Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Girls From the Hill" perform at the Kids Holiday Shop!

The Museum was full of smiling youngsters during this year's Kid's Holiday Shop and Cookie Decorating this past weekend. Kid's got escorted by volunteers into the "kids only" holiday shop to purchase items for their family and friends. Outside the museum kids got to decorate their own gingerbread cookies to take home or eat sight on seen.

During the Kid's Holiday Shop the Museum featured the spectacular a cappella from Stonehill College, Girls from the Hill, featuring Museum intern Chelsea Santos. They performed on Sunday, December 4th at 1 & 2pm. This all female group has performed in numerous locations including, high schools, nursing homes, Christmas lightings, and Quincy Market in Boston. They perfomed classic Christmas favorites at the Museum including I'll be home for Christmas, Carol of the Bells, and Have yourself a merry little Christmas. The performance was a big hit among the audience.

The Members of the Girls from the Hill are: Melissa Brown, Holly Cardoza, Faith Castiglione, Elise Chappelle, Bethany Conway, Kamisha Ferreira, Meghan Harley, Ali Janavaris, Kathleen Jastrzebski, Bridget Kelly, and Kristina Mamoinis.

All proceeds over the weekend helped fund admission for needy and underserved kids.

For additonal information about the Children's Museum in Easton check out our website at http://www.childrensmuseumineaston.org/, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kids launch elves with an air powered E-3000 cannon!

It was certainly an elfin' good time launching elf's with the Museum's all powered E-3000 cannon on Tuesday, November 22nd. Not only did Museum visitor's enjoy this exciting activity, but so did the staff!

Visitor's were creating their own personal elf craft made out of pipe insulation. After they're creation was complete they took it over to the air powered E-3000 elf cannon created by using PVC pipes and a bicycle pump. The kid's mission was to try and hit the designated target by supplying enough pressure to the cannon. By using this machine kids got to experience the power of air pressure, and determine how much pressure to use in order to send your elf flying. BLAST OFF!! The cannon featured either a single launcher for solo flights and a dual launcher so kids (and staff) can race their elf's to see who can hit the target first. LET THE RACE BEGIN! Meanwhile upstairs representatives from Disney were at the Museum handing out activity books for the upcoming Disney Pixar film, "Arthur Christmas."

How would you like to do this at home? Visit the NASA website to Linkfind out how you can create your own High-Powered Paper Rocket Launcher. You can even play the electronic game by visiting the Arthur Christmas website.

Follow the Museum on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Best Gas Mileage in Town........for a Bus!

Does your school age child whine that she doesn't want to take the bus to school while your preschooler begs to go on the bus? Here's a bus that everyone can ride. The best part is it gets excellent gas mileage and burns some energy too.

Start with a regular cardboard box. We used the size that paper comes in. Cut off the flaps, if any, and cut a 12" X 16" rectangle in the bottom of the box, which will become the top of the bus. If, desired, paint the box yellow and let it dry overnight.

Develop cutting skills and shape awareness by having your child cut basic shapes using shiny paper for rectangular windows, black construction paper for round wheels, and red construction paper circles for lights. Point out these details the next time you see a real bus to connect the project to life experience. Smiley face or character stickers can be stuck on the windows to make it look like your bus is full of passengers.

Your child can decorate a paper plate for the steering wheel while you use a utility knife to cut two 1" slits in the top of the cardboard (see picture) and fold that piece upward. Now use a brass paper fastener to attach the steering wheel.

As your child runs around he can hold the bus up himself, or you can make suspender straps to hold it up with string, yarn, or a belt. Just punch holes and run the string through like the one in the picture. It helps to cross the straps in the back like overalls.

Now have some fun with your bus: play Red Light Green Light, draw some sidewalk chalk roads and have someone be a police officer directing traffic, or even try what my daughter did---put on roller skates so the bus can go really fast! Try to encourage creativity. One friend rode the bus down our slide, pretending to be driving over really big hills. My other daughter started a tour bus company, offering in the family tour of our backyard. You could even set up an obstacle course or a bus driver training course.

