Nature’s Trading Post is a Kids Haven for Discovery

cincy-museum-ctr-tradersExcerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

Nature’s Trading Post in the Museum of Natural History & Science has had thousands of young explorers and naturalists share their curiosity and knowledge with Cincinnati Museum Center‘s science experts. Last month, Nature’s Trading Post welcomed its 40,000th trader.

Finn, a 4 year-old junior scientist, and his mother decided to explore Cincinnati Museum Center. After walking through the Museum of Natural History & Science to fill out his Scavenger Hunt, he was drawn into Nature’s Trading Post by the giant T. Rex skull. Finn was only hoping to log the points from his Scavenger Hunt into the database, but got a gift bag of science tools and natural artifacts instead. Finn was Nature’s Trading Post’s 40,000th trader!

Nature’s Trading Post helps kids learn about science by inspiring them to explore their own backyards. They can bring in what they’ve found and speak with science experts to earn points. Nature’s Trading Post accepts a variety of items for trade, such as objects from plants, including seeds, leaves or wood, and objects from animals like shells, cocoons, teeth, antlers, snakeskin, turtle shells and exoskeletons of insects. It also accepts non-living natural objects like rocks, fossils and minerals for points.

“Cincinnati Museum Center is all about sharing knowledge and inspiration with others,” said Regina Hall, director of the Museum of Natural History & Science. “Through Nature’s Trading Post children have been able to take items they’ve found while digging in their backyard, trade them for something another child has done the same thing with and the cycle of discovery continues. So, Nature’s Trading Post is not just about connecting the community with experts, but also about connecting people across the community.”

In addition to completing Scavenger Hunts, another key to earning points is by bringing in an object from nature and telling staff about it: What is it? Where did you find it? If you’ve brought in the remnants of an animal, what kind of animal is it, what did it eat and what is its habitat? You can then trade those points in for fossils, minerals, rocks, animal bones, snakeskins, magnifying glasses and many other items to help you explore and learn more about the natural world around you.

Nature’s Trading Post is located in the Museum of Natural History & Science at Cincinnati Museum Center and is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution as well as national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, Museum Center was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within Cincinnati Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Recognized in Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, Cincinnati Museum Center welcomes one million plus visitors annually. Cincinnati Museum Center gratefully acknowledges operating and capital support from the taxpayers of Hamilton County and the State of Ohio. For more information,

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