Sunday, November 16, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Last week was finally the results of the intense voting that has been going on for the past couple weeks. The monkey came out the winner, with the bunny coming in a close second. What should me name our newest friend at the Museum? I think I feel a new contest coming on! Make sure you keep your eyes open for it! How much do you know about monkeys? Well did you know that most monkeys live in forests and Savannah’s or equatorial Africa? Monkeys don’t just love bananas. They also east ripe fruits, young leaves, stems, roots seeds, bark and insects. Ew! I couldn’t eat what a monkey does! Sadly most are nearing extinction because of deforestation and commercial hunting for bush meat. Monkeys are pretty cool animals. I was rooting for the bunny but I’m glad that the monkey won. They’re pretty cute…I guess.
I wonder if monkeys eat ice cream? Hmmm.During this week in the Fetch! Lab we made ice cream! We didn’t use any blenders or freezers, just our muscles! We did a whole lotta shaking. I never knew that I could only make ice cream by using cream, sugar, vanilla, ice and salt! I’m so glad I figured out how so now every time I want ice cream I don’t have to get up and go to the store! It was a yummy week in the Fetch! Lab. Next week is going to be pretty cool as well! We are experimenting with the forces of energy! How cool does that sound?! I hope to see you stop by!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hi! I'm Eliza, but if you stopped by our Halloween Romp last Saturday you might know me as the tooth fairy. To get into the Halloween spirit a couple of my friends and I went to a haunted house put together by a couple students from Mansfield High School. They did such a great job! I was so completely scared and had no idea what was coming for me next. The best part about this haunted house was that all the money they would go straight to the Mansfield Animal Shelter. One night alone raised just about 3,500 dollars, that's awesome! After being so scared from the haunted house I decided to carve a friendly pumpkin, not to mention the easiest pattern I could find. It came out pretty..well friendly. So what where you for Halloween? I ended up putting my tooth fairy costume with my very large but very pretty wings and took out my basket and became little red riding hood. My favorite story of all time! Halloween being the great holiday of free candy I had to go trick or treating. My friends and I went to every single house on the block, and when our bags were filled we went home and decided to count our candy. I have so much candy it's going to last me til Christmas!

Being in the Halloween spirit I have always wanted to know how witches' cauldrons bubble and in the Fetch! Lab this week I finally got a chance to find out how. If you too want to know how witches' do it find out here! If there is enough room in your stomach after eating all that Halloween candy come and visit Megan and I have a lot of cool things coming up this week, including making ice cream! We have even started our very own Fetch! Club and we want you to join! When you stop by we can sign you up and then make sure you keep coming back to complete six challenges to receive a pretty cool prize! Also make sure you stop by before Tuesday, November 4th to vote for your favorite animal! Grown-ups aren't the only ones who can vote!

Oh ya! By the way this week instead of coming in on Tuesday, I'll be here Thursday and November 11th Veterans Day 10-4pm because its exploding rainbows that day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

She's Here! She's Here!

Eliza, our new FETCH! Lab Associate has arrived! Actually she’s been here all summer but, just like Blossom, she’s been promoted this season. She’s the first person to hold this position, which make her a pioneer in the field. You may have met Eliza if you visited the FETCH! Lab this summer or came to any of the amazing Summer Drop-ins Days. We thought she did a great job so we’ve handed her more responsibility (we think she can handle it). You can visit Eliza in the Lab most Tuesday and Friday afternoons (3-5pm) as well as Sundays from 2-5pm (sorry, she won't be in this sunday, Oct 26) and she’ll also be in for some special activities. She’ll be working with our great intern Megan to come up with some really cool science challenges. As you may already know, Megan can be found in the Lab most Tuesdays (9am-noon) and Wednesdays (9am-3pm) and if your lucky you may run into one of our other great volunteers who help out throughout the week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another summer draws to its close, and we gear up for the fall!

As the summer winds down and we here at the Children's museum gear up for our "back to school" fall schedule we pause for our annual Fall Spruce Up! Over the course of these two weeks the Museum itself has enjoyed being worked on during the first week by staffers as well as by wonderfully generous and enthusiastic incoming freshmen student volunteers from Bridgewater State, Stonehill and Wheaton College!!! During the second week we are getting even more help and support from adult volunteers from all across the area! As always be sure to let us know if you have some spare time that you could devote to helping out the south coast's number #1 family experience!
(Right: Sarah and Melissa from Wheaton College Pitching in!)