Before you know it the real school bus will be back with big brother, sister, or friend, who will want to make a bus of his or her own.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kids have a Spooktacular time at the Halloween Romp

It was proven last Saturday, October 22 that this years Halloween Romp at the Children's Museum in Easton was a frightfully good time. Children of all ages came to find a variety of decorations, games, and crafts of a array of Halloween fun.

As children arrived they were greeted by Sully and an agent from the CDA from Disney Pixar's, Monster's Inc. Sully and the CDA agent entertained the children with hilarious dancing and moves before the Halloween fun began. Outside there were numerous activities and games like melting a creepy, scary witch, invent a creepy potion concoction, and create Halloween art with sidewalk chalk. Children also caught a glimpse of where the trick-or-treating will occur later during the event.

Inside the museum the kids found numerous features, crafts, and games including a "fire-breathing dragon" craft, make your own spider hat, alien bowling, various ring toss games, and creepy creatures from Marla Isaac's of the New England Reptile and Raptor exhibit. There was also a candy corn guessing game throughout the museum, where children guessed how many where in the jar for a chance to win it all.

The last part was the popular Halloween favorite: Trick or treating. Children were led by group leaders into the "wild place" and collected treats and viewed scary features and items among ten different areas. Among these areas included a herbology area, a dragons lair, a witches station, a creepy library, a space exhibition, a two-level priate station, an area for princess' and fairies, a mad scientists labortory, and the eerie graveyard.

All in all this year's Halloween Romp was quite a success. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and new LinkedIn pages.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Golfing FORE education!

It was a beautiful 80 degree day on Monday, October 10th, as numerous families and supporters came with bright, cheerful faces playing golf in this year's Play Fore Kids! Golf Tournament. Set at the beautiful Easton Country Club this years tournament did not disappoint.

The golf tournament featured numerous activities and contests for all ages. Participants enjoyed 9-holes of golf on Easton Country Club's beautiful courses, delicious pulled-pork sandwiches from Chilli Head Barbecue on the go, a hold-in-one contest at the 16th hole for a chance to win a trip to Disney for a family of four. The tournament reception dinner was followed by magnificent fireworks to end the night. Thanks to Evolution Sports Performance, Rockland Trust, Dr. Mark Halvorsen, DMD, PC Orthodontics, and our other generous sponsors for making this event a huge success.

Check out the photos of the event and follow our golf tournament page on facebook!
All Proceeds benefited the Museum's outreach and service to needy and underserved families in the Metro South Area.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MA Local Cultural Councils Support Science for Kids

Students from Easton, Sharon, Stoughton and Taunton were able to enjoy the Children's Museum in Easton's exciting and informative science programs during the last school year thanks to funding from their towns local cultural councils.

The “Science Road Show” program at the Museum is a hands-on activity geared for students K through 3. This fun and energetic program features a fresh, new approach in teaching kids the skills of predicting, estimating, observing, and analyzing. The Museum teaches kids that science is all around them.

Over 500 students from Our Lady of Lourdes in Taunton, South School, Hansen School, West Elementary School in Stoughton, Cottage Street School in Sharon, and Moreau Hall in Easton, took part in activities showcasing various principles of science. During this fun and enjoyable program, students learned about forces and energy, fossils and bones, the strength of paper, health and nutrition, the power of water, engineering and technology, and more.

“It was an amazing opportunity to be able to visit so many new schools”, says Jane Rotondi, Outreach Manager. “We were so well received by both the teachers and the children. They loved the hands on programs we brought them!”

This program was supported in part by a grant from the Easton, Sharon, Stoughton and Taunton Cultural Councils, local agencies, which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Close-to-the-Heart Playing Cards

“Opa is the old maid!” one of the kids calls as we play with our favorite set of playing cards. The idea for this homemade set of cards with a personal family touch came from an article I had seen in a magazine when my middle child was one year old. The magazine suggested using double prints of family photos to play a memory game which would help your young child remember their long distance relatives and friends. We improvised with the idea, and eight years later the entire family is still having fun playing with our homemade cards.

