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