My earliest memories of the Children's Museum as you and I now know it are not of drop-in days and birthday parties, fetch labs and field trips but.... of scrubbing huge oil stains off the floor of what is now the main exhibit hall. Those slicks left from years and years of fire engine maintenance and repair left a pretty strong sting in the back of my nostrils. Almost as vivid in my brain as the smell of that oil was the semi-panicked thought of "what has my mother gotten herself into!" Well all these years later it makes me truly proud to see what has become of our beloved Museum! The natural beauty of the building has been accentuated by the dedication, effort and spirit of each and every person who has worked so hard for so long, and been so loyal to us! You are the ones who make this all possible, and I hope you take away as much pride and enjoyment from this wonderful place as I do!

The museum and all it's staff are excitedly anticipating re-opening on Tuesday September 16th (Shameless plug: and our Scarecrow Stomp on September 21st!) We hope to see you get a chance to enjoy all the new improvements and work that we've done.... hope to see you soon!

-Andrew Peterson, an original Museum kid!

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Not Over!

Not by a long Shot.

Join us this week as we bring in two of our most popular Drop In Day activities ever! Curious Creatures will visit us on Thursday 8/28 for two shows at 10:30am & noon. Stop by and get up close (or maybe not so close) to a baby alligator, snakes and other creatures during these hour long "hands-on" presentations.

Per Ruff's request we are rolling out the red carpet. That's right, this Friday 8/29 we are throwing a premier party for season 3 of FETCH! starring everyone's furry friend, Ruff Ruffman. Stick around for some cake and a question and answer session with FETCH! cast members at 11:am & 1:00.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dog Days, Art-full Endeavors and a whole lot of Summer Fun!

Our Summer Drop-in Days have been such a hit so far and there's more fun on the way! From the Wienermobile, dog days and puppets to birds of prey and pirates, the past few weeks have been full of great performances, visits and activities! I've included a photo of when Catie Copley, canine ambassador at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, and the U.S. Military All-Stars visited the museum.
Next Thursday, August 14, we will be having our second Dog Days of Summer program. We'll be starting a bit early (10am) with the Beagle Brigade and then we'll have Nancy Bates at 12pm. She will be bringing her Bernese Mountain dog who will do a carting demonstration and a free-style dance routine! We'll also have a visit from the Brockton Blue Dog Shelter. Friday will be our Art-full Endeavors Drop-in Day with airbrush artist Keith Hanson. He will demonstrate his techniques and have shirts and posters to raffle off. To top it all off, he'll be bringing one of the motorcycles he has custom airbrushed. As always we'll be having lots of fun crafts and FETCH! activities so you better be there! And bring your friends!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 4, 2008

We are the Champions!

We did it! The Children’s Museum in Easton is the Parents' Pick for Best Children’s Museum in Boston and Providence in the first annual Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks Awards. These awards selected the best family-oriented places and resources in 52 major U.S. cities. We were so thrilled to hear the results and wanted to thank everyone for their help and support! The comments that have been left over the years truly show why our dedicated, imaginative and learning-curious visitors voted for us. One parent commented: “This place is fantastic for all ages! Even us adults learn too!” Another wrote “The focus on education while having fun is terrific!” Others have said “Such imagination and creativity for kids,” “we have been enjoying the museum for years- its nice to see how many great things you keep while incorporating new ones.” “Great ideas, great support, great staff, great place. Thanks for the memories!”

Thank you all so much for summing up exactly why the Children’s Museum in Easton is
a great experience all-around for the entire family! We could not have done it without you!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Because Oscar Mayer has a way, the WIENERMOBILE is here!

