Earth Fair 2010 Photos | The Exploratorium – When a Cup is Not a Cup

by Patrick on May 18, 2010

Illustration of PatrickWhen we at Tandem Teaching set up for Earth Fair 2010, we had no idea how popular our activities would be.  The Exploratorium kept kids, teenagers, and adults busy for hours. One parent grew tired of waiting and had to bribe his son a dollar to finally leave our booth!

An Exploratorium is a perfect bridge to expanding your child’s imagination. For a kid who hesitates when asked to be creative and imagine, start with reading him Not a Box or Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis. Then choose a base material, like a cup, and ask them if they can think of ways that a cup is not a cup. You will be amazed at the results.

Group of children playing with crafts in an exploratorium.

The Exploratorium is made up of stuff we had lying around the house. Kids stayed occupied for 30-90 minutes. Some were even bribed to leave. Earth Fair 2010.

Patrick reads Not a Box to a group of children.

Patrick reads Not a Box to a group of children at Earth Fair 2010 in San Diego.

Patrick holds up cup at Exploratorium.

The Challenge: When is a cup not a cup? When it is transformed in an Exploratorium! Earth Fair 2010.

Playing in the Exploratorium.

And they're off! Playing in the Exploratorium. Earth Fair 2010.

Playing in the Exploratorium.

More playing in the Exploratorium. Earth Fair 2010.

Boy holding a Not-A-Cup.

It's Not a Cup! Earth Fair 2010.

Girl holding a Not-A-Cup.

It's Not a Cup! Earth Fair 2010.

Boy holding robot and spaceship made of cups.

It's Not a Cup! Earth Fair 2010.

Exploratorium.

Here lie the remains of an Exploratorium. Earth Fair 2010.

You can see more photos on Flickr and our Facebook fan page.  For more ways to engage your child without gadgets and gizmos, check out All About Inventive Play: the  e-Kit.