I began making the cards by taking a photo of each our family members and friends at a holiday celebration. After getting double prints of the roll of film (this was back before we had a digital camera) I cut the photos to a more manageable 2”X 3” size, put scrapbook paper backing on the pictures and laminated them. Over the years we have used our photo cards not only to play Memory, but also to sort people by family and to play Go Fish and Old Maid. Somewhere along the line we lost one of the Opa cards, so when we play Old Maid, Opa is the old maid, which always brings great laughs! We have had to add cards for a new sibling and cousin, which was like a rite of passage for them to be added to the family card game. Now that the kids are all older we love looking at how cute they all were when they were younger. And if some day one of the grandparents should pass away, he or she will still be there playing cards with us.

Learn Duct Tape Crafts with Jake!

Jake Lane is twelve years old and in the sixth grade. Jake has an amazing talent that can be seen at the Children’s Museum in Easton. This tremendous talent gives him the artistic ability to make objects and different art work with duct tape. How did he get inspired to pursue this kind of art? Jake says that when he was in Boy Scout camp all of the other boys were using duct tape and he thought it looked really cool and lots of fun. He then decided to go on you tube and find videos on duct tape and the different colors you can use.

Jake spent his first summer with the museum's CIT (Counselor in Training) program. This program is designed to educate children into becoming future camp counselors. Jake is the son of Donna and James Lane. Donna is a very much respected former museum board of director. Even though Donna has left this position, her family is very active with the museum. Their other son James is also a CIT. Jake works very well at the museum says staff members. This talented young man has decorated stairs, stools, and bins. He has also created wallets, whips, money clips, business card holders, lanyards, bracelets, check book holders, flip flops, neck ties, phone holders and flowers all out of duct tape! How to make a duct tape wallet

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Part 3: How to Choose the Right Dog for You

Not only are dogs pets for people, they are also seen as best friends. If ever deciding whether a dog is the right choice in pet for you, ask yourself...do I really want a dog? Do I have time to care for a dog? Can I afford a dog? If the answer is yes to all of these questions then the next step would be to decide what breed of dog is best for you.

If you have not yet determined which breed you like then attending a dog show is an excellent place to start. Thumbing through books at you local library and browsing the Internet are also great resources. Once you know what breed you like, then you need to find the right breeder or go to a dog shelter.

An experienced, responsible breeder is the best source for a healthy puppy. They pick the perfect parents to highlight all the good attributes in a dog and to minimize faults. Getting a dog from a breeder also means that you will be able to meet its parents and get an idea of what the dog will look like when its older. Breeders have extensive knowledge of the dog and the breed. They will always be willing to help deal with any problems or questions that may arise when owning your new dog.

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. They are without a doubt cute and snuggly but they need care, attention and love for years to come. http://petfinder.com/ is a great website displaying dogs that can be adopted at shelters near you who need a loving family. The Brockton Blue Dog Animal Shelter is located in Brockton, Ma. You can visit their website or stop by their tent they will have set up at our Dog Days of Summer drop-in this Thursday. http://www.akc.org/ offers a lot of information about breeders and all breeds of dogs. If you are interested in seeing a dog, go to http://www.infodog.com/ for a show near you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Part 2: My Visit to a Dog Show

In early July, the Hockamock Kennel Club, Inc. ( a member of the American Kennel Club) held a dog show at the Crackerbarrel Fairgrounds in Wrentham, MA, where over 600 dogs competed. In preparation for our Dog Days of Summer drop-in, I decided to take a trip there to experience a dog show for myself. There were many trailers and cars set up along the grassy field where dog owners prepped their pooch for show time. As I walked towards the gigantic tent and fenced in areas where the dogs would be shown, I was greeted by a woman named Wendy. Wendy, is the Show Chairman and has over 40 years familiarity with dog shows.

Wendy gave me a tour around the fairgrounds, explaining all the ins and outs of the operation of a dog show. I saw so many different types of dogs. They all ranged in height and weight. Some had long hair while others had short hair. Most of the breeds I recognized but for some I needed to refer to my dog show guide to figure out which breed they were.

While there, I was fortunate to have met some very interesting folks. First, there was Mila. She is formerly from the Czech Republic but now lives in Plainville. Mila was showing her Rhodesian ridgeback, Lexi and brough along her two young boys to enjoy the show. Then I talked with Katie; a 14-year-old girl who has been showing dogs for 5 years. Katie was showing her Cardigan Welsh Corgi that day. Lastly, I spoke to Susan who has been showing dogs for 15 years and was attending the show with her Havanese, Renny.

