Our philosophy starts with the simple belief that kids are capable of incredible things. Our job is to nurture that ability; our goal is to support kids' healthy development. Play is how kids learn--here, it is in both a STEM-rich environment and inviting outdoor experience.
Did you ever want to open an Etch A Sketch® to see how it works? Wonder what makes Elmo® dance? Want to see what triggers the buzzer in Operation®? Explore the inside world of toys and the pulleys, cams, gears, circuits, and linkages that make them work.
Toys: The Inside Story is located in the Middlesex Savings Bank Community Gallery through May 10, 2020.
In this Exhibit
Test out your manual dexterity by following different patterns on this gigantic Etch A Sketch.
How does Etch A Sketch work? We've taken it apart to reveal its inner workings. See how pulleys and wires guide the drawing tip.
Create crazy optical illusions! Move and connect pulleys for endless combinations. Discover the relationship between pulley size and speed!
What are pulleys? How do they respond to your actions? Explore pulley power!
Stay "current" with circuits, switches, and circuit boards. Keep a cicuit open as you move a ring along an angled rod--and learn why it takes a steady hand to win at Operation!
This giant circuit board is alive with fans, lights, and sounds. Make all circuits active at once!
Rotate cams to make Frog jump, Alligator bite, and Firefly flash! Look inside a Dr. Duck(R) toy and see how a cam helps him waddle along.
Try linkages connecting moving toy parts. Operate a Hungry Hippo(R) and turn the crank on Pudgey the Piglet(R)! Look inside Pudgey and watch his motion. See how a motor can turn a simple action into a complex one.
Gears, or wheels with teeth, are in machines and toys with moving parts. If two gears mesh, turn one and the other turns!
Movable gears on a big table can set objects in motion. Which size of the gears can spin the carousel and ballerinas faster and faster? Gear up and go!
Crank it up! See how an industrial-size gear train can change the speed of a rotating shaft.
Inside Elmo's red fur and plastic skin are the motor, cam, circuit board, and switches that make him dance.
Look through Mr. Machine(R), a classic, clear plastic 60s toy. A video shows linkages and cams that make him march. See the original 1960 Mr. Machine TV ad!
Crank a jack-in-the-ox that has clear sides. A second jack has a camera inside! As you turn the crank, see how the worm gear and cam mechanism let him jump.