While we love all the things inside The Children's Museum, we’ve had a mild winter so far, and on our last visit decided to spend some time walking through the sculpture garden in the Anne Frank Peace Park just outside the museum entrance. There we found seven Lilliputian limestone recreations of wonders of the world, and it got us talking about how big the real things were. The Great Wall is made up of sections spanning over 13,000 miles, for example!
Not only did we talk about the size of these marvels, but we also discussed their locations. For a seven-year-old who has never traveled outside the continental United States, a location half way around the world is hard to grasp. So instead, we worked on scale. If driving from Indy to Chicago takes 3 hours, then traveling nearly 72 times as far takes 216 hours, or almost 10 days (if you could drive all the way to China)! Even on a smaller scale, we could take a map or a globe and work out just how far we would have to go to see one of these mammoths in person.
Other than the Great Wall, we found pygmy pyramids, a tiny Taj Mahal, a scale Sphinx, a petite Parthenon and more! Each one comes with history, each has a tale to tell, each is a marvel in full scale (or so I've been told), and each one provided another opportunity to travel without ever leaving the garden.
As we continued to walk through the garden, we read the plaques that accompanied each sculpture, exploring the background that makes each one special. By the time we got to the car, we had come through ancient Rome, past Mayan Mexico, and across the Egyptian desert. Now, in our imaginative play at home, when our action figures and dolls go on an adventure, they have seven new destinations to try out!
The best part though, is that I didn’t have to actually climb the steps of Chichen Itza to take the kids there!