Three weeks ago, we surprised Carson and Weston with a visit to the new John Deere Tractor Museum that just opened in Waterloo. We picked Carson up from school that Friday, and told him we had a surprise for him. I wasn't quite sure how long we would be there, or what the museum was like. I didn't know if it would keep the attention of a 2 and 5 year old, but I figured if there was a single tractor there, they would love it. So we took the chance, and I am glad we did. We all had a lot of fun, and it was very interesting. I wouldn't say the museum is geared towards little kids, but since our boys love all things tractors, it definitely wasn't hard to keep their attention when the display floors were filled with tractors!
Their eyes lit up every time we moved on to the next "station" and they got to be a little hands on with a few things. It was really neat to do some reading, and watch them listen intently, for the most part :) They had some really neat things that you could interact with, which was fun to watch them do. They pretended like they were plowing a field behind a horse, and had to stay in a straight line, and keep the light "green" and not let it pull you to one side or the other. The simulator really did do a lot of pulling, so they had to work hard to keep the green light on.
There was also a demonstration as to how strong a horse really is, and how much weight it could bare. It's amazing how they did things "back in the day" and how far technology, and this world truly has come. It's scary at times, but also amazing.
They also had fun making different shapes, tractors, and machinery with the magnets.
There was also an "engineering studio" that they could sit down in, and do some drawing on the paper that was provided. The information talks about how they come up with the next big thing, how long engineers work on the projects, the drawings they start with, etc.
Next up....how the tractor seat has changed over the course of many years. They started out a steel seat, and now they offer cushioned, suspension seats that I can only assume feel like a recliner compared to the steel seats.
The boys really enjoyed this one. You moved a handle along this line of the different machinery that John Deere offers, and there is a short video clip that plays on the screen about that particular piece of machinery. It tells about what it was like years ago, and where technology has led it to today. The boys have a lot of these toys at home in their farm collection, so they got to see them in action---which they always love. They immediately go home, and know exactly what to do with them after they watch the short video. It's fun to see the wheels turn in their head, and them understand why and how the different pieces of machinery work.
We all had a lot of fun, and I am so glad we finally decided to go. We had the entire museum to ourselves, which was just an added bonus with two busy, excited, and loud (at times) little boys. We have talked about grabbing my Grandparents the next time we go, as I know my Grandpa would really, really enjoy it. Hopefully we can make that happen sooner than later!