Friday, July 10, 2009

Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

July and August are “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” months at Please Touch Museum!

With the summer season setting in and families planning vacation trips, it’s the perfect time for Please Touch Museum to teach children about all different types of transportation and how vehicles move and function! This is a great time to highlight Please Touch Museum’s Roadside Attractions exhibit where your child can pretend to be a mechanic in Please Touch Garage where they can work on the engine of a car, fill up tires with air or top off a tank of gas at our “full service” gas station.

In each of our exhibits we like to emphasize to value that play provides our young visitors. Roadside Attractions provides a great opportunity for role playing. Role playing increases social interaction by using negotiation and listening skills and helps children to safely explore the world outside of their familiar environment. Children also have the opportunity to use their imagination and direct their own trip behind the wheel of our popular SEPTA Bus.

You can also find fun and creative transportation themed activities in the program room! Kids can paint with vehicles and familiarize themselves with the different types of tires and wheels they use. Using untraditional painting utensils creates a setting in which they can learn to think about and use different objects in a new context (as art supplies and construction materials). Children can also paint their own vehicles, encouraging them to use their imaginations to depict the different vehicles, how they move and what they are used for.

Learning doesn’t just take place in the museum. We encourage families to continue the fun and learning when you leave the museum too! If you’re driving the family mini-van, pretend it’s a submarine and ask your child what they see out of the windows! Or sing songs like “the wheels on the bus go round and round,” point out different street signs and explain what they stand for, or challenge your child to identify the meaning on their own, encouraging family learning and critical thinking.

Transportation Month Booklist:

3 and Under:
Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman
Whether they are driving, walking, flying, swimming, or riding a bicycle watch these animals go and GO!
Truck by Donald Crews
A wordless picture book that follows a big red truck on a special delivery. A Caldecott Honoree.
Clink, Clank, Clunk by Miriam Aroner, illustrated by Dominic Catalano
A rabbit and his friends join together to try and get his ailing car into town in this accumulative story.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
The bus driver has asked you to make sure that the pigeon is not allowed to drive thus bus. And this pigeon really wants to drive the bus. Will you let him?
My Car by Byron Barton
Join Sam as he talks about how his car works and how he cares for it to keep it running.

4 to 7:
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
Everything from fire trucks to toothpaste cars can be found in this classic book by Richard Scarry.
Night Driving by John Coy, illustrated by Peter McCarty
A son narrates a nighttime drive with his father to the mountains for a camping trip. Illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Peter McCarty.
Roy Makes a Car by Mary E. Lyons, illustrated by Terry Widener
Based on a two paragraph tale recorded by Zora Neale Hurston, Lyons’s book tells the story of Roy, a car mechanic of exceptional skill.
The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Everyone knows what the wheels on the bus do, but what about the seals? Or the rabbits? Or the tigers? In Hort’s twist on this well known song you will find out!
Truck Duck by Michael Rex
In cars and trucks and motorcycles and blimps see how animals get around in this rhyming book.

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We're all about learning through play.

Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.