Children's Museum of South Dakota

Under The Hood


Get In Gear!

Work hard at tuning up a car. Here, busy mechanics change tires, batteries, oil, and mufflers. Customer service workers take orders, answer phone calls, and settle bills for service completed.

Under the Hood presents activities designed to enhance physical and cognitive skills, such as eye/hand coordination, while fitting the parts onto the car, and problem solving skills that may involve multiple steps to fix the car. With the support of adult interaction, the exhibit will provide knowledge about the function of tools, and parts of a car.

In KidStreet's Under the Hood, visitors have opportunities to use new vocabulary words, such as wrench and lug nuts. These activities provide times to use early math skills doing things like matching the number of lug nuts to the tire screws. Early literacy knowledge is promoted as customer service representatives write down orders for future car service. All of these experiences enhance positive learning dispositions like building persistence while tackling the job of putting on the muffler or building confidence from solving the problem.

While working under the hood, visitors may:

  • Slide underneath the car on a creeper to change the 'rusty' muffler and tailpipe.
  • Balance the tires using lug nuts and a pneumatic drill.
  • Put a personal touch on the license plates on both the front and the back of the car.
  • Match and sort the "tools of the trade," including wrenches, screwdrivers, and space parts
  • At the table-top gear station, move colorful magnetic gears in patterns and creative movements.
  • Climb into the tires lining the shop wall, which make perfect seating spots.
  • Plan and manage your workday, using a changeable wall clock, work order on clipboards, a telephone, and a magnetic daily calendar.

Learn more about these topics through the books below.
Many of these books are at the
Brookings Public Library.

Ages 0-3

Cars, Felicity Brooks & Keith Newell?Cars and Trucks and Things That Go!, Richard Scarry* 

Ages 3-6

Cars, Anne Rockwell 

Ages 6-8

Cars, Patricia Hubbell & Megan Halsay 

Ages 9-12

Car: Eyewitness Book, Richard Sutton?
Cars, Ian Graham?
We'll Race You, Henry, Barbara Mitchell 


*At the time of writing, these books were not found at the Brookings Library.