You’ll Want The New Iowa Children’s Museum Play Pack!

I think it’s safe to say that all kids love The Iowa Children’s Museum. As a parent I’m so excited for a new way to enjoy the museum from home during these unique times. The new Play Packs are a hit and you’ll want to order one!

Created by museum educators and presented by GEICO Cares, these project boxes are an awesome way for kids to learn new things, use their imagination, and have fun. Bonus for parents: the pack has everything you need, creativity included.

There’s no need to have a fully stocked crafts closet or spend hours on Pinterest.

The first Play Pack is space-themed (“Out of This World”) and comes with four themed activities. Simple picture directions guide you through each activity. Older kids can be more hands-on with cutting and preparing materials. Because my kids are younger, I did most of the cutting, but there was still plenty for them to do with gluing, coloring, stickers, and more!

I could see this being a great home-school unit or hands-on activity during remote learning days.

What was really cool was seeing the imaginative play sparked by each activity. After working through the steps to build a flight deck, my kids were bubbling with ideas. We ended up using more empty boxes to build a cockpit seat for the astronaut to use the controls. The next morning my four-year-old got out his gloves and returned to his cardboard space shuttle. He announced, “astronauts are scientists and I’m learning how to be a scientist!”

The Play Pack came with everything we need; we even used the box it came in!

Each activity stands well on its own, so we spread them out over four days. Plus, The Iowa Children’s Museum included links to videos that complement the four activities, templates to do these activities again and a new Facebook group for additional content and resources.

As a result, one Play Pack is not only nearly a week of projects, but tons of information and ideas for future play.

The best part— Play Packs are a great way to continue supporting The Iowa Children’s Museum as it works to sustain its mission and be a resource for families. It not only provides enriching fun for our children, but is a great way to support our community during this challenging time.

The space-themed Play Pack we loved (“Out of This World!”) is available now! I definitely plan on buying more as they are released. Next month The Iowa Children’s Museum will release a STEM-related Play Pack, and in October they will share a “magical” Play Pack in time for Halloween. You can find more information or order a Play Pack on the museum’s website.


Other Ways to Play at the Iowa Children’s Museum

Plan A Visit

The Iowa Children’s Museum reopened its doors in mid-July with a number of new policies and procedures designed to protect the health and well-being of visitors and staff.

  • Admission is limited to less than 10 percent of regular capacity. Exhibits have limits for how many playgroups can can use the space at one time.
  • Face coverings are required for guests ages 6 and up. Children ages 3-5 years old are also encouraged to wear masks.
  • The entire museum team, including front-line floor managers and PLAYologists, are required to wear masks and to complete daily health check-ins before starting their workday.
  • High-touch areas are sanitized throughout the day. A thorough, museum-wide sanitizing process is completed between each play session.
  • Additional safety infrastructure includes hand sanitizing stations, physical barriers at the front desk, directional signage, and virus-mitigating air purifiers in the HVAC system.

Online Ticketing

Online ticket reservations for a specific play session are now required for all guests, including members. Learn more or purchase your tickets  Play sessions are:

  • Member Monday: 10 a.m.– Noon and 2-4 p.m. (members only)
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Facility rentals are also available for small groups through the MyICM program. This one-of-a-kind play time is great for families, small groups, and to celebrate special days in a safe way.

ICM2Go

For families who are not yet ready to return to The Iowa Children’s Museum, the museum has has also launched a new ICM2Go program. These free and low-cost resources help families explore nature, learn about STEM, create works of art, and more from the comfort of their home.

Back-to-school resources are also coming soon, so check back often for new fun ways to play!


This post was sponsored by the Iowa Children’s Museum. At The Iowa Children’s Museum, children can take an imaginary trip to the moon, explore the science of skateboarding, create messy masterpieces, and explore a pirate’s ship—all in one afternoon! Our learning laboratory is a unique space where kids and grownups can be silly, make mistakes, and create lasting memories.

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Susie is a mom of two, student affairs professional, book-lover and frequent challah baker. Originally from Skokie, Illinois, Susie first came to Iowa City for college and grad school. The following decade was full of adventure and moving boxes as she and her husband followed jobs to New York, Illinois and Texas. They were thrilled to relocate “home” to Iowa City in 2016. In addition to working at the UI Pomerantz Career Center, Susie is a PTA volunteer and sorority advisor. She loves date nights in the Ped Mall, catching a show at Hancher or the Englert, and most of all, cuddling her kids on the couch.

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