Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You Can Count on It! Countdown to Noon: Ring in 2011 with the Family

New Year’s Eve is an occasion for joy and celebration; observed and celebrated world-wide; Unfortunately for most kids, though, it’s also an occasion that is on the far side of a reasonable bedtime. Please Touch Museum’s annual Countdown to Noon® on Friday, December 31, sponsored by Macy’s, gives kids a chance to have their own, bedtime-friendly, New Year’s celebration. The event also provides an opportunity to reinforce important number concepts like counting, up and down, and to introduce concepts like time, days and months, and the calendar.

Join us for:
• Two countdowns in Hamilton Hall: at 12 PM and 1 PM.
• Performances by musical guests Louie Miranda and Fandango
• Art and storytelling activities in our Program Room
• Special appearances by Clifford the Big Red Dog and Stellaluna
• A family dance party following each countdown to ring in the new year

PTM will also be open on New Year’s Day, from 11 AM to 5 PM.

The confetti is ready to fly; the band is ready to play, so we hope you will join us on New Year’s Eve day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hide and Seek of the Week


It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Search and Rescue Buzz Lightyear! Kids of all ages first fell in love with Buzz Lightyear in 1995 with the release of Toy Story. Toy Story made history not only has the first movie produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar, but also as the first ever full length computer animated film. To infinity….and beyond!


Put on your looking eyes and see if you can find it during your next visit! And while you are looking high and low, don’t forget to encourage curiosity by asking open-ended questions and engaging your child in the conversation. For example: What planet do you think Buzz is from? How do you think Buzz got to be a space ranger?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Make a Joyful Noise: Weekend Three!



Throughout December, Please Touch Museum will be ringing in the holiday season with the “Make a Joyful Noise” performance series! Each weekend in December we’ll be welcoming all kinds of different groups to perform in Hamilton Hall, playing holiday songs that represent a diversity of styles and cultural traditions. There are as many ways to celebrate the holidays as there are families, and music is a universal language that can speak to all. The fun continues this weekend with two exciting performances:


Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble


Have you ever seen a handbell ensemble? Some are big and some are small – and together they make beautiful music! This Saturday, December 18th is your chance to catch the musical magic of this 18 member ensemble at Please Touch Museum. This is the last weekend of the Make a Joyful Noise performance series, so come the Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble ring in the holiday fun at 12 and 2 in Hamilton Hall!

St. Joe’s Prep Jazz Band

This Sunday, December 19th, all the cool cats will be swinging at Please Touch Museum with 2 performances of the St. Joe’s Prep Jazz Band. It’s time to see those saxophones, trumpets, trombones up close and personal - and don’t forget the rhythm section! The band will play the holiday classics for you to dance and sing along with at 12 and 2 in Hamilton Hall. It’s a party not to be missed!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hide and Seek of the Week


This week’s collections object is a set of Crandall’s Masquerade Blocks! Created by Charles M. Crandall, this comical set of eight blocks allows children to create 300 different combinations of characters!


Put on your looking eyes and see if you can find it during your next visit! And while you are looking high and low, don’t forget to encourage curiosity by asking open-ended questions and engaging your child in the conversation. For example: What costume would you wear to a masquerade ball? Or go home and see what silly costume combinations you can find in your closet.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hide and Seek of the Week


Whoa…that’s one sweet ride! Vroom….Vroom! This vintage Wyanotte Toys convertible wind-up roadster is fully loaded and just revving to get out on the road. All Metal Products Company, founded in 1920, produced inexpensive pressed metal toys under the Wyandotte Toys brand name. This classic roadster not only rolls along when its key is wound, but also features a working convertible roof!

Put on your looking eyes and see if you can find it during your next visit! And while you are looking high and low, don’t forget to encourage curiosity by asking open-ended questions and engaging your child in the conversation. For example: Where would you go on a road trip? What kinds of things do you think you would see?

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Gift of Giving Your Artwork


Introduce your child to sculpture while spreading holiday cheer. Instead of wrapping all your presents consider allowing your child to decorate the gift boxes this year!


Throughout December, in our Program Room we will be creating Gift of Giving Sculpture boxes. Kids are invited to transform gift boxes into works of art using simple and accessible materials. Here’s how to try it out at home:


Materials:

· 1 Gift Box (can be any shape or size- we have been using 4”x4” cubes)

· Clear School Glue

· Tissue Paper

· Scissors

· Markers

· Pipe cleaners (optional)

How to PLAY:

· Give your child the gift box and encourage them to draw with markers, cut out shapes of tissue paper, or paste using the glue in order to decorate their sculpture.

o Tissue paper can be a delicate material and requires fine motor skills so be mindful that kids may need grown-up assistance at times. Remember that art time is a great time to allow your child to be the boss but it also allows you and your little one to spend quality time together and have fun!

· Start a conversation: Who will they give their box to? What will they put inside that box? Ask them why they think it's good to care for others? How will they care for others this holiday season? What is sculpture? Have you ever seen a sculpture? Tell me about that!

· Next time you visit Please Touch Museum, try to point out the sculptures you see and what you like about them- we have tons!

o Sculptures around the museum include: Statue of Liberty- Arm and Torch, Arti the Elephant, Alice, and the Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland- just to name a few!

For more information on all the holiday festive fun at Please Touch Museum, please visit our Online Calendar.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Cinderella Story


On Sunday, December 5th, Please Touch Museum will be receiving a couple of regal visitors: Cinderella and the Prince! Thanks to Enchantment Theatre Company, the royal couple will be visiting PTM’s Story Castle at 12:30. We hope you can join us for a special story time and a chance to meet Cinderella and the Prince up close! To help you prepare for their arrival, here are some of our favorite versions of the Cinderella story that you can read at home:


Cinderella by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Loek Koopmanso, translated by Anthea Bell
  • Loek Koopman’s watercolor paintings bring this familiar story, translated from Charles Perrault’s original French by Anthea Bell, to life in a whole new way. The chief surprise is that both Cinderella and the Prince are portrayed as children, a novel twist that children will enjoy as they imagine themselves as part of Koopmans’ richly-portrayed fairy tale kingdom.

Cinderella by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Mary Blair
  • Beloved and bestselling author Cynthia Rylant offers her own spin on the classic tale, accompanied by the paintings of Mary Blair. Ms. Blair was a concept artist for the Walt Disney Company, and these gorgeous paintings represent some of her designs for the 1950 film.

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie, illustrated by Ed Young
  • This ancient Chinese tale contains all of the classic elements of the Cinderella story: the overworked beauty, the wicked step sisters, a handsome prince, and a lost slipper. The story will be familiar enough to all readers, but will provide a unique cultural experience for young readers. Mr. Young’s dreamy artwork is the perfect counterpoint for this story.

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Julie Paschkis
  • This wonderful book is a celebration of both this particular favorite fairy tale and the universality and joy of storytelling itself. Mr. Fleischman collects Cinderella’s from around the world and weaves them into a single, breathtaking tale. Come see kimonos and kingfishers, desert and deciduous forest all portrayed beautifully in Ms. Paschkis’ illustrations.

Enchantment Theatre Company’s production of Cinderella will run from December 7 to January 2. Click here for more details.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Make a Joyful Noise Performances Series!

Throughout December, Please Touch Museum will be ringing in the holiday season with the Make a Joyful Noise performance series! Each weekend in December we’ll be welcoming all kinds of different groups to perform in Hamilton Hall, playing holiday songs that represent a diversity of styles and cultural traditions. There are as many ways to celebrate the holidays as there are families, and music is a universal language that can speak to all. The fun starts this weekend with two exciting performances:

On Saturday, December 4th: the West Philadelphia Orchestra
This Saturday at 12 and 2 we’ll be featuring holiday music from around the world as the West Philadelphia Orchestra performs in Hamilton Hall. This super fun brass band will put their own twist on the holiday classics. Come get moving and grooving while you check out the sousaphone, the clarinet, the trumpet and lots of other fun instruments!

On Sunday, December 5th: St. Joe’s Prep Choir
We hope you like to sing, because this Sunday it's time to sing along to all the holiday classics! The St. Joe's Prep School Choir will lead us in song at 12 and 2 in Hamilton Hall. With classics like Deck the Halls and Walking in a Winter Wonderland and maybe a few you don't know as well, it's a performance not to be missed!

We'll see you there!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Funky Dance Fun with Cyndi!


You may have seen a fresh face dancing around at Please Touch Museum lately. Our new friend and museum intern Cyndi Strothers has been hard at work (and play) in our Community Programs, Outreach, and Partnerships Department and in the Education Department. Working with the Education Department, she has helped to develop and carry out dance programs on Mondays in Hamilton Hall. You can see some of the fun in these pictures!

I recently talked to Cyndi about her passion for dancing and here's what she had to say:

Pinky: When did you start dancing?


Cyndi: I began dancing when I was 3 – the first type of dance that I ever did was belly dancing with my Grandmother.

Pinky: Why do you like to dance?


Cyndi: Moving our bodies is a very important part of life. Dance gives me a chance to exercise daily, which helps me stay strong and healthy. Another reason dance is fun is because jumping and leaping freely to the music allows me to be happy and smile a lot. Also, people say that I look taller on stage!

Pinky: What is your favorite thing about doing dance programs at Please Touch Museum?

Cyndi: Dance programs give me a chance to interact with the children! Giving them different movements and introducing them to different types of sounds allows them to pretend to be any type of dancer they want to be.




Pinky: Do you have any tips for families to start dancing at home?

Cyndi: Pick a day of the week and make it your “dancing day”! Plan for at least 15 minutes for you and your child to move and groove together. Start by letting your little one put their favorite music on. You can teach them about stretching to get their bodies warmed up and ready to go. Don’t forget to reach for the sky and bend your knees for safe use of your body!

Monday, November 29, 2010

We Are Thankful For Your Art!

Here's a recap of all the awesome artwork we found in the Program Room. This past month, visitors had the opportunity to play with paints using easels in a kid-sized art studio. During Thanksgiving Weekend, we made "Give Thanks" cards where visitors told us about all the wonderful things they are thankful for! Enjoy!

Hide and Seek of the Week


This week’s collections object is the Play Family Nursery School playset! This carry-along nursery school was first introduced by Fisher Price in 1978. In addition to furniture and accessories needed to learn, the Play Family Nursery School also included all the necessary equipment to play!

Put on your looking eyes and see if you can find it during your next visit! And while you are looking high and low, don’t forget to encourage curiosity by asking open-ended questions and engaging your child in the conversation. For example: What’s your favorite part of school? What games do you play on the playground?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What are you thankful for?



Pinky asks the Please Touch Museum staff what they're thankful for this holiday season.

Monday, November 22, 2010

When I Was Your Age…


Hi everyone! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I wanted to find out some favorite childhood holiday traditions from the staff at Please Touch Museum. I decided to ask around! I sat down with Daniel McCunney, Media Relations Assistant at Please Touch Museum and here's what he had to say:

Pinky: Hi Dan! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?

Dan: That’s a good question, Pinky. Thanksgiving is a good reminder for me to be thankful for everything I have and appreciate time spent with my family. I also love the food, though, Pinky! Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals of the year – from green beans and mashed potatoes to turkey and pumpkin pie, they’re all my favorites!

Pinky: Did you have any special Thanksgiving traditions when you were a kid?
Dan: Well, Pinky, I have a pretty big family (12 brothers and sisters!), and every Thanksgiving when I was young, the entire family came together and each person helped make a part of the meal – even the littlest ones - that way, everyone has a role in making the holiday special.

Pinky: Wow, that’s a lot of people! Does your family still do that now that you’re older?
Dan: Yes, we do! My family AND our Thanksgiving meals have gotten even bigger since I was a kid, so it’s a lot of fun at my house around the holidays.

Pinky: What other holiday traditions do you remember from when you were a kid?

Dan: The weekend after Thanksgiving, my siblings and I would take out all of the Christmas decorations from the closet and decorate the entire house. We always have a good time decorating together!

Pinky: That’s great, Dan. Thanks for sharing some of your holiday traditions with me!

Dan: Thank you, Pinky! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Hide and Seek of the Week


“…Five, six, pick-up sticks!” This week’s collections object is a set of Pixie Pic-Up Sticks! Manufactured by Steven Manufacturing Company between 1940-1960, the classic game tests the players ability to keep a steady hand while trying to pick up a stick without disturbing the rest.

Put on your looking eyes and see if you can find it during your next visit! And while you are looking high and low, don’t forget to encourage curiosity by asking open-ended questions and engaging your child in the conversation. For example: How many sticks do you think you could pick up? Or simply play a quick game of pick-up sticks at home!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Please Touch Museum and United Way

Hi, everyone! Today, my friend Margaret Walker, Development Coordinator at Please Touch Museum, is here to talk about supporting our community outreach programs. Take it away, Margaret!

Margaret: Thanks, Pinky! Most of you already know that Please Touch Museum is a museum for children and for those of you who are a child at heart. Our mission is to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play, and we believe that early childhood education and play are equal!


What you might not know is that the museum offers a number of community programs, to ensure that all children, regardless of economic situation, can experience Please Touch Museum. We are honored to partner with the United Way to fund several of these programs.

In fact, you can help support our community outreach programs by making a gift through the United Way and donor designating Please Touch Museum. When you donor designate the museum (#1134), your gift will be used to support one of our famous outreach programs, the Portable Play program.

The Portable Play Program provides interactive family play sessions, parenting workshops and Museum visits for minority families served by social service agencies throughout the Philadelphia region. Portable Play takes our mission of “learning through play” out into the community! The program concludes with a staff facilitated visit to Please Touch Museum, where program participants receive free lifetime memberships to Please Touch Museum and can come see Pinky whenever they want!

If your employer has a United Way Campaign, please consider directing your gift to Please Touch Museum (#1134) to support this important program. For more information, please click here.

Please Touch Museum will continue to provide award-winning community programs, and by contributing through United Way, you are supporting imagination, exploration, and lifelong learning for all children!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy 82nd Birthday Mickey Mouse!


Did you know that Mickey Mouse turns 82 this week?! On Thursday, November 18, 1928, Mickey Mouse made his debut in "Steamboat Willie" at the Colony Theater in New York.

To celebrate his big day, we have on loan a small sampling of JoAnn and Tom McDonnell's collection of Mickey Mouse objects. Tom and JoAnn are two the friendliest faces you will see at Please Touch Museum! You may know JoAnn from when you first enter the building at the admissions desk, or you may also have seen one of Tom McDonnell’s Magic Shows in the Please Touch Playhouse Theater. I had the chance to sit down with JoAnn McDonnell, Admission-Volunteer Supervisor, and she told me a little bit more about her awesome collection:

Pinky: I really love your collection of Mickey Mouse! How long have you been collecting everything "Mickey?"


JoAnn: I have been collecting since 1987, so it has been over 20 years. We now have thousands of Mickeys!


Pinky: That’s amazing! What made you want to start a collection?


JoAnn: We went to Disney with my children and really fell in love. We would buy small Mickey Mouse objects here and there then the collection grew. Friends would find out we liked Mickey Mouse and would give Mickeys to us, especially the ones related to magic because as you know Tom is a magician.


Pinky: What does your collection mean to you and your family?


JoAnn: For us it represents happy memories that we shared with family- many happy memories! It’s not just about buying Mickeys; it’s something that has to do with our family. You may see the Philadelphia sports Mickeys because our family likes the Phillies and the Flyers. Mickeys are everywhere in our house and a part of every holiday!

Pinky: I had a lot of fun seeing your part of your collection. Thanks for sharing!

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.