The AKC website (http://www.akc.org/) offers a lot of information about breeders, all breeds of dogs as well as dog show registration. If you are interested in seeing a dog show, visit http://www.infodog.com/ for a show near you. Next...how to choose the best dog for you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Part 1: All About a Dog Show

The American Kennel Club (AKC) was created over a hundred years ago in 1884. The goal of the AKC is to encourage the showing, breeding and study of purebred dogs. With nearly 610 member clubs and more than 21,000 events that they support each year, the AKC is easily the largest non-profit purebred dog registry in the nation.

Dog shows are only one of numerous AKC dog events where AKC-registered dogs compete. Showing dogs is a sport that combines the excitement of competition with the delight of viewing diverse dog breeds. The size of the dog event (agility and obedience), vary from relatively small local specialty shows to large all-breed shows with over 3,000 dogs participating.

There are three types of dog shows: all-breed shows, specialty shows and group shows. Only the specific breeds are shown in specialty shows whereas 160 breeds of dogs compete in the all-breed shows. All-breed shows are the type of show usually shown on television. There are seven groups of dog breeds:

Herding- Collies and German Shepherds
Non-Sporting- Dalmatians and Poodles
Sporting- Retrievers and Spaniels
Working- Boxers and St. Bernards
Hound- Bassets and Greyhounds
Terrier- Cairn Terriers and Scottish Terriers
Toy- Pugs and Pomeranians

Each dog is shown ("handled") by its owner or a hired professional to be presented to a judge. The AKC also offers junior showmanship which allows dog owners aged 9-18 to handle their dogs and compete with others their own age. The judge goes by a standard for each breed. A standard is a set of guidelines covering a dog's personality, structure and movement. The judge is looking for the dog that is closest to the breed standard.

Most dogs are competing for points. 5 points is the maximum number of points a dog can receive in one show. It takes 15 points awarded by at least three different judges for a dog to become an American Kennel Club "Champion of Record". The Best of breed is the dog that is judged as best in it's breed category and matches the standard almost perfectly.

At the end of the show only one dog will be named Best in Show. There are 11 different colored ribbons a judge can give to each dog that receives an award. The color of the ribbon shows the type of award won. For example, first place receives a blue ribbon, second place a red and third place a yellow.
Dog shows are a great family activity during the summer. When the weather is nice, they are a great outdoor event and are appropriate for all ages. Look for my next blog where I talk about a dog show I visited and all the interesting people I met there! Visit http://www.akc.org/ for more information about dog shows.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hide Your Vegetables!

Making a healthy family meal that makes everyone happy can sometimes be a struggle. Especially when the veggies are met with “Eww gross I’m not eating that!” Usually, if it’s green it isn’t touched (or at least not willing). According to CNN kids are not getting enough fruit and vegetables in their diets. Only 22% of kids ages 2 to 5 meet the government recommendations for veggie consumption. And it gets worse as they get older. Only 16% of kids 6 to 11 and 11% of kids and teens 12 to 18 are eating enough vegetables according to the USDA’s MyPlate.

As part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative we here at the Children’s Museum are dedicated to helping kids and their families make healthy choices so that they can live healthy, happy lives. Here are a few ways that can help get your child to eat their vegetables (and enjoy it!).

One sneaky way to get more veggies into your child’s diet: hide it. Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry’s wife) shares how she got her kids to eat their vegetables by hiding veggies in their favorite foods in her cookbook Deceptively Delicious. The idea came to her one night when in a desperate attempt to get her three children to eat something healthy she mixed pureed butternut squash into their mac and cheese and no one noticed the difference. Now she has a whole book of recipes (including brownies made with carrots and spinach!) that she says her family loves. While it may seem like deceiving your child isn’t the way to go that’s not the purpose of these tricky treats. The real purpose is to get them to at least try those “icky” foods and see that they aren’t so bad. Healthy foods should always be promoted to children.

