Through Oct. 21

“Science in Toyland,” a collection of hand-on display s, demonstrations and workshops challenge youngsters to discover basic scientific principles for themselves. They can learn, for example, which size tops spin longer, how to build strong bridges, and why sailboats can travel into the wind.

Science in Toyland educational guide now available!

  • Younger children learn about shapes and pattern recognition while playing "construction worker" in Kids Construction Co., a partially completed wood and foam house. They finish the house by adding foam shingles to the roof, foam siding to the exterior, and cardboard bricks to a pretend fireplace.

  • In Tournament of Tops, children choose tops of varying sizes and spin them against other children's tops in a dish shaped rink to test which configurations produce the longest spins. This fun-filled component teaches kids about inertia, center of gravity and angular momentum.

  • Kids experiment with acceleration and momentum by adjusting the incline of a racetrack in the Roller Coaster component. Kids learn what happens to the speed of a toy car when the incline is positioned at a severe angle versus less severe angles. 

  • In the Domino Challenge children set up dominoes in different configurations using various props with the sole purpose of triggering a chain reaction. Props include teeter-totters, swings, stairs, blocks and turners. 

  • Children use Tinker Toys in Bridges and Cranes to build a bridge that spans across a two to eight-foot "valley". Kids experiment with different construction methods and learn which combination of shapes makes a sturdy truss or tall crane.
  • Children can Catch the Wind and discover the Bernoulli principle as they position the sails of a sail boat at different angles and watch how the wind causes the boat to move. 

  • Kids fish for sea creatures with a magnetic fishing rod and learn about Food Webs by placing the fish cut-outs in an oceanic food web puzzle.

Science in Toyland educational guide now available!

Science in Toyland developed by the California Science Center.

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