Monday, August 31, 2009

A "FETCHing" Friday!!

Friday was a very special day at the Museum- from FETCH! we had Ruff Ruffman and Season 3 "FETCHer" Harsha came to visit! It was one fun-filled day here!

There were all kinds of things going on including a Q&A with Harsha. She told us a lot of interesting things like how it was to audition for the show. Harsha said that the key to auditioning is to be yourself and to not worry about the camera, advice she gave to anyone out in the audience who may be thinking of auditioning for an upcoming season. She also told us what her favorite challenge was: scavenger hunt in Boston!

A lot of those in the audience agreed that scavenger hunts were fun, and when asked if they would join a scavenger hunt club a lot of hands were raised! Looks like a lot of kids want to have their own scavenger hunting adventures like Harsha does too!

While Harsha was not the grand champ of the season it was ok since she had such an awesome experience and made friends with the rest of her cast of "FETCHers!"

After the Q&A kids got to meet Harsha and Ruff himself as they signed autographs and took pictures! Not to mention we got to have cake, before lunch too! Talk about a cool day! Meeting a tv star and cake! What could be better!?

There were also other fun activities going on in the Wild Place! There was coloring activities where kids got to color and decorate pictures of Ruff, which he then signed! Other fun activities included making a kaleidoscope! It was a great day!

Be sure to check out FETCH! when Season 4 premieres with a very special, almost all animated, episode on the 11th of September on your local PBS station.

Also this was our last Summer Drop-In-Day, we hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have! Be sure to look for some fun fall activities coming your way, like the Scarecrow Stomp or the Halloween Romp!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wild West

John Wayne himself would be impressed at our own Wild West in the Wild Place today!
The kids were able to make their own sherrif's badges and wanted posters at our arts and crafts tables. Then they were able to learn to lasso a cow! There was some impressive rope-throwing skills out there!

Thanks a bunch to Ms. Candy and the Easton Police Department! Ms. Candy of Ms. Candy's Animals in Berkley brought her bunnies, goats and chickens out for our very own petting zoo! Ms. Candy from Beverly and specializes in petting zoo's for local schools, city functions or libraries. She also has a special educational petting zoo!

Easton's very own policemen also came down for fingerprinting! Kids could meet Easton's finest and fingerprint their own fingers and learn all about safety.

On the way out (or in) kids were grabbing our special Wild West edition of try it at home and how to talk like a real cowboy (did you know that "calaboose" means jail or that if someone said they were "among the willows" that they were dodging the law?!).

How to Make a Horse!

You'll need:

1. Stuff your sock (the heel is the back of the head). While you decorate you may want to tie a rubber band around the end so that your stuffing doesn't fall out.

2. Have fun and decorate (i.e. felt ears, yarn for a mane, etc.)!

3. Put the sock on a pole and have fun!

Thanks everyone for stopping by and partakeing in our rodeo! Make sure to come back for our last Drop-in-Day of the season featuring none other than Ruff Ruffman himself! It's definitely going to be a blast!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Turtles and Alligators and Snakes- Oh my!

Today’s Drop-in-Day had all kinds of animals from the furry to the slimy! Dean from “Curious Creatures” stopped by with his huge collection of these curious creatures! He introduced us to one animal we all know, or have at least smelled- a skunk! But luckily for us this skunk was very nice and we didn’t have to worry about that smell!

After that Dean brought out a cute, furry little chinchilla named Charlie! Dean told us that this kind of chinchilla is found in Peru, South America. Turns out that Charlie is a cousin to the squirrel, but unlike squirrels he is nocturnal. This means that he sleeps during the day and is awake at night! But one of the most interesting (and funny!) things about Charlie and chinchillas is how they take bathes! They don’t use water like us, but dust!

Then we got to meet a turtle and it was big enough for kids to ride (and they got a chance to after the show!)! A cool thing about the turtles is how it’s shell feels. Do you want to know? Touch your fingernails, yes right now! Yup that’s how the turtle’s shell felt! Weird huh?

And then came the snakes, big and small. First we met a Mexican Milk Snake, it was about a foot long and had red, white and black stripes. Dean told us that even though it looked poisonous it really wasn’t, it’s more like a typical garden snake- just very brightly colored!

After the little snake Dean brought out the big one! It was a big yellow snake, called an Albino Burmese Python!! It was long enough so that a whole row could hold it up! It is found in Asia and he told us that there they are as common as garden snakes!! Yikes, I don’t know what I would do if a four foot snake lived in my garden! What about you?

Other cool animals that we got to meet included a hedgehog that was a little shy and stayed all wrapped up like a ball. There was also a tarantula, a big furry spider! Did you know that it’s head and body are all one- so it had legs that come out of it’s head, crazy! In addition to these cool creatures we also got to meet other lizards and some Australian frogs!

