Spring is here, everyone!
At Please Touch, spring marks the beginning of the two-month "Celebrate Stories" series in April and May, which are filled with interactive storytelling and programs that capture the magic of favorite children's books!
I spoke with my buddy Brian Rafter, Literacy Coordinator at Please Touch Museum, to get a better idea of why the museum celebrates stories every year.
Pinky: How does "Celebrate Stories" fit into the museum’s learning through play philosophy?
Brian: The museum's mission of enriching the lives of children reaches beyond providing learning opportunities through play— we want to help children build their reading skills and help families understand the importance of reading and playing together at a young age. We believe discovering a love of reading starts at a very young age. By providing literacy-themed activities at the museum, like our daily story times, we hope kids will enjoy taking part in the activities, while encouraging parents to take our ideas home with them and read to their children. It's all a part of our child-adult interactive learning experience and why we feel the museum experience is just as valuable to the adult as it is to the child.
Pinky: How do you select the books for storytimes?
Brian: Well, we try to make storytimes at Please Touch a special experience for children. Our favorite books are ones that cannot only tell a great story, but also encourage participation and interactive play. There are lots of different ways to make storytimes interactive, such as asking questions about what has already been read, or making predictions about what will happen, or even describing pictures or characters in the books. The stories also provide numerous opportunities for dramatic and imaginative play. These participatory and interactive elements help children develop their language and critical thinking skills, as well as their imaginations. Reading at the museum is just another way to play!
Pinky: What activities and special events are part of "Celebrate Stories?"
Brian: Now that the museum has expanded, we have also expanded our Celebrate Stories programming. New this year are daily interactive toddler story times, and the "Celebrate Authors" series, which celebrates the birthdays of beloved children's authors, from Dr. Seuss to Eric Carle. On each author's birthday, the museum offers special story times featuring the author’s books, along with themed art activities in the museum’s Program Room. By celebrating these famous authors, we hope children and their parents learn to appreciate books and the authors’ work.
Pinky: Wow! Sounds like so much FUN! Will Storybook Ball be back this year?
Brian: Yes! As a matter of fact, this year marks the first Storybook Ball family fundraiser, which will be held May 9 at Please Touch Museum. As always, families are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite storybook characters. The event is a great way to bring the books children read at home to life, all while developing their love of reading and encouraging creativity through pretend play! Funds raised from this year's event will support the museum's community programs.
For more Storybook Ball info, please contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org