6/30-9/2: Sesame Street’s ‘The Body’ at Ariz. Science Center

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Most young kids wonder what’s going on with their body — inside and out — and what makes it work. Parents may get squeamish about answering tough questions, but Sesame Street has them covered.
“Sesame Street Presents: The Body” is a fun, interactive exhibition at Arizona Science Center that’s geared to ages 2 to 8. The traveling exhibit encourages kids to learn about their bodies with Elmo and other familiar Sesame Street characters. In games and interactive displays, these characters teach kids how their bodies work and how to stay healthy.

“As you walk in, there’s an entry portal that kids will be very familiar with,” said Sherri Sauntry, senior vice president of marketing and sales at the Science center. “You’ll actually be on Sesame Street. Kids will be thrilled.” “The Body” is structured in three main sections, starting with “Your Insides.” Exhibits include “Count’s Organ Organ,” which uses music to educate kids about their internal organs. In “Oscar’s Sneeze Machine,” Oscar sneezes on the kids. “Digestion With Oscar” teaches kids what happens to food when they eat it.

“There is a heart-and-lung display where kids can see how lungs contract and expand,” Sauntry said. “They learn how the heart works. Kids love that.” The section “Your Outsides” uses video games, puppets, language games and puzzles to teach kids how parts of their bodies work. In the video game “Your Amazing Body,” Bert and Ernie quiz kids on parts of their body. “There is an exhibit with Elmo and Zoe where kids can play Follow the Leader where they learn about their arms and their hands,” Sauntry said. “There’s also a place where kids learn about their legs and feet where they pedal, kick and jump. They become part of the exhibit itself.”

In the “Staying Healthy” section, kids learn how to keep their bodies fit, including “Rub-a-Dub Tub,” in which Ernie teaches kids how to stay clean. In “Mr. Hooper’s Store,” kids learn to shop for healthy food.
“The Body” is age-appropriate, Sauntry said. “There is nothing for parents to worry about,” she said. “This exhibit is very much in line with what kids see on ‘Sesame Street.’ ”

“The Body’s” educational focus is based on National Science Education Standards and the educational curriculum Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life. “An important part of this exhibit for families and us is to engage kids in problem solving and have them use language and vocabulary,” said Eric Bucher, an early-child-education specialist at the Arizona Science Center. “In this exhibit, they’re learning about something that’s very relevant to them. Kids wonder how they grow and get stronger. They want to know how their insides work; they want to know how they breathe.”

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