As Tim mentioned in one of his earlier posts, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile will be visiting the museum this Friday, August 1st for our sports-themed Summer Drop-in Day! Come see one of the most popular icons in the United States. This hot-dog-mobile was first built in 1936 in an effort to promote Oscar Mayer products at supermarkets across the country. It certainly is ‘frank-tastic,’ and travels about 500 miles a week on average! Get up close to this 27-foot vehicle as it makes a stop at the museum on its cross-country journey and sneak a peak at the life of an Oscar Mayer ‘Hotdogger’. We’ll also have visits from the Brockton Rox Baseball Players (11am-noon) and Personal Best Karate, who will be performing at 1pm.

Oh- and in case anyone is interested in practicing the chorus of the Oscar Mayer song before visiting…here it is!

My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R
My bologna has a second name, it's M-A-Y-E-R
Oh, I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why, I'll say,
"'Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Brain Drain Be Gone!

Now that mid-summer is here, parents may be starting to worry about their children undergoing learning loss- what is known by many to be the ‘Summer Slide’. Dr. Ruth Peters made a number of great suggestions on how to fight the brain drain for The Today Show, suggesting local libraries, safe internet sites, summer camps, local museums, concerts, aquariums, parks, etc. All of these activities involve interactive forms of education, to keep the mind active and the body in motion throughout the summer.

We have a great ‘Summer Slide’ webpage with some statistics and additional links to information and suggestions on how to combat the phenomenon. Our Mini-camps, FETCH! Challenges and Summer Drop-in Days are a great place to start, and to top it all off, we're local!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Great Start To An Even Greater Summer!

What a perfect way to begin our Summer Drop-in Days! After a visit from Ruff Ruffman , some absolutely yummy cake from Shaw's, FETCH! kite activities, musical instruments with Jane MacAuslan, karaoke, dancing, and making musical instruments, we have drawn quite the crowd! It is so nice to see kids of all ages (and their parents) enjoying some summer fun in the sun. What a hit the past two days have been! I've included a fun photo of our very good friend Ruff Ruffman's visit!
I already cannot wait for next Thursday (the 17th) when we will be having our first Tie-Dye Drop-in day! Come back on Friday (the 18th) and get messy as we make all sorts of Crazy Concoctions! From playdough and gak, to snot and slime, we'll be using everyday ingredients to make your favorite messy creations. Stop by anytime between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm.

I also wanted to thank those of you who voted for the Children's Museum in Easton in the Parents' Picks Award Contest, we really appreciate your votes!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fireworks, Festivities and Family Fun!

I cannot believe it is already the 3rd of July. Time truly flies when you’re having fun, I’ve been convinced! Fourth of July plans are always difficult to decide on because there are so many options. I was listening to Kiss 108 this morning on my way into work and heard the mayor talking about all the fun things going on in Boston for the 4th. Check out the webpage at I think I will be heading to the beach for a nice long weekend of sun, family time, fireworks and endless barbecuing. I’ve included a photo of myself as a little girl on the Fourth of July at my favorite beach spot in Maine!

The museum will be closed Friday the 4th through Sunday the 6th but we’d love to see you on Monday. I want to wish everyone a safe, festive and Happy Fourth of July!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Vote Early and Vote Often!!

I’ll start off with a reminder, PLEASE remember to vote for us in the 2008 Parents’ Picks awards for the Boston and Providence regions. The voting ends tonight and again, we would really appreciate your votes. Remember- more than one email address means more than one opportunity to vote, so spread the word!

Lately, summer thunderstorms have been putting a damper on my plans, as I’m sure is true for parents. Indoor/Outdoor activities are a great solution to your weather blues. What better ‘weather-friendly’ day trip than the Children’s Museum in Easton? We will be kicking off our Summer Drop-in Day programs on July 10th from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm and would love for you and your family to come by! We always hope for outdoor activities, but in the case of rain, they are sometimes moved inside. To top it all off, the kickoff will star Ruff Ruffman from the PBS show FETCH!. We’ll have challenges, activities and CAKE (therefore it is a definite must!) Friday July 11th is our 'World of Music' themed drop-in day! Come on over and learn a few simple dances- i'll be teaching!

Monday, June 23, 2008

2008 Parents' Picks Awards and MY museum story!

First, I want to apologize for not posting in about two weeks. I was out sick for a while and am now back and ready for a great summer at the museum. Speaking of the museum, and summer, take a look at the Parents' Picks Awards link that I have included! The Children's Museum in Easton is in the running for 'Best Children's Museum' in the Boston AND Providence area in this wonderful contest. We would love love love your votes! The voting is open until June 30th so please take just a few minutes to vote for us on the awards website. The image to the left will link you right to the voting webpage, or you can get to the page from our museum website! We are very excited and would really appreciate your vote!

