KidScape Boutique

KidScape at the Johnson County Museum

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The KidScape permanent exhibit at the Johnson County Museum is one of the best-kept secrets in Kansas City.  This exhibit encourages imaginative play while teaching children about communities and suburbs. The museum has set-up a kid-sized suburban street where kids can let their imaginations run wild while playing in a park, bookstore, boutique, theater, city hall, hospital, farm, dime store, and factory. After the kids are finished in the suburbs, you can head through the rest of the museum where they can learn about the development of Johnson County and play in the interactive exhibit.

Overall we like KidScape because:

  • entertainment for most ages
  • designed to meet a variety of children’s interests
  • FREE
  • active and educational

Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 4:30pm
Sunday 1:00pm – 4:30pm

Admission:
FREE

Ages: KidScape is great for most ages. The Museum’s website suggests the exhibit is for ages 3 to 9. However, we believe that it can reach a broader age range. KidScape caters to many different interests. Depending on your child, they may enjoy a certain area longer than others. Kids younger than 3 may not make the educational connections, but they will enjoy the kid-sized landscape and the various activities.

Park
The first suburban area you’ll encounter as you enter the exhibit is the park. In the small, green astro-turf covered area, kids enjoy playing:

  • Golf or baseball on a Wii gaming system
  • Fishing (stuffed fish are “caught” with magnets)
  • Golf – there are two holes where kids can putt using small golf clubs and plastic golf balls

City Hall
This suburban building, is similar to Thomas the Train or Brio train sets and tables. Here kids can:

  • Put on fireman or construction hats
  • Play with small trucks, trains, and cars
  • Build small-scale cities with blocks, bridges, and tunnels

Bookstore
This is a perfect “store” for children who love to read. The area is filled with:

  • Fantastic children’s books
  • Beanbags for lounging
  • A small desk for kids to sit and draw pictures. After the pictures are complete, they can hang them on the wall.
  • There is also a small cash register scanner for kids to use to “buy” their favorite book

Theater
Many children, of all ages, spend most of their time at this suburban landmark. Here, kids can put on a play or sing to entertain the adults or friends. The younger ones can flip the stage lights on and off, sing, dress up, and run across the stage. The area includes:

  • A variety of costumes
  • Props
  • Large, comfy, red theater chairs for the audience
  • Red curtains
  • A painted backdrop

Hospital
This is a perfect room for kids interested in hospitals, doctors, or learning about the body. It is also a great place to introduce the littler ones to doctor’s tools and start minimizing the fear of the doctor’s office. The walls are painted to look like a mini-operating room where kids can:

  • Perform “surgery” on a wooden patient
  • Kids can play with doctor’s kits and wear white coats
  • Piece together a skeleton puzzle

Boutique
Kids into fashion, drawing or art would like this “shop”. There is a large desk with multiple seats and paper for kids to create a “mood” board. They can use the provided art supplies – crayons, colored pencils, glue, pipe cleaners, and magazine cut-outs to build their design collections. They are encouraged to post their creations on the wall. Or, if your child is not interested in fashion, they can create a creative picture.

The kid’s exhibit continues around the corner from the Boutique – it is small, so don’t miss it!!

Farm
At this stop, kids:

  • Ride a mini-tractor
  • Pretend to milk a cow

Dime Store
Here, kids can:

  • Put on flannel shirts
  • Use baskets to shop
  • Pay at the cash register

Factory
Kids use the provided  pieces to build small trucks and ship good across the county

The rest of the Johnson County Museum:
The actual exhibit at the museum is fantastic and should not be missed. While the younger kids may not understand the history, they will enjoy playing with some of the interactive stations. The exhibit details the history of the development of Johnson County and the suburbs. Some things your kids may enjoy:

  • Playing in the small prairie farm house
  • Listening to old radio broadcast
  • Seeing an early TV program
  • Looking at the original versions of our modern-day appliances

Insider tips:

  • You made need, at least, 1 adult for every 2 kids – especially if you have a variety of age ranges or kids that like to roam
  • Don’t bring a stroller – the museum is small. There is not a lot of walking
  • Bring some cash – the exhibit is free, so they rely on donations to keep it running
  • Avoid days that school is out – it can get crowded.