No place like home for Kohl’s Wizard of Oz exhibit

Click your heels three times and step into the pages of the beloved story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, at Kohl Children’s Museum.

The new exhibit features W.W. Denslow’s famous illustrations, which helped inspire the design of the film everyone knows and loves.

Sheridan Turner, president and CEO at Kohl, says it’s particularly exciting to have the exhibit in Chicago, the city where Denslow and author L. Frank Baum worked together on the project.

“The entire exhibit is very whimsical and bright,” says Turner. “Children will love it because it’s a story they are so familiar with.”

The exhibit provides a number of learning opportunities. Nine stations, each relating to a different component of the story, promise kids a lot of fun.

Kids can start at Dorothy’s House, where they learn about American farms and try on traditional clothes from the 1900s. They can practice math by counting and collecting eggs at the chicken coop, watering plants and putting together animal puzzles.

They also can take a spin at the Tornado, which plays a video about the power of tornados and allows kids to explore a miniature tornado alley. Brain puzzles are found at the Scarecrow station, and kids learn about body shape by putting the scarecrow together.

The Tin Woodsman teaches kids to feel their heartbeat and measure their pulse. They also learn what having a heart means: being caring, loving and compassionate.

Kids can create their own Wicked Witch’s castle, take on the “Cave of Courage” and even build their own Yellow Brick Road. At Emerald City, they get the chance to meet the Wonderful Wizard of Oz himself and come up with their own story.

Turner says kids will love this exhibit. “They learn cognitive literacy skills, negotiation skills, science and math skills … and these are all the skills that are so important for a child to be learning at this age.”

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