And now, as promised in my last post, I would love to share why the Children's Museum in Easton is so near and dear to my heart. Believe it or not, this museum was the first museum I ever visited as a little girl. Venturing back and reflecting on my earlier realization that time flies, I will never forget the day my Auntie Karen decided to take me to the museum in Easton. I feel like it was yesterday that I stepped through those giant doors, entering a young child's interactive paradise. Years later I returned to the museum with the same aunt's children. We spent hours in the museum, constructing in the wood shop, doing arts and crafts, and exploring every inch of the old restored firehouse. All of the memories came back to me this day, as I was able to share such a great experience with my cousins, in the same place my aunt had introduced me to years before.

It is amazing to think about the great circle in all of this, now that I am interning at the museum. Three distinct stages of my life have included this museum, and I am so thrilled to be back as a college student for the summer. The museum is just as great, if not better than I had remembered. As I look ahead to my future, I can honestly say that I am leaning towards the small museum setting. And therefore, at this stage in my life and as a college senior, this summer and these experiences have placed me right where I belong.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"The new intern is here, the new intern is here!"

Well hello everyone! My name is Jen Valentino and I am a new summer intern at the Children’s Museum in Easton. I will be blogging this summer, and will hopefully be following in the entertaining, informative and witty footsteps of Tim Cuff, the last intern to post on this blog. I would love to tell you all a bit about myself, as well as my ties to the museum, which truly go way back (more about this later).

I am going to be a senior at Wheaton College in Norton this fall (and I am now a firm believer in the fact that time does fly- I feel like it was yesterday that I was packing up my room to head off to my first semester of college). I am a Hispanic Studies Major, Art History Minor and I am hoping to be one of the first Wheaton students to partake in the new Museum Studies Minor that is currently being developed. I have taken one Museum Studies course at Wheaton and am excited to be one of the guinea pigs in this academic experiment! The class truly inspired and furthered my fascination with museums. I am really looking forward to such a hands-on internship, making it the next step in my journey to the real (after college) world!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tim's Last Hurrah!

Alas, my semester is coming to an end. On May 18th, I will be graduating. And all of next week I will be in Hyannis, going to the beach every day (if it doesn’t rain). So since I will not be posting next week, this is my last blog entry. I know all my fans out there will be devastated, and children at the museum will no longer be able to experience FETCH!™ labs taught by me.

But there will be a bunch of great stuff coming up this summer!

Summer Drop-in Days will be happening every Thursday and Friday from July 10-August 29. Each Summer Drop-In day will include activities from 10:30-3 revolving around a specific theme. And the best part - all the activities will be related to your favorite FETCH! episodes! Learn to be a clown, learn about dog training and about some other cool creatures, play some instruments and take a trip to the Wild West.
You can check out the Museum's website for updates on the summer schedule.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Finally, it is time to announce our photo contest winners. We received over 25 entries, but these are the best. All winners will be notified via email on their prizes.

The winner of THE GREAT OUTDOORS who will receive $25 to the museum's gift shop is:
The Grants from Brockton! Congratulations.

The winner of EVEN ADULTS HAVE FUN will not be named, since we received no qualifying pictures of parents and children. However, we will still be giving out all our prizes because...

We are going to announce 2 WINNERS for LEARNING AND PLAYING! They each will receive $25 to the museum's gift shop. They are:

The Browns from Dedham!


The Keatings from Wrentham! Great job, guys.

And finally... our winner of BEST OVERALL PHOTO, who will receive a $100 ACM MEMBERSHIP IS................

The Manleys of Abinton! WAY TO GO!!

I'd like to thank all our contestants because we appreciate their time and interest in the museum. Thank you very much!