Another idea might be to rename the foods your kids won’t try. Dinosaur trees seem to taste better than broccoli. Kathy Evans, Easton mother of 11 year old twins, could tell you all about the power of names. Her girls, who refuse to eat salad, love the lettuce roll ups she makes consisting of tomatoes, cheese, black beans and grated carrots after one day declaring that what Kathy called burritos were in fact “fairy sandwiches.” Her nephew enjoys sliced red peppers or as he likes to call them “dragon tongues.” Cute names make meal time more fun and the food more appealing.

Kids love to play with their food but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Another suggestion Kathy had was to make a game out of eating vegetables. She gets her girls to eat different colored peppers by challenging them to figure out which color pepper they are eating with a blindfold on. In the article “The Ecology of Pizza” author and mother Sandra Steingraber suggests that hungry children are called to the table while their dinner is still cooling with steamed broccoli and chunks of sweet potatoes waiting on the table. Pretend that the family is “red eyed locusts in search of green trees to eat.” After the broccoli is eaten let the children know that orange foods can make help you see further. As they eat the sweet potatoes and test their eyesight, serve dinner. Let the kids know that eating their veggies doesn’t have to be a chore.

Here are a few more tricks to get the green on your child’s plate:

No Thank You Bite – Everything on their plate has to be tried before they can say they don’t like it. Getting kids familiar with foods can help them to develop a taste for them later.

Cook Together – Let them help out while you make dinner. If they had a hand in making something they’ll probably be proud to eat it.

Grow a Garden – Grow your own vegetables in a backyard garden and let your child help out. Just like when cooking with your child: if they feel like it’s theirs and they helped they’ll be more likely to eat it.

Veggie Night – Have a veggie night and make a variety of different vegetables so they can still make choices but there is no competition with other types foods.

Easy Options – Make up single serving bags of fruit and veggies and put them in places that are easy for your child to access. It’s the same thinking that’s behind single serving chip bags or snack packs. If it’s quick and easy it’s more likely to be grabbed out of the fridge.

Fun Gadgets – Use different kitchen gadgets like the blender or food processor to make something fun to eat like a fruit smoothie.

What are you doing to make sure that your children get those important fruits and vegetables in their diet? Let us know!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where Do the Children Play?

When you were a child how did you spend your free time? Did you spend the day with the neighborhood kids running back and forth through each other’s yards? Did you play “hide and seek” or “kick the can” or did you make up your own games? Maybe you collected bugs or rocks. Nowadays, kids have very different lives.

Today, the average child spends twelve hours less per week engaged in unstructured play compared to twenty years ago. Television, video games, and the fear of “stranger danger” are just a few factors that are depriving children of the broad range of benefits that can only be gained by free play.

We are addressing this issue by offering to parents, teachers, and community leaders a free screening and discussion of the PBS documentary, “Where Do the Children Play?” Last week we brought this program to the Raynham and Mansfield Public Libraries. Paula Peterson, the executive director of the Children’s Museum in Easton, introduced the film. After the film, she led a discussion that featured a panel of children’s specialists including Dr. Greg Nelson from Bridgewater State University and Judy Ellis of Raynham’s The Learning Loft.

We talked about how children who engage in unstructured and creative activities develop stronger problem solving and social skills. Children who spend time in nature have better attention spans, exercise more, and acquire the skills that lead to greater academic success. Judy Ellis commented, “The information is so applicable to our community not to mention valuable.”

We will continue to offer this free program to interested communities with the hopes of inspiring people to recognize the importance of play.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party

The Mad Hatter held his Unbirthday Tea Party Thursday in celebration of the museum’s 20th birthday and everyone was in attendance! Including Alice, The Queen of Heart, Twiddle De and Twiddle Dum and a lot of rabbits! Party goers were treated to unbirthday cupcakes and goodie bag made up by the Mad Hatter himself on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.
The Hair Cuttery located in North Easton in the Roche Brother’s plaza came by to celebrate and get guests into true Mad Hatter fashion as they colored hair red, blue, pink and green with temporary spray. Face painting was the next stop for those getting into the mad spirit at the Mad Hatter’s Make Down. The guests were looking great! But to complete the look one more thing had to be added at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party: A hat! Guests could make their very own in whatever color they chose to wear around the party.

