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Exploration Station Exhibits



Exploralot Castle

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This attraction was made possible by a grant from Ronald McDonald House Children's Charities. Art Atrium, Concerto Hall, and Hall of Portraits were made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of Kankakee.

Activities

Dress up center, Dungeon hide out, Secret Tunnels, Periscopes overlooking park, Musical instruments, Puppet Theater, Farming activities, Create mosaics and Shadow Wall.

Benefits

Use imaginaton & role playing

Develop gross & fine motor skills

Discover how sound is made & detect differences in sound

Distingush sounds of a variety of instruments

Learn about cooperative play & problem solving


Little Squires Toddler Area

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Toddlers can now enjoy their own space to explore and play in the Little Squires Toddler Area. Sorry, no big kids allowed, this area is for 36” and under! This exhibit was possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Kankakee.

Activities

Wall Puzzles & Mirrors, Blocks, Ball pit with slide


 

Benefits

Develop gross motor skills

Learn about puzzles & problem solving


Illumination

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“Illumination” is a light room featuring science and mathematical activities made possible by People’s Bank of Kankakee.

Activities

Light Tables with X-rays & color blocks, letters, crazy mirrors and a  Light writing wall.

Benefits

Develop fine motor skills

Learn about mixing colors

Learn about spelling and creating words


Up, Up, and Away

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The new Up, Up, and Away exhibit includes:

Creative Flight
Children can create their own aircraft from various foam pieces, raise them into the air on the lift, and then explore which designs fly the best.

Take Flight
Our new flight simulator will allow children to map their own course in our plane's cockpit.  (Closed Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30 - 5:00 p.m.)

Air Fountain Table
Use PVC pipes and other objects to build and explore with air pressure.

A-Mazing Airways
A-Mazing airways is a clear, pneumatic tube system with diverter boxes that children can open and close to change the pathway of the balls, scarves, and other objects that move through the tubes using the power of air.  
Click here to see an A-mazing Airway.

Activities

Sit in real airline seats, pick different syles of planes to fly, create and fly your own foam aircraft, float items over air streams at the air table.

Benefits

Use imaginaton & role playing

STEM learning

Cause & effect

Hand & eye coordination

Learn about other countries & cultures


Exploratown Safety Place, Postal Office & My House

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Children can come to the rescue at the Safety Place Exhibit as well as check out a kid’s sized post office and house. The Fire Truck was built by the Bradley Fire Department & Bourbonnais Fire Protection District. Precision Auto Crafters and Valley Glass also helped make this exhibit possible.

Activities

Explore a kid’s size fire truck with hose, Explore an Emergency Response Center, Mini-post office with scales & postal boxes, Kids sized house with kitchen, living room & laundry room areas

Benefits

Use imaginaton & role playing

Learn about cooperative play & problem solving

Sorting & classifying


Shop-A-Lot Market

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Activities

Shop for realistic foods with mini shopping carts, Check out a deli, bakery & produce sections & run a cash register

Benefits

Use imaginaton & role playing

Learn about cooperative play

Learn about sorting & classifying

Learn about simple addition with the cash register


Wreck Resort Car Care Center

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Activities

Use tools to work on a kid sized car, Write up work orders & dress up area. 

Benefits

Use imaginaton & role playing

Learn about sorting & classifying

Develop fine & gross motor skills


Lickety Split Soda Shop & Diner

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This 50s style soda shop made possible in part by Eagle Scout Scott Winterringer.

Activities

Serve ice cream & soda shop style foods, Check out a 50s style jukebox, Read through menus, serve food or be a customer 

Benefits

Use imaginaton & role playing

Learn about cooperative play

Learn about sorting & classifying


Invention Center

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Activities

Use tools & solve puzzles, Build & connect gears, Play with train table, lego table, various manipulatives and a  magnet wall

Benefits

Use imaginaton & role playing

Develop fine & gross motor skills

Learn about sorting & classifying

Learn about simple machines


Paleontology

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This exhibit was made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Kankakee and will incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning into your child’s play.  This STEM learning is a step toward readying children for the Next Generation Science Standards that will be implemented in public schools.

Activities

4’ X 8’ ground level dig site, Dino Tracks Footprint Display, Reading Nook, Fossil Display, Build-a-Dino table, Rubbing & Light Box Drawing Table

Benefits

STEM learning

Learn about sorting & classifying

Develop fine & gross motor skills


STEAM Learning Lab

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This exhibit was made possible in part by an in-kind donation from the Kankakee County Convention and Visitors Bureau and will incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning into your child’s play.  This STEM learning is a step toward readying children for the Next Generation Science Standards that will be implemented in public schools, but will constantly highlight art with recycled art items.

Activities

 

Maker Space learning availabe weekly with STEM concept, daily STEAM concepts avaiable to touch, feel, hear and see. Recycled materials available to make and take. 

Benefits

"Science is everywhere in the world around us.
Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives.
Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home.
Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives.
By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it". -Engineering for Kids

We add art concepts to the exhibit that include recycled materials with non-instructive fashin to inspire and cultivate the freedom of imagination. 

Develop fine & gross motor skills


Pet Clinic

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A special recognition to the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley and VCA County West Animal Hospital for their generous support to make this exhibit possible. 

Activities

Reception area role, wiaiting area with related learning reading material, lab tech role, Veterinarian role, exam tables, Xray-machines, grooming station, boarding kennels, various stuffed animals and a chart for each animal. 

Benefits

Use imagination and role play

Care and Compassion of healthy, sick or injured animals

Identifying basic principles of animal care

Identify animal characteristics

Examine specimens

Engage in cooperative play and problem solving


 

Activities Guide


May - Aug 2017

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News

Due to the Frog Lady presentation this Friday, we will not be hosting a Nature Night Out at Willowhaven this month. Don't forget to sign up for August's Glow Party on Friday, August 18th!

Local community organizations are hosting a National Night Out Event at Perry Farm on Tuesday, August 1. Due to the large nature of the event and evening fireworks we will be closing the Exploration Station and parking lot at 2pm and parts of the Perry Farm hiking trail will be closed starting at 4pm for fireworks. We apologize for this inconvience. For more details on the event please check out the Bradley Police Department Facebook page!

Update: We will be hosting our Euchre Party 55+ program every Thursday at the Bourbonnais Municipal Center from 12-2:45 pm. Program is $2 / residents recieve a $1 discount and pre-registration is not required.

Here isthe Herald news article about our OSLAD grant for Willowhaven Park and Nature Center.

Please note there may be potential road closures to the Willowhaven Nature Center during August 2017. Closures will be posted here and social media as dates become available.