Thomas the Tank Engine is rolling into the Minnesota Children’s Museum this summer in the first stop of a touring exhibit inspired by HIT Entertainment’s TV series “Thomas & Friends.”
“Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails,” an interactive exhibit created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum in partnership with HIT Entertainment (a subsidiary of Mattel), arrived in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday for a three-month stay through Sept. 21. After leaving St. Paul, the exhibit will embark on a 10-year North American tour including stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Québec.
Featuring favorite engines and destinations from “Thomas & Friends,” the STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering and math) exhibit is designed to engage children ages 2 to 7 in skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences.
“‘Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails’ brings to life kids’ favorite characters and destinations from the Island of Sodor in a fun and educational way,” says Sid Mathur, vice president, the Americas, HIT Entertainment. “With their expertise and creativity in designing and producing top-rate interactive experiences for kids, the Minnesota Children’s Museum has been an enthusiastic partner developing this exhibit and delivering to fans a new way to experience the brand.”
Visitors to the 1,500-square-foot exhibit will find themselves surrounded by the Island of Sodor’s iconic locations: Knapford Station, Sodor Steamworks and more. In the exhibit, children help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from a simple sorting and shape identification activity to more complex engineering obstacles, such as completing a train track using track pieces with different levels of elevation.
“The skills and proficiencies children learn and refine through play in the early years set the stage for future learning and success from the kindergarten classroom to the workplace,” says Dianne Krizan, president, Minnesota Children’s Museum. “‘Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails’ will deliver high-quality, playful learning experiences rooted in science, technology, engineering and math for millions of children across the continent.”