Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails

This weekend was the opening of the Thomas exhibit at the Virginia Children's Museum. This exhibit is housed in the traveling exhibit room and has traveled all over the country. There is a section that tells the history of Thomas, whose story began in 1917 by a young English boy listening to steam trains. In 1942 he became a father himself and began to tell these stories to his own children. The exhibit began in 2014 and will travel around for ten years. It focuses on Stem literacy through play. (STEM is an educational term which includes science, technology, engineering, and math.)
There are a few different sections in the exhibit. Kids can climb on Thomas, fix Percy's wheels and use coal to get him going. There is a huge Thomas train table and a small area with bigger trails for babies and younger toddlers. There are some friction type experiments for kids to see which trains can go the farthest on ramps and a few photo-op areas.  The exhibit will be around until until May 12th.
This weekend the Children's Museum also opened their newly remodeled Toddler Tracks train space. This area previously held train tables, but it has been updated. It still has the tables, but now it also includes a large engine for kids to climb on.
The pictures were a little hard to get because there were SO many kids and RT was interested exclusively in playing at the train table, and he had no patience for stopping for my family photo ops. If your kid loves Thomas, this website has games that will get them excited about the exhibit. Also, Spotify has a whole Thomas and Friends playlist. I'm still not sure what the fascination is with trains, but it looks like this isn't a passing phase for RT.

It was also the Weekend in Wakanda, so lots of kids were dressed as the Black Panther and we were greeted walking in by a parade of a live African percussion orchestra. 93 year old actress Dorothy Steel was there signing autographs and taking pictures. The museum was the most crowded we have ever seen it, which is great for them and for the local area!
*If you love this band as much as I do, they are coming to Richmond. Hit me up if you're going!