Fun Family Outings in Northwest Arkansas: Amazeum’s ‘Toys: The Inside Story’ exhibit opens Sept. 14

If you’ve ever marveled at an Etch A Sketch® or wondered what makes toddler push noisy toys, then explore Toys: The Inside Story at the Scott Family Amazeum.

Toys: The Inside Story opens at the Amazeum on Saturday, September 14, and runs through January 5, 2020. Amazeum members are invited to preview the exhibit from 9 am to noon on Saturday, September 14, before it opens to the public.

The Toys exhibit includes 12 different hands-on stations illustrating the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys and lets visitors create their own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams, and circuits.

Jack Gets Out of His Box gives guests a close-up view of the cam combination that frees “Jack,” from the box, while other experiences unmask the amazing collection of switches, cams and motors that make Elmo® dance and Mr. Machine® run.

Many of the exhibits are free-form and open-ended: Gears at Play illustrates the effects of gear ratios as guests figure out how to spin ballerinas and a carousel, while the Jeepers Peepers challenge at the pulley table may take a little experimentation to solve.

“Toys: The Inside Story aligns with the Amazeum’s mission to support a curious, creative community by giving guests an opportunity to discover how science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) integrates to make things work,” says Amazeum Marketing Manager Paul Stolt. “Throughout the museum we intentionally leave the inner workings of exhibits and fixtures on view for guests to explore. We’re excited to have this exhibit here during our annual Tinkerfest when we host creatives, makers, scientists, engineers, technologists, artists, and even a few mathematicians for a day of hands-on discovery and learning on Saturday, October 5th.”

Entrance to Toys: The Inside Story is included in paid daily admission. Amazeum members are admitted free every day.

The exhibition was developed by the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt., with funding from a National Science Foundation grant awarded to seven museums across the country that comprise TEAMS (Traveling Exhibits at Museums of Science).