Friday, April 25, 2008

This week’s Masters and Masterpieces was a success, despite the beautiful weather. I was concerned the sunshine and warmth would draw people away from the museum (even though we have a wonderful outdoor play area called the Wild Place). But instead children were coming in droves to make a thaumatrope or the chromatography I taught this week. Also, my fellow Stonehill seniors came for a special activity today because they are education majors.
Nobody is participating in the PHOTO CONTEST! What’s up with that? Do you not want the $100 value prize? GET ON IT!
Sorry if I don’t have much to talk about, but I didn’t get my coffee today. I actually woke up at 10am (I’m supposed to be here at 9:30) because I set my alarm for pm instead of am. How clich├ęd is that?
Oh by the way- Teddy Bear Day is this week. Check it out.

Friday, April 18, 2008


After much planning, The Children’s Museum in Easton is having a PHOTO CONTEST through the blog! I’m very excited about this, as the winner will receive an ACM Membership worth $100!!

Have you visited our museum and taken a spectacular picture of your child? Now you can use that to win a free
ACM membership at the museum for one year! This $100 value can be yours with the Museums first ever spring photo contest.
Submit an original, non-professional photo of your children interacting with various exhibits at the museum, and send them to with the subject line reading “photo contest”.
Try to avoid posing, and have the pictures show natural interactions.
Themes and prizes for photo winners are:
-The Great Outdoors: Winner of a photo outdoors at the Museum’s “Wild Place” will receive
$25 to the Museum’s gift shop
-Even Adults Have Fun: Winner of a photo of children and their caregivers together at the museum will receive $25 to the Museum’s gift shop
-Learning and Playing: Winner of a photo of children interacting with an indoor museum exhibit will receive $25 to the Museum’s gift shop.
-Best Photo: Overall best photo (anything at the museum goes) will receive an ACM Membership for one year: A $100 value that gives free access to the Children’s Museum in Easton as well as 110 museums across the country for 1 full year!!
Winners and updates of the photo contest will be posted and featured right here on the blog!

Images should be emailed in jpg format, 2 MB or smaller.
Please include:

-child(ren)’s name
-caregiver(s)’ name
Up to three (3) photos may be submitted by each entrant. (Limit one prize per household.)

Entries must be received by May 1st at midnight.

For the full rules and regulations, check here.

Spring Fling Saturday

So finally it is here: Masters and Masterpieces starts tomorrow! Our spring fling tomorrow will kick it off with real bunnies and a magic show starring Bounce the Bunny and his assistant Awesome Robb. Country 102.5 visits as well. The whole week will be arts and crafts themed, and I will be working Wednesday and Friday mornings. So come down to the lowest level and make thaumatropes (A thaumatrope is an optical illusion toy. Hard to explain.) and other fun art projects. So the attractions and parking (from last weeks post. See below.) means you should definitely stop by.

The Bay State Parent blog is a cool site to see what’s going on in this area, and it has pro-Massachusetts articles such as, “Massachusetts is One of The Best States for Children,” which pleases me. They are having a contest for free tickets to the Children’s Museum in Easton (so we like them). Check it out!

My college (Stonehill) is having their own big spring weekend starting with a Third Eye Blind concert and a carnival. I’m pretty excited and I have had to wear an annoying 21+ wristband all week for the concert (if I take it off I void the wristband) so it’s about time.

Have a great Spring Weekend!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Don’t you hate driving into Boston sometimes? Both of my sisters live in the city and I find it very frustrating, not to mention trying to park. For April vacation week, going anywhere with your kids and trying to find a parking spot can be enraging. Unlike other museums (that won’t be mentioned), The Children’s Museum in Easton has FREE parking, both on and off the street. So along with Masters and Masterpieces, the parking should draw many to the museum this April vacation week.
Although the vacation week is our next event, I have to share some information for later this year that I am very excited about. Fellow intern Chris Cyburt acquired…

Image taken from Wikipedia

This time-honored classic will be making its way to the museum on the August 1st. So you better ketchup to it. Wow. I apologize for my stupid jokes.
So now that I mentioned who acquired the meat wagon, you’re all wondering, “What does Chris Cyburt look like!?” Well, he is the one intern that doesn't seem to have had his picture taken. But don't worry, because he'll still be embarrassed. I found one on the internet:

