Friday, January 28, 2011


We just