2017, 1pm-4pm! Check out the Facebook event page for more information. Follow #AboveAndBeyond4Kids and visit me on Instagram for more photos and posts about the new patient tower.

TIPS:

  • Heading to Urgent Care in Miamisburg? When your child is sick, get in line from home by checking in at childrensdayton.org/saveyourspot.
  • Parking is free so why not stop in and grab lunch at the CulinAIRY café or pick up a gift from the gift shop.

 

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Some of Dayton Children’s Hospital Ambassadors were on hand to celebrate!