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Here's the first Monday post for those of you out there who can't wait for Friday. 411mommy asked a very good question in comment: is a 9 and 10 year old too old to go to the Children’s Museum in Easton? The answer is yes and no. For most of the activities during the week on a normal day they would be on the higher end of the age spectrum. But for my FETCH!™ labs they would be perfect! I often sit around twiddling my thumbs and although I enjoy the frequent visitors who are five and under, many of them do not grasp the concepts and challenges offered in my FETCH! Labs. Older children would be ideal. I teach the labs Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Also, special occasions such as school vacation weeks are more oriented to the older crowd that are on break from school. This upcoming April vacation week is a perfect example. From April 19th-April 27th, Saturday to Sunday of the vacation week, our theme will be “Masters and Masterpieces.” We will be looking at artist like Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe, and having local artisans come to demonstrate their craft. Come by and make your own work of art! We kick off the school vacation week with our "Spring Fling" on April 19th.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hooray. 3 comments on one entry and over 300 hits? I’m glad this blog can be as helpful as possible, even with a dead link. Michelle pointed out to me in her comment that my New England Mamas link wasn’t working. I apologize, and have fixed it so the article about discount museum passes can be viewed by all. I revealed to the Mamas (in a comment on their entry), the Childrens Museum in Easton is a great discount during these hard times of insanely high gas prices. Our membership has unlimited visits for an entire year for $60 (for 2 people), $70 (for 3 people), or $80 (for 4 people). For $100 we also offer the ACM reciprocal membership that offers entry to 110 children’s museums throughout the country for an entire year. To see a list of these museums, check here. We also offer free on and off street parking.
Chris Vacchi noted in his comment on my last post, I shouldn’t give him all the credit for the updated website, as several people contributed. I just wanted to embarrass Chris, though, so no one else needs to be mentioned. Again, if you're wondering what Chris looks like, see below.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Greetings again. My Easter break was nice, as I had hoped, and the Pogues concert I mentioned earlier was incredible.
An academic development day (or whatever they’re called) brought many Foxboro students to the museum today. Stonehill has those random days off as well, and they’re always welcomed. It was nice to have an older crowd, since I mostly deal with children under five. I recently was given a giant box of goodies (stickers, pencils, posters, etc.) and was happy to hand them out to the children like a madman. Some children learned that wearing a Ray Allen jersey awards them extra prizes.
Spring arriving leads to the possibility of outdoor FETCH!™ labs (such as kite making), but with the off-and-on cold and rain I’m not getting too excited.
Our website has been updated by my talented and wonderful fellow intern Chris Vacchi (See picture below. And no, I didn’t tell Chris I was doing this). It’s much more colorful, and I believe Chris did an exemplary job.

New England Mamas had a recent post mentioning discount museum prices in Massachusetts. Of course, I have to shamelessly plus that with a mere six dollars (free to members and children under one) a child can experience three floors of fun in the Children’s Museum in Easton. Plus I hear a wonderful intern teaches FETCH! labs on the bottom floor of the museum a couple days a week.
Hope you have a great week, and I’ll be posting soon enough.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Well, I have to post early this week because one of the perks of going to a Catholic college is that they overdo Catholic holidays. I have FIVE days off for Easter. Yep. I normally post Friday, but won’t be here, so I’m posting today. It's only been four days since my last post, but I'll make due.

Well since this blog is family-oriented I’ll discuss my own family. This past Sunday we had a small surprise party for my mom, who was born on St. Patrick’s Day. Being 100% Irish and being born on St. Patrick’s Day is pretty sweet I imagine. My mom and I both share an astrological sign (Pisces) as I recently turned 22. Sunday was a good time, especially when my mom arrived at the house and I jumped out and yelled, “Surprise!” scaring the daylights out of her.

You can be sure that Stonehill College also celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. We had an Irish band called “The Barleymen” play (the bassist is a Stonehill biology professor, and you should check out their myspace page if you like traditional Irish music). I am a huge fan of trad Irish music and they played the usual classics (“The Wild Rover” which you may know as “No Nay Never”) but also other gems some don’t know about (“The Leaving of Liverpool” and “Whiskey, You’re the Devil”). The last St. Patrick’s Day event for me, I guess you could say, is tonight. I will be seeing my favorite band of all time, The Pogues, at the Orpheum in Boston. The Pogues are known for being the first popular British band to incorporate traditional Irish music, the first ever Celtic-punk band, and led by legendary Irish frontman Shane MacGowan.

