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