Once everyone was looking their maddest the games began! The Queen of Hearts brought along her favorite game, croquet, to play with some lucky guests. Miss Candy brought something of her own as well: Rabbits! A small petting area was set up for Miss Candy and any guest who wanted a closer look at her furry friends.

Everyone got a little mad and the Mad Hatter couldn’t have been happier!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Children's Museum hosts Charity Guild Families

This year we have been proud to team up with the Charity Guild of Brockton, to provide local underprivileged children and their families FREE transportation, admission and educational programs at The Children's Museum in Easton.

Patrons of The Charity Guild (over 160 of them) enjoyed 5 FREE Visits to the Museum as well as a Family Fun Night! The program featured a mix of free play and organized age-appropriate activities for the children. The children experienced hands on learning in the Museum’s three floors of interactive exhibits, and workshops.

“The program was not solely focused on feeding the children, but rather feeding their souls,” said Lynne Stent, Office-Manager at The Charity Guild. Children of all ages were invited, and the program provided free bus transportation along with snacks, and a family-style dinner. The program was funded by a generous grant from the Clipper Ship Foundation.

This collaboration is one of numerous community outreach programs provided by the Children’s Museum every year. The Museum offers engaging, interactive learning opportunities to all children throughout southeastern Massachusetts, and is especially dedicated to providing for those who are less fortunate. The Museum provides free memberships, admission passes, event tickets and discounts available to over 40 shelters, agencies, and charitable organizations.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the children, who may not have had the possibility, to utilize the Museum’s resources,” said Nancy Gustafson, Chairperson at The Charity Guild. This Mothers day was a special program, the children made plants to take home to their mothers as hand made gifts!

“The energy level ramped up to an excited positive high within the first two minutes of the group's arrival to the Museum. They were zooming from exhibit to exhibit, before settling down and involving themselves in play and discovery,” observed Jane Rotondi, Education Outreach Coordinator at The Children’s Museum in Easton.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Exploring Art with Children - Artistic Stages

What to expect at each developmental stage

Always keep in mind

Be flexible.

Children have their own ideas about how materials can be used. Sit back and let their creativity lead them (and maybe you) in new directions!

Variety is good.
Introduce new materials to children, but do it a little at a time. It is very easy to overwhelm a young child with too many options. Give them enough time to master materials before bringing out something new.

Encourage individuality.
Supporting creativity will help children gain self-confidence with problem-solving. Art is the only area where there is no right or wrong, but many viable solutions.

1. exploration
Very young children are fascinated with the concept of making marks, when little hands holding a brush or marker hit the paper and leave a stroke. This process is a discovery in hand-eye coordination.

At this stage, children enjoy:
• mixing all the colors together
• covering the entire paper with paint
• using both hands to paint
• wearing through the paper
• playing/eating/feeling the paint

They are learning:
• coordination and fine motor skills
• how to create marks
• differences in art mediums

Encourage their exploration by:
• giving them plenty of discovery time
• talking about the scribbles they make, the colors they use, the feel of the paint

2. experimentation
During this stage of development, children attempt to draw pictures of actual things. Although not well formed on paper necessarily, these images are real in their eyes.

At this stage, children enjoy:
• working quickly to create a picture
• cutting paper
• naming and renaming the same pictures
• utilizing new coordination skills
• vocabulary words like mark, line, dot
• better use of paper space
• making glue puddles
They are learning:
• new coordination skills
• vocabulary words like mark, line, dot
• how to use paper space

Encourage their exploration by:
• allowing them time to experiment with different mediums
• letting them learn to figure out an
obstacle instead of being told how and what to do
• introducing new tools, textures,
• asking about the art process, not about the final result

3. expressionism
Children begin interpreting events as unfolding stories. Images play a major role in interpreting what a child deems is important– small images or ones with missing parts– are seen as less significant.

At this stage, children enjoy:
• telling stories about what their artwork represents
• knowing exactly the materials they want to use
• using inaccurate colors and sizes
• drawing strange, imaginary creations

They are learning:
• art does not have to reflect reality; they have the power to make it as they iiisee it
• how to make their own decisions
• the limitless possibilities of their imagination

Encourage their exploration by:

• suggesting themes if they are stuck for a starting point
• supporting their individual work styles

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chinchillas and Bunnies and Frogs, Oh My!