Next we met an American alligator but it was only baby so it was about 1 ½ foot long and it was actually loosing its baby teeth! But don’t go near it when it grows up, its teeth are SUPER strong! A cool trick Dean taught us was that if you turn that alligator on it’s back it will go right to sleep. He tried it and it did! Other fun facts about this type of alligator is that it likes to lay in the sun since it’s a reptile and when swimming it uses its tail like a paddle.

All in all it was a great day! And a big thanks goes out to Honest Tea who came and gave out free drinks, perfect for a hot and humid day like today!

Also be sure to check out our last Drop-In-Days of the summer next week when the Children’s Museum meets the Wild West Thursday August 27th and gets a visit from FETCH! on Friday August 28th! Hope to see you all there! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tie Dye !!!

We love to tie dye here at the Children's Museum, and it's a good thing you do too! What a good turnout we had for this Tie Dye drop-in day! It was so much colorful fun!

Here are some quick Tie Dye tips that we've learned:

-The longer it sits, the brighter it will be! The volunteers and staff had handouts on what to do with the shirt once you get home. Don't be surpised though when your little one wants to open it right away (I know I always want to!!)!

-Make sure to use gloves! Once the dye gets on your hands it'll be there for days. I know from first hand experience :)

- You can get a number of different designs depending on how you tie the rubber bands around your shirt.

Also, today we had a visit from Vermont Cabot Cheese, yum! They were giving out free samples or cheese along with information on Vermont vacationing. Including, going to the Cabot Creamery where you can view how the cheese is made, along with free tastings and weekly specials on their products.

Here are some fun facts about Cabot:
-Cabot Farmers Creamery Cooperative started nearly 90 years ago.
-All of their cheese comes from local farmers.

-Cabot has 95 dairy farms in Massachusetts and 1500 throughout New England. So when you buy from Cabot your supporting your local farmers!

-Cabot cheese is gluten and lactose free.

They weren't our only visitors though! Mix 104.1 was here as well serving some delicious Turkey Hill ice cream sundaes!

Try this at home! Today we gave out pamphlets on trying your own tie-dyeing at home! Kool-Aid Tie Dye!

You'll need:
Unsweetened Kool-Aid
Small Plastic Bowls
Plastic Gloves
Rubber Bands

For every color you want to use, put 1 package of Kool-Aid and 1 oz of vinegar into individual bowls. Mix together until the Kool-Aid dissolves.

Pull and twist your t-shirt into different shapes using the rubber bands.

Dip the rubber-banded ends into the bowls (wearing gloves!!!!!)

To set the colors iron the t-shirt on medium high using an ironing cloth between the shirt and the iron. Let it set for 24 hours before washing. We'd recommend you wash it seperately first, just in case :)
Thanks for stopping by today! Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Curious Creatures!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"I don't want to go home!"

“I don’t want to go home!” I hear that statement at least a dozen times a week at The Children’s Museum in Easton. A visit to Easton doesn’t have to end with your visit to The Museum. There is so much to do and see. Interested in our town’s rich history?

We can set you up with a historic walking tour! If not, how about a stroll down the street to the Shovel Shop Pond? There is a walking trail that loops around the pond. Or you can hop into your car and head down Main Street to the N.R.T. (Sheep Pasture). You can enjoy the rich grounds and interact with the farm animals who live there. Across from the N.R.T. is Hilliard’s House of Candy. This is chocolate at its’ best! During the summer months, check out their ice cream. Further down on Route 123W, stop along New Pond and let the kids do some light cast fishing or just enjoy the sounds of the waterfall.

One of my favorite activities is to take my family geocaching at Borderland State Park Borderland State Park, located at the top of Lincoln Street (about 2 miles from The Museum). Geocaching requires the use of a GPS (I use the one from my car). You simply go online to, punch in the coordinates and you're off! In addition to the beautiful grounds of the park, there is nothing more rewarding than to find a hidden cache of trinkets! Geocaching is very family friendly and fun for people of all ages. Please check it out, you won’t be disappointed. There are some great caches hidden in Borderland.

Now I need your ideas. I was asked to write an article on how to transition kids back to school and I thought, what? Help the kids transition? What about us moms? Why is it that I don’t care about sand or wet things all over the house during the summer or the fact that I never run out of chips and salsa? But when school starts, I want to cut off the limbs of the child that brought the dirt in and heaven help the child who tells me they need to bring chips to school to celebrate Cinco de Mayo ! There must be someone out there who has ideas on how to keep that summer attitude all year long. Please friend The Museum on Facebook, we would love to hear your thoughts.

~ Karen Frick - Director of Visitors Services

Monday, August 10, 2009

Scarecrows and Sunshine!

