Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Monkey King and Masks

Last week we met some friends at the Bower’s Kidseum in Santa Ana (CA). The kids loved it! It was the perfect multi-sensory/multicultural outing. If you live in the area, I HIGHLY recommend it.

The current exhibit is “Monkey King: A Journey to China”:

"Monkey King: A Journey to China is the first ever children’s exhibition
presented at the Bowers Kidseum and focuses on the classic 16th century Chinese
story about the Buddhist monk and scripture pilgrim, Xuan Zang, who takes a journey along China’s Silk Road. To engage children in the story and Chinese culture, Kidseum will dramatically transform into an environment filled with the sights and sounds of China."

The exhibit was very impressive; there were all kinds of high-tec activities to engage the kids, and everything was hands-on. Our favorite game was a wall of electronic peaches that light up….and after you grab a random amount, an Emperor pops up and says in a booming voice: “Who stole my peaches?!” And the giggles ensue… They also had a hologram of a member of the Peking Opera (dressed in Monkey King attire), surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling mirror. While the holographic actor taught the kids monkey movements and faces used in the opera, they could practice in the mirror while following his instructions. So cute!

Downstairs was an extensive collection of ethnic masks from around the world. My 3 yr old was on a mission to try each and every one of the 75-or-so masks on (I think he made it through about 30). There was also a fun “international dress-up area” for kids to try on outfits from all different cultures. S while the girls adorned themselves and vamped, the boys headed back up to the Monkey King exhibit for more games and shadow puppet shows.

An added bonus that day was also a special drumming workshop, hosted by One World Rhythm. All the kids got instruments to play, and they practiced different types of beats.

We had HOURS of fun – and we learned a lot too!


Pete Ellison said...

Your the kids were great and we had lots of fun too!

Pete Ellison
One World Rhythm

Pete Ellison said...

The kids were great and we had lots of fun too!

Pete Ellison
One World Rhythm

Marcie Taylor said...

Wow this place looks like fun... I'm surely gonna take the kids before summer ends.