The Children's Museum was thrilled to welcome Matt of Animal World Experience on Thursday. After several weeks of voting for our favorite animals, the votes were counted and Matt brought in the winners!

Rudy - A Chinchilla whose breed has become endangered because they have the softest fur in the world and have unfortunately been used for fur coats. This lucky chinchilla spends her days in a safe home, enjoying raisins.

Kiwi - An Australian White's Tree Frog whose slimy skin makes him hard to hang on to. He's a great jumper and climber and was happy to take a rest on the heads of a few volunteers at the Museum!

Peanut - A Guinea Pig who was dropped off at a pet store when her owner couldn't care for her anymore. Luckily she was taken in by Matt and his wife Melissa where she is a "chatterbox," squeaking and squealing her days away.

Scooter - An Alligator Snapping Turtle who took a bite out of some celery in front of his audience and cut just like a knife! Don't be fooled by his 2" long body at birth because Scooter may one day grow to weigh over 300 lbs!

Oreo - A Bunny that was found on a campground in Connecticut. She was not supposed to be let loose in the wild, so Matt spent 8 hours trying to coax her to come out from under a deck. He was successful and now Oreo spends her days munching on apples and helping Matt teach kids about responsible pet ownership.

Angel - Oreo's sister who is known as the "Queen of the House." She is a quirky little bunny who is litter box trained just like a cat.

Hulk - An Emperor Scorpion who is the 2nd largest kind of Scorpion in the world. When Matt shined a special flashlight on her she turned green! Hulk was cool to look at, but not to touch. From her sharp claws to her venomous tail, she's not as nice to pet as a Bunny!

Matt taught the children that welcoming a new pet into your home makes it a part of your family. It's important to never set your pet free in the wild if you can't care for it anymore. There are plenty of options for a shelter to keep them happy and healthy!

"We hope that through our animal presentations people will develop respect and awareness for animals of all kinds." - Matt and Melissa

Click here to learn more at Matt and Melissa's Website or Facebook Page!

-Kerri, PR Intern

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to...US!

We invite you to celebrate the 20th birthday of The Children's Museum. Your participation and continous support in helping children and families become lifelong learners deserves applause..and cake!

The Children's Museum in Easton was founded in 1986 by four Easton residents, all mother of young children in search of hands-on educational experiences with their kids close to home. With overwhelming commitment and support, broad volunteer assistance, and donations from area residents and businesses, the Museum opened in 1991. Since then, the Museum has renovated the basement, better known as the FETCH!(tm) Lab, creating three floors of fun. About four years ago the Wild Place was added, giving children the option to explore outdoor learning opportunities. Today, over 50,000 people visit the Museum annually, including over 100 school groups.

Saturday, April 16 - Saturday, April 23 the Museum is excited to welcome two separate acts of magic and mystery, hosted by Awesome Robb of Awesome Robb's Adventures and Random Effects Entertainment's Matthew Graham. Not only may we have the chance to see a rabbit come out of a hat, we will be introduced to a variety of fun animals when we are joined by Matt and Melissa Gabriel of Animal World Experience. You've voted for your favorites, now see which animals made the cut!

What would a birthday party be without a cake, or five? Our bakery friends from Andrews Bakery, Big Y, Montillio's, and White's Bakery are baking us a cake day to make each celebration unique. We will be hosting an honorary cake cutter each day who has supported the Museum's mission for the past 20 years.

Create your own cupcakes, get some silly facepaint, or decorate your very own party hat. Whether you stop by to meet Ruff Ruffman and Smokey Bear, or just to take home your very own balloon animal, this is one party you won't want to miss!

(For a full list of April Vacation events, visit our website.)

- Kerri Welsh, PR Intern

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Exploring Music

Wednesdays are all about Exploring Music at the Children's Museum! Kerry Campbell teaches a fun, interactive class to toddlers and preschoolers centered around singing, playing, and learning. Today the children clapped sticks along to, "Little Red Caboose," recited a rainy day poem, shook egg shakers to the beat, sang a song with a silly crocodile guest, and danced underneath a big, bright parachute!