Can you believe that September (and school) is just around the corner! Before you know it, it will be time for our Scarecrow Stomp! Mark September 20 in your calendars that is sure to be a fun-filled fall day of old fashioned games, apple cider and of course some scarecrow making! Check out our website for more information.

But the summer isn't over yet! There are still a few great weeks left to enjoy the season, and hopefully with less rain! Some great activities to do with kids of course is going to the beach, where you can enjoy a day of sea and sand! Another fun activity for the beach is flying a kite! The wind off the water can make for some great height for kites; also you can find kites at a variety of locations for very affordable prices in the $10-15 range. But kites aren't just for the beach; local parks, fields and even your backyard are all great places for a kite to take flight.

Also be sure to stop by on Thursday and Friday, August 13th and 14th, for our Drop-In-Days! On Thurday we have the Dog Days of Summer II and Friday we get to meet Aexeous Robot! It is sure to be a great time and we hope to see you there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Circus comes to the Museum!!

We had a beautiful summer day for our latest Drop-in-Day, Under the Big Top! Yes, the circus came to visit the Museum! Clowns, jugglers and all kinds of performers came and entertained us! Gonzo the Clown gave a fun talk about what it takes to turn himself from Robb into Gonzo! There sure is a lot to learn about being a clown, from picking the right outfit to face painting and learning to juggle! Gonzo also dazzled us with his magic tricks! He did all kinds of cool things including making an umbrella disappear and making a bunny appear out of a box!

There were also other circus performers who came to visit and they taught us lots of cool stuff about being part of a circus. We got to try our hand at being part of the circus too! There were all kinds of things to juggle including clubs and balls, we got to try spinning plates on sticks and other balancing activities that the performers gladly helped us with! Also there was a balance beam (only a few inches off the ground!) that gave us the feel of what it would be like to walk the high-wire high above an audience!

We also got to try hula-hooping! And there were a lot of hula-hoops and so many sizes! There were smaller hoops and very, very larges ones! One of the performers told us that actually the bigger (and heavier!) ones are the easiest to use!
To hula-hoop with the best of them there are a few steps you should know:
1. Stand with one foot in front of the other.
2. Hold the hoop straight out and touching your back.
3. Give it a big twirl in whatever direction you like.
4. Then just rock back and forth, using your footing as balance.
5. Have fun!!

And if you have trouble at first keep practicing! One circus performer said, “Circus tricks are about going for it and practicing a lot!” So keep at it, and one day you too could hula hoop like a pro!

Make sure you check back for next week's Drop-In-Days! On Thursday August 13th we have the Dog Days of Summer II and on Friday the 14th meet Aexeous Robot! For more information please check out the museum's website.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crazy Concoctions

What an awesomely messy day we've had today at the Children's Museum! Today was our first August Drop-in-Day, Crazy Concoctions! And boy, were there some crazy things out there! This day is to make all the messy things we can using household ingredients, and without getting your homes messy! With the help of our great volunteers and staff, we were able to make some great things to take home, including gak, play dough and puff paint! Not to mention, the free bubbles and bam-bams we were giving away. For those of you who don't know, bam bams are inflatable tubes that when you bang them together they make noise! They're loads of fun to make your own band with.

Back to the fun stuff! Here are a couple of recipes that you can use at home!

what you need:
white glue
food color or washable tempera paint

1. Combine in a mixing bowl
2 cups of white glue
1 1/2 cups of warm water
food coloring or paint

2. Mix in another bowl
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of borax

3. Combine the ingredients from both of the bowls and knead well.
**Don't forget! Gak will last for about 2 weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator!

Fake Snot
what you need:
Elmer's Glue
Food coloring or washable tempera paint (optional)

1. Add 1/2 cup of water to a 1/2 cup of Elmer's glue. Add 3 drops of food coloring and set aside.
2. Take 2 tablespoons of boax and add it to 1 cup of water and stir.

3. Add the two solutions together and mix well.

4. Store in a plastic container.

Puff Paint
what you need:
Washable Tempera Paint
1. Mix together
2/3 cup of flour
2/3 cup of salt
2/3 cup of water

2. Add in paint

3. Put it in a squirt bottle or dish to start making your favorite creations!

**Works best on cardboard or other durable material.

This next recipe is a special take-home recipe that, unfortunately, we didn't get to try today. Let us know next time you come by what you thought about it!

Cinnamon Apple Clay
what you need:
White school glue
Food Coloring

1. Mix in a bowl
1 cup or applesauce
1 cup of flour
1 cup of cinnamon
1/2 cup of white school glue
food coloring

2. Be sure to store the clay in an airtight container.

**Use the food coloring to make lots of different shades.
**Use a Styrofoam meat tray as a backdrop or base for your crazy creations!

Thanks for dropping by and concocting some crazy creations with us! Can't wait to see you all tomorrow for our Under The Big Top day with a special guest - magician, Awesome Robb!