Kentucky Science Center – A Place For Toddlers

by Melanie on September 18, 2013

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I first took my son to the Kentucky Science Center when he was 21 months old. At first, I was skeptical. I knew it was an amazing educational experience for children and teenagers, but I wasn’t sure how age-appropriate it would be for a toddler who wasn’t even 2 yet.

It turns out, it was one of the most engaging and fun trips we ever made!

The Kentucky Science Center is jam-packed full of interactive exhibitions that appeal to a wide range of age groups. There are 3 floors of nonstop excitement (seriously, there was never a moment of boredom). The first floor seems to be tailored to the tots, but Rocket was just as absorbed on the other 2 floors as well.

I HIGHLY recommend any residents and visitors of Louisville, KY with children to stop by the Kentucky Science Center for the best kind of learning- hands-on experiential exploration. Older children who find themselves struggling in conventionally-taught science, math, or technology may discover a new love of learning through the interactive exhibits found at the Kentucky Science Center. Younger children who have not yet started school will develop a wonderful foundation for science with inquiry-based and child-led learning.

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And get this!

The Kentucky Science Center offers FREE playdates for children from birth to age 4. Attendance to the playdates is followed by free admission to the museum for the entire day.

Check on dates for the free playdates at the Kentucky Science Center official website. Maybe we will see you there!

Check on regular hours of operation and prices here.

25 Kentucky Science Center Toddler-Friendly Activities

For a sneak peek of some of the fun adventures your tots will discover at the Kentucky Science Center, check out what we did!

1. Building With Foam.

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The first room we came upon was a large play area of foam building blocks in all different shapes and sizes.

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We created a slide for rolling the cylinder.

2. Lounge Area With Tot Toys.

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This lounge area was complete with shape sorters, magnetic construction vehicles, and bean bag chairs for relaxing.

3. Grocery Shopping.

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This was one of my favorite setups for the little ones. A mockup grocery shopping experience with carts and all kinds of balls and shapes available “for purchase.”

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Paying at the checkout!

4. Mirror Maze.

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Finding his way through the mirror maze.

5. Bungee Chord Obstacle Course.

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This was another big hit with Rocket! And it gave me ideas on creating a smaller version of a similar experience at home.

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Crawling through the obstacle course.

6. Building With Wooden Blocks.

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Simple, yet always engaging.

7. Ball Track.

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A track was set up just for rolling balls. What fun!

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Hurrying the ball through the tunnel.

8. Magnetic Wall.

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Kitchen utensils and other fun magnets, all on one wall!

9. Water Sensory Play.

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This was one of Rocket’s favorite exhibits at the Kentucky Science Center. They had raincoats available in different sizes for the kiddos, but I recommend you also bring a change of pants if you’re bringing messy toddlers.

10. Construction Corner.

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With lots of construction vehicles, building blocks, and interactive pulleys, Rocket was greatly amused by this little corner of the museum!

11. The Bus Experience.

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Rocket played driver on the bus exhibit.

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And when it was someone else’s turn to drive, he also played passenger! A button on the back of the bus played “The Wheels On The Bus” when pushed and he took it upon himself to be the official button pusher.

12. Discovery Bottles.

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We make discovery bottles at home- bottles with different objects and fillers for tots to explore through sight and sound. We found a whole table of discovery bottles at the Kentucky Science Center and I made mental notes of things I hadn’t thought to make!

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Sharing the discovery bottles with older kids.

13. Airplane Simulation.

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I’m not sure why there was a payphone on an airplane simulation, but it was the most interesting part to Rocket anyway!

14. Piano.

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Rocket loves everything instrument-related, so naturally he gravitated to the piano exhibit!

15. Turning On & Off The Lights.

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He loves turning light switches like a big boy, so this exhibit was a special one for him.

16. Test A Tower Through An Earthquake.

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You build towers with foam blocks and push the buttons to see if they withstand different level earthquakes. Cool stuff!

17. Static Vs. Gravity.

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This was another huge hit for Rocket. He planted himself here for a good, long while, spinning the wheels to see the difference between how static and gravity behave.

18. Building A Carbon Atom.

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I do wish we had these blocks at home!

19. Light Table.

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This light table had all kinds of sensory items to examine.

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Building on the light table.

20. How Wind Works.

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Stuff the handkerchief into the suction and watch it blow away on the opposite end. Rocket did this one over and over and over again!

21. Building A Dome.

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It came crashing down right after this picture! Really meant for older kids, but he enjoyed it nonetheless.

22. Building With Various Toys.

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The Kentucky Science Center has all kinds of different building toys. It is a sensory dream come true for little architects!

23. Gears.

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Spinning the entire wall of gears with his wee little hands.

24. Shadow Wall.

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You can turn on and off the different colors to change the way your shadow looks. Rocket danced on the stage, watching his shadow, for several minutes!

25. Inside A Bubble.

I don’t have a photo of this one because I was in the bubble with him! By standing still on a platform surrounded by soapy water and pulling down strings above our head to move the hula hoop up, we formed a giant bubble all around us. As a bubble maniac, Rocket LOVED this one and kept begging to do it again!

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Anyway, this is just one family’s experience on one day at the Kentucky Science Center. I hope it gives you an idea of what a great time can be had, even for toddlers, at this fantastic museum!

If you’re not local, I highly suggest you look into science centers in or around your city. You never know. The one you discover might be a gem like this one. Please let me know in the comments below if there is a science center you highly recommend in a different city so that we can be sure to check it out if we are ever traveling nearby.

I’m always looking for toddler-friendly places in my city and am so pleased with this find. I’m excited to take Rocket back to the Kentucky Science Center for years to come and see how his interests change as he grows older. It will definitely be a well-visited spot in our homeschooling adventures!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura September 18, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Oh my gosh, thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been wondering if my sixteen month old daughter would enjoy the science center. We will definitely check it out soon!

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Melanie September 24, 2013 at 5:13 am

Glad you found it helpful, Laura! 🙂

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Dorothy Inman September 19, 2013 at 2:04 am

We went there when Alexandria was one and some months and it was hard to keep track of her in the play area (I do have to mention she enjoyed the other levels as well on our first trip (probably more than the play date area), however we visited there again recently for a friend’s birthday party and she LOVED it. We especially loved the new exhibit with the mirrors and had so much fun going through the area where they had all of the foam wands hanging down. She thought it was hysterical when I went in and scared her. I thought it was a fabulous and fun place to throw a birthday party for a toddler. (Which they did a hysterical science experiment making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. I told the woman that was leading it before we left how much I enjoyed their witty repartee.

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Melanie September 24, 2013 at 5:13 am

We’re going to be there tomorrow. So excited!

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Gris November 20, 2013 at 3:48 am

So many lolvey images 🙂

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