The call has gone out and families throughout South Florida won’t want to miss “The Adventures of Mr. Potato Head,” a new interactive exhibit now open at the Miami Children’s Museum on Watson Island. Sponsored by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the exhibit is scheduled to run through May 15.
The much-loved Mr. Potato Head character will lead young visitors and parents on a number of fun and educational adventures. From trips to outer space to jungle safaris and archeological digs, each activity will provide children with engaging learning experiences.
The exotic and fanciful exhibit is designed to develop school readiness and academic skills for young children, focusing on literacy, problem solving, mathematics, science and social studies. It is based on developmental milestones set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and national academic standards.
The 2,500-square-foot exhibit, targeted to children ages 3 to 8, was created by Milwaukee’s Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Playskool, the infant/preschool toy division of Hasbro Inc. Visitors will find interactive play areas within the exhibit, including:
Welcome — The fun begins with an aweinspiring collection of Mr. Potato Head parts and accessories as well as an anthology to depict the character’s wild adventures. Special books let visitors see themselves wearing different hats at future careers in the “What’s Ahead for You?” activity sponsored by Manpower Inc.
Space SPUD (Space Potatoes United for Discovery) — Here, visitors can join Commander Mr. Potato Head aboard the SPUD space station, where they’ll learn about repair and maintenance to the station. Children can sit in and control their journey from the commander’s chair, use the intergalactic translator, explore the galaxy and conduct experiments at the isolation glove box. Spud Quest — While on an archeological dig in search of the statue of King Tato, visitors will need to decipher “tatoglyphs” and solve mazes to find the statue’s secret caché. Guests will use special maps to explore the treasure chamber and excavate the dig site to uncover fun artifacts from the King’s past, while reconstructing the King’s crown and weighing the discoveries in Mr. Potato Head’s research tent.
Spud Overboard — Ocean explorer Jacques Coustato will take visitors on an underwater adventure where they can build fanciful reefs, meet a friendly octopus and wise clam, and enjoy simulated snorkeling adventures. Guests will learn by finding small surprises and a sea horse race in the kelp bed, operating the spud sub, experimenting with sounds from above and below the waves, and generating underwater sparkle using the sub’s disco-ball antenna.
Spud Safari — Finally, while roaming jungles with Mr. Potato Head, visitors can enjoy a pretend mudslide or venture inside a cave in search of mysterious objects. Guests should listen carefully to identify sounds in the jungle, discover camouflaged and hidden creatures, and gain a different perspective when they use special lenses and cameras to see the world through the eyes of silly birds, bugs and animals.
The Adventures of Mr. Potato Head is an adventure of self-discovery for the whole family, only at Miami Children’s Museum, 980 MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island in Miami. Entrance to the exhibit is included in each regular admission to the museum. Admission is $15 for adults and children, $12 for Florida residents, and free for children under 1 year. Admission for members is complimentary.
For more information contact the museum at 305-373-KIDS (5437) or visit online at www.miamichildrensmuseum.org.