First Things

Something Playful

Exhibit shows the inner working of toys
Toys: The Inside Story

As a kid, did you want to break open your Etch A Sketch to see what magical thing inside made it work? Or maybe now, as an adult, you just want to know how to stop your toddler's squeaky plush toy from, well, squeaking so much.

Either way, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum has your curiosity covered with the exhibition Toys: The Inside Story, opening Jan. 22.

This new exhibition, which runs until May 1, illustrates the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys. Get a close-up view of how the hero of Jack Gets Out of His Boxactually escapes, find out what makes Elmo dance and Mr. Machine run, or play a giant game of Operation. Through these and other games featured in the exhibition, such as Hungry Hungry Hippos and, of course, a giant Etch A Sketch, visitors can relive a bit of their childhoods as well.

Admission to the museum, which is located at 230 N. Rose St., is free. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the museum is open for limited hours by advance registration. For more information or to register, visit