More than a Toy: The Mobile Museum’s Famous Wobble Chair

Have you ever been to a local community event and visited the Mobile Museum? If you have, chances are there were children waiting eagerly to play with a black, hourglass shaped wobble chair with a pointed base. This Mobile Museum exhibit stands two feet tall and has the capability to rotate 360 degrees in both outside and inside venues. With our Children’s Museum Educator by their side, each participant rocks back and forth and side to side, exploring their physical strengths and pushing their limits to try something new.

Mobile Museum Bus

Designers have been creating uniquely designed chairs for children for many years now including perch stools and faux saucers and fluffy bedroom chairs. So what makes the Mobile Museum’s wobble chair so special? The chair is not just a toy or a modern design chair, but a stimulating exhibit that fosters learning through play. It promotes body and spatial awareness, safe risk taking, and responsible decision making. Body awareness is the ability for someone to understand different ways that they can use their body to accomplish a specific task. This knowledge is essential for children to develop fine and gross motor skills. When a child sits on the chair for the first time, they are forced to use their body and physical strength to rock themselves side to side in a continuous motion. This also helps the user become more aware of their social surroundings. As the chair moves, participants must focus not only on themselves but other people around them so they remain under control and in the designated exhibit space. 

Many children have never played with this type of exhibit before and as a result, the wobble chair may appear daunting to them. In fact, almost all new activities can be intimidating for a young child, even adults approach new tasks tentatively. However, growth and development cannot happen without safe risk taking. After using the chair a few times, children recognize that something new does not have to be scary, but in fact it can be fun and exciting. Accomplishing a new task builds confidence, independence, and trust. Children can then take all of these skills and apply them to life outside of play.

The wobble chair is only one of the Mobile Museum’s unique exhibits. Some of our additional traveling exhibits include Imagination Playground, Polydron Octoplay, Fort Building, Connect Four and more. Together these exhibits build core learning foundations for children in STEM, social sciences, artistic design and creation, and physical education. So much more than toys, these exhibits function to serve the needs of your children and promote lifelong learning.

As the Utica Children’s Museum nears its opening in the spring of 2024, the Mobile Museum will continue to serve communities in the greater Utica-Rome area at local events, festivals, and school field trips. Learn more about the exhibits on the Mobile Museum webpage and visit us at our upcoming Mobile Museum events to play with our famous wobble chair.