Kerry's background may be in early childhood eduction, but when budget cuts in her local school district took music, art, and gym away from students, including her son's 1st grade class, she took action. Kerry began teaching free music classes once a month for K-1st graders and as her popularity grew, so did her class schedule!

Kerry has been teaching at the Children's Museum for over a year now. She also holds classes at Julie's Dance Studio of East Bridgewater and Joyful Learning of East Bridgewater. Visit our website to plan a visit to explore music with us!

- Kerri, PR Intern

Monday, April 11, 2011

Privyet Drugu!

On Friday, April 8, our Around the World passports brought us to Russia, the largest country in the world. Russia occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth and spans 11 time zones across two continents (Europe and Asia). It comes as no surprise that Russia holds 9th place for most populated country with 141,927,297 people! With so much land, it’s no wonder why Russia his home to a large number of ecosystems and species. Its forests, steppes, and tundras provide habitat for many rare animals, including Asiatic black bears, snow leopards, polar bears, and small, rabbit-like mammals called pikas.

This exciting country comes with a lot of culture. Luckily we had Kathleen from the Russian American Cultural Center in Boston to share fun facts and yummy foods.

Kathleen shared a wide spread of traditional Russian treats, that she enjoyed during her five year residency in Russia.

Samovar – Used to provide boiling water for a variety of domestic purposes including making tea.

Prianiki – A Russian favorite, ginger bread made of flour, honey, and sometimes egg.

Blini – Similar to a thin pancake but usually served with sour cream, jam, honey, or caviar. Can also be served as a crepe with fillings such as cheese, chicken, or fruit!

Russian Chocolates – One of the best-known chocolates since there is an entire chocolate tradition!

Pelmeni – Dumplings filled with a meat or fruit, wrapped in a thin dough.

Have you ever seen a matryoshka doll? They are a set of Russian nesting dolls made out of wood. Each wooden doll separates, top and bottom, to reveal a smaller doll inside. There are typically at least five dolls in a set but there can be many more. Typical matryoshka are painted to resemble peaseant girls but animals and Russian leaders are also popular. The word matryoshka means “little matron.” The kids were able to make their own matryoshka dolls out of paper cups, as well as find the fifteen dolls hiding around the museum. They also designed and decorated their own tops for spinning!

Did you know that Jean Baptiste Lande was one of the first instructors of ballet and brought his students to Russia to perform for the Empress Anna? The students put on such a spectacle for the Empress that she decided to start a ballet school in Russia in 1738. This school was known as the Imperial Ballet School, and later became known as the Vagonova Academy under the direction of Agrippina Vaganova. Catherine the Great also started a ballet school at an orphanage in Moscow in the late 1700s. In honor of Russia's dancing routes, our intern Jennifer Moson, taught future ballerinas basic ballet positions.

Learn to speak Russian:
Yes- da
No - net
Please - pozhaluysta
Thank You - spasibo
Hello - privyet
Goodbye - do svidaniya
Goodnight - spokoynoy nochi

Until next trip, do svidaniya!

-Kerri, PR Intern

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Luck of the Irish

Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on the 17th of March. It commemorates Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. The day is traditionally characterized by the attendance of church services, wearing green attire (especially shamrocks), and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on food and drink consumption.

We decided to celebrate this festive holiday by inviting some traditional Irish Step Dancers to perform for us! The Children’s Museum welcomed dancers from The Haley School of Irish Dance. The girls were lead by teacher, Erin Blake Connolly who began taken lessons at age four with Maureen Haley, and quickly became an accomplished dancer. In her competitive career, she attained six New England regional titles and many more national and international rankings. In 2002, she won 4th in the North American Irish Dance Championships, being the highest ranked American dancer in her division. With Maureen's help, Erin passed her TCRG exam in 2005, and opened the Canton branch of the Haley School. The promising young dancers in Erin’s class include: Brenna, age 7 Haley, age 9 Maeve, age 7 Sophie, age 11 Marissa, age 12

The girls had the whole audience tapping their feet and clapping their hands to traditional Irish songs while they put on a beautiful show. To learn more about The Haley School of Irish Dance check out their website!

-Kerri, PR Intern