It started off like a special family Saturday. We packed our lunch, gathered our belongings and hopped on the “L” for our trip downtown. We got off at our stop and walked over to the Chicago Children’s Museum. Even though we have lived here for three years now, this was our first time going as a family to the Museum.
As the kids dabbled in the water table, we struck up a conversation with another dad. “Don’t miss the skyscraper building activity. It is high quality and one of the best activities here!” Following his advice, as soon as we got the kids dried off we made our way over to the building zone.
We watched the introductory video to get our instructions. What we learned is that this wasn’t just a chance to enjoy a little fun construction as a family. This was a full-out challenge to build the tallest, sturdiest skyscraper we could in the time allotted.
Unfortunately, that was the wrong way to present this activity to two Type-A, control freak, competitive parents (yes, we are both the oldest children in our families and no, I don’t know how our marriage works this way, I just know it does). We practically elbowed the kids to the ground as we raced over the building area.
We somehow managed to make the kids feel like they were still a part of things as we wound nuts onto bolts like crazy people trying to build the tallest tower we could before our time ran out.
Unfortunately (for our self-esteem), we didn’t have the tallest tower on display that day. I don’t know what we did wrong, but other people seemed to have managed much taller towers than we did.
Perhaps we should just count it as a success that everyone was still smiling and no one was crying at the end of the activity–parents included.
The picture is one that was taken at the Children’s Museum by a camera at the building site. At the end of your time, the kids get to put together a book about the activity. This is part of what makes this such a “don’t miss” attraction.