On a more museum-related note, I will be back next Wednesday with a new post on Friday. I’m glad spring is coming both personally and for the museum. With the outdoor play area soon opening (April 19), I will be able to do some Fetch! ™ labs outside (such as making a boat). Kids really don’t get outside enough, and spring always makes way for new activities and new possibilities.

I put some links on the left such as Fetch! and other PBS Kids related sites. There are some fun games and info about my friend Ruff Ruffman. Check it out!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Back From Vacation

Today is a cause for celebration because waiting for my approval was the first comment on my blog EVER. I feel so popular. It was by Rebekah from Prechool Activites Everyday (see post below). I greatly appreciate her post because finally I feel like someone besides myself (and my boss) is reading the blog. Not to mention over 150 hits thus far. As stated before, it’s a special day.
Another reason for the special day was the St. Patrick’s Day celebration we had. It was quite fun as we had chocolate lollipop making, a scavenger hunt, and a real live leprechaun (played by actor Bill McCarthy, a long-time volunteer for the museum). My activity today was The Exploding Rainbow where using food coloring, whole milk, and dishwashing liquid we made psychedelic patterns.

So I went to Disney last week, and it was pretty incredible. For any parents planning a trip sometime soon, here is my money-saving and kid-related advice:
-Universal Studios is much cheaper, and has a lot of stuff for kids (they have an entire Dr. Seuss section of the park)
-Staying off-site is cheaper but not as fun as staying at a Disney resort
-Disney has a free bus service that goes to everything they own, and anyone can ride it (even if you’re not staying at a Disney resort)
-All the parks have great stuff for kids, even Epcot. Magic Kingdom has the most for kids, but it’s always the most crowded park. Animal Kingdom is great for kids and includes a Bug’s Life 3-D movie, walking trails with animal exhibits, and many Lion King themed attractions.

All interns at the museum recently had their pictures taken, so I’m gonna throw my picture on here so when you see me at the museum you can tell me how incredible my blog is.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t get too crazy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Preschool Activities Everyday: Visit a Children's Museum

Well, the Preschool Activites Everyday blog sure knows what to do with bored kids: visit a children's museum. It's great that children's museums are getting more attention online, and I appreciated the review of our museum on New England Mamas (see post below). It's good to see parents appreciate us, as we appreciate parents. Coming up this spring we will be having several parenting workshops. Incase you feel working mother guilt, or just want to better yourself, we offer cheap ($5) classes, some of which are taught by PhDs. We will have one on children with unique needs, non-toxic living for families, and others.

I added another links list on the left of parenting websites and a museum website worth checking out (even though the museum in in San Fransisco).

I'm off for spring break now, so I gotta cut it short. I'm going to... DISNEY WORLD. I'm pretty pumped. I don't care if I'm 5, 21, or 99 years old, I'm going to enjoy Disney World (and rides like Splash Mountain) equally. I probably won't post next week, so I'll see you after my break!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Well, the February Vacation week is over for me. The Ruff Ruffman™ scavenger hunt was a hit. I’m guessing it was because of the wonderful storyline that I wrote. We had a whole lot of guests this week including two police dogs, a motorcycle police officer, an FBI agent, and Secret Service agents. The metal detector we were loaned was also a hit. Even kids who didn’t participate in the scavenger hunt wandered around testing to see if anything in my presence was metal. At this point I’m inured to loud beeping noises.
Many kids were attracted to the FETCH! ™ aspect of the scavenger hunt because they were fans of the show. The CSI episode of FETCH aired about a thousand times this week so I could probably quote it word for word. One boy was the highlight of my week with a project he designed in the woodshop room. He asked, “Do you know Ruff?” I responded, “Absolutely I do.” So he gave me a sign that read, “Dear Ruff, Sorry about the girlfriend,” referring to the Whodunit? story I wrote (see entry below).
I just finished watching the Secret Service presentation and the kids loved seeing gas masks, wires, badges, and bulletproof vests. I was fascinated myself, and I have to admit I’m wearing the novelty badge each child received at the end of the presentation right now.The museum was mentioned on New England Mamas. It was an accurate review, and it can be seen here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Marshmallow Towers were a blast this week, even though mine kept falling over. Kids not only made towers but also houses, pyramids, boxes, octagons, and some more abstract designs. But the museum is mostly gearing up for next week’s big Whodunnit? Mystery. The February vacation week brings many visitors so we always put on something special. This year’s theme is a forensic/detective skills, so I wrote a storyline along with the planned activities to incorporate Ruff Ruffman. Here’s “The Case of the Anti-Valentine”:

“Sweet biscuits!
I’ve been framed!
Charlene, the poodle next door and the
object of my affection, has received a nasty Valentine’s letter.

The card reads:
‘Dear Charlene,
I don’t like you. Don’t
ever talk to me again.
Signed, Ruff Ruffman.’

Someone has committed a forgery to slander my good name!

Alright FETCHers, grab your badge and suit up, your assignment is to get to the bottom of this mystery. You have one piece of
evidence: a footprint was left by Charlene’s mailbox. You must hurry and bring the
perpetrator to justice, or Charlene may never talk to me again! Using the footprint as a clue, a keen wit, and a good eye, you must solve the Case of the Anti-Valentine. Go FETCH!

I’m at my wit’s end, but I have faith in you FETCHers. Help me catch this fiend and win back Charlene’s love!”

Kids will have to use their junior detective skills to notice clues, draw sketches, test their memories, and follow leads to solve the crime and catch the one who did this to Ruff. The scavenger hunt will also incorporate a real metal detector and I’m quite excited about that. There’s going to be a million different activities every day next week so you should definitely bring your children in as it’s going to be the best week of the year. There won’t be a FETCH! Lab due to the Whodunnit? but the week after we will be taking Stroop Tests. That’s a psychological test you’ve probably taken before where are asked to name the colors of each word aloud. It looks something like this: RED BLUE GREEN YELLOW. It’s interesting to see how hard it is for adults and how it can be easier for kids who do not read very well.
Have a fun February Vacation!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

This week was a lot of fun for me at the museum. For my FETCH! ™ Lab I chose “Make Your Own Thermometer.” Using water, children (even under 5) converted old water bottles into functioning thermometers. The bottle is sealed using clay with a straw sticking through it. Next, food coloring is added for a more thermomterish effect. When the bottle is filled with hot water and placed in cold water the liquid in the straw noticeably goes down!
Check it out here to practice it at home:

Next week we will be constructing a time-honored classic: The marshmallow tower. I think everyone has at one point in school built something out of marshmallows and toothpicks. It’s always a good time.

For February vacation week we are preparing a “Whodunnit?” theme. We have some really amazing activities going on this special week. We are having members of the Beagle Brigade (trained and adorable beagles that work at airports) and an FBI agent come in and speak. We also are being lent a metal detector that will be fun to play with (I think I’m more excited than any kids). The “Whodunnit?” will focus on FETCH! main character Ruff Ruffman, who will lead the children on a scavenger hunt to solve a mystery. The junior detectives will be matching footprints, fibers, DNA, and other forensic tasks like a more age-appropriate CSI. I have a few activities prepared myself, and I will post the Ruff Ruffman storyline on the blog ASAP. Thanks for reading, and let me know your feedback on the museum, the blog, or anything worthwhile.

Friday, February 1, 2008

My name is Tim Cuff, and I will be an intern for the Children’s Museum in Easton from January to May 2008. I’m an English major and a senior at Stonehill College working here for credit, and the credit couldn’t come much easier. My experiences so far at the museum have been great. The museum is collaborating with the PBS Kid’s Show FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman™ starring the cartoon dog seen to the left. Part game show, part reality TV, and part spoof, FETCH! targets six to ten-year-olds and features real kids, real challenges, and real science. I teach FETCH! Labs that recreate the science and engineering challenges kids see on the show. Last week the kids made arts and crafts optical illusions called “thaumatropes” while this week they learn about cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension (of course by playing with water). So until I graduate, I will be blogging about my experiences at the museum, the activities we have, and interactive learning in general. So I hope this is helpful. Read, enjoy, and bring your children down to the museum. It’s a great time!