Friday, October 14, 2011

Healthy and Safe Halloween Month presented by PECO!

Hey Everybody!
It's been awhile, but I'm so excited to write to you again because we've got some exciting stuff going on here at the Museum during the month of October! All of the activities this month are sponsored by PECO. From Monster Mash and Boo Boulevard to trick-or-treating on Halloween day, they're right on board with us!

I had the opportunity to sit down with one of PECO's Energy Guzzling Monsters earlier this week to talk about ways that kids and families can help save energy. Don't worry, he's not the scary kind of monster, he had some really helpful tips!

Pinky: We are so excited that PECO is sponsoring the entire month of October here at the Museum, please tell me more about PECO’s longstanding relationship with Please Touch Museum and why PECO feels it’s important to support area institutions such as PTM.

Energy Guzzling Monster (EGM): We are excited too Pinky! At PECO, we know that area children are the regional leaders of tomorrow. That’s why we support institutions like Please Touch Museum that help children of all ages and backgrounds experience and appreciate the cultural treasures in our region.

Pinky: It’s getting chillier and chillier outside, does PECO have any energy saving tips for families?

EGM: Old Man Winter is right around the corner and now is the time to get ready! There are a few things families can do to save energy during the chilly months. Be sure to cover or remove window air conditioners and adjust outdoor light timers for length of day and/or daylight savings. It’s also time to remove screens from windows and install storm replacements.

I’m sure grownups would also love help putting caulk and/or weather-stripping on all doors and windows, and checking locks on windows to make them tighter so that air can’t get inside. Finally, making sure the proper amount of insulation is in the attic, basement and outside walls helps a lot too. Insulation helps reduce air leaks—in floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, doors, and vents helping the warm air stay inside.

What can kids do to help their parents save energy all year long?

There are definitely things kids can do by themselves to save energy any time of year! Open the curtains on sunny days to let the sun warm the room. Be sure to turn the lights out when everyone leaves a room. Turn off the TV when no one is watching it, computers, radios and stereos too. And don't keep the refrigerator door open any longer than needed. Close it to keep the cold air inside!

Why is it important to save energy?

Saving energy helps families save money on monthly energy bills. Using less energy, also reduces the amount of bad things in the air, saving the environment! For more information on saving energy and the environment, visit my website

Wow! Those are some really great ways kids can make a difference! So, what kind of fun things are you doing this Halloween?

Well, Pinky I’ll definitely be coming to see you at Please Touch Museum! I wouldn’t miss all the cool things going on like the Boo Boulevard Halloween exhibit or trick-or-treating throughout the Museum!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Summer: Sandy Seascapes

Happy Summer from your friend Pinky! Who doesn’t love summer, the beach AND sand?! Our Arts Coordinator, Nora gave me this great idea on how to bring the sand home from the beach without having to pull out the vacuum:

Sandy Seascapes:

• Piece of fine sand paper or white construction paper (any size- up to 9” x 11”)
• Oil Pastels or crayons

o Invite your child to create their own seascape by drawing on the paper with oil pastels or crayons. A seascape is a representation of a scene of the sea or a body of water (ocean, rivers, lakes or the beach). Encourage them to think about the different people and objects that they see on or near the water.

o Inspire their drawing process and the different means of representation by asking open-ended questions:
What is the best thing about summer? Who are your favorite people to spend the summer with? What kinds of things do you see in the summer? At the beach? Can you represent the beach using specific colors? Does yellow mixed with orange remind you of a sunny day in July or does blue mixed with green remind you of being by the ocean?

Find a great place in your house to display your child's artwork- in doing this you express appreciation that the work is being shared with you!
You're invited to Please Touch Museum's Elaine Wideman-Vaughn Program Room to create some artwork with us!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rainforest Rhythm All Summer Long!

Hey Everybody!

I wanted to make sure that everyone knows about the super cool exhibit we've got up at Please Touch Museum right now, Rainforest Rhythm! You can beat conga drums, turn rain stick logs or climb into a canoe and pretend to head down river. There are all kinds of fun things to explore when you're making music in a rainforest. There's even a life-sized elephant that will hold the congas while you drum!

Music is such a fun way to play and express yourself. You can dance to a friend's cool beats or work together to create a full blown band! Don't forget to check out the Storybook Cottage where you can pretend to be Goldilocks (or in my case Pinkylocks) and try out the three bears' beds, chairs and porridge bowls!

How many instruments can you spot hidden in the tree in this picture? You can play all of them at Rainforest Rhythm!

Rainforest Rhythm is on display now until September 6, 2011.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Trip to the ACM Annual Conference

Well friends, I’m back! I had an amazing time at the 25th annual Association of Children’s Museums conference in Houston, Texas. I am so excited to tell you what I learned there.

On Saturday morning I heard Lisa Henson speak! Ms. Henson talked about all kinds of wonderful children’s television programming and how her company strives to make sure that their programs support lots of fun and educational content. It was so exciting!

After Ms. Henson’s presentation, it was time for the session: Theatrical Play is Child’s Play. Alice Gonglewski, my puppeteer, let me help with the workshop! We were joined by our friend Hyla Crane. Hyla is the Director of Education at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Connecticut. Hyla and Alice worked together to demonstrate ways that our museums use theater to enhance the daily museum experience—including Playhouse shows, Reader’s Theater, creative dramatics, character interactions, and last (but not least) PUPPETS!!

Theater (especially puppets -- my favorite!) sparks children’s imaginations and encourages creative thinking and problem solving skills. We hope that moving forward, every children’s museum in the world will use theater techniques to create engaging, delightful, and magical experiences for children and families.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pinky is going to Houston!

Hey Everybody! Pinky here, I’m so excited! I’m going to the 25th annual Association of Children's Museums conference from May 19-21st in Houston, Texas. This year’s theme is “Innovation is Child’s Play” and will focus on play in the 21st century. ACM says, “Our institutions are innovators of free-choice learning opportunities that focus on building children's 21st century skills through play, exploration, and discovery. We are the inventors and tinkerers who develop opportunities that inspire children's imaginations.” This means that these are the people who make it possible for us to play, have fun, and learn in new and exciting ways! I can’t wait to meet keynote speakers Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company and Milton Chen, Executive Director Emeritus of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. I’ll also be getting a chance to visit the Children's Museum of Houston, I can’t wait to check out their new exhibit, “My Home, Planet Earth!" Check back soon to hear about my trip to ACM!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: Tuesday, May 3

We are so excited to welcome back our friends from the Delaware Valley Art Therapy Association! Volunteers from DVATA will present a program called "Free to Be Me" to celebrate National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day in the Program Room from 10:00am-4:00pm on Tuesday, May 3, 2011.

Mental Health is how we think, feel, and act when facing life’s situations. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life. Children experience a wide range of feelings every day. This activity will give families the opportunity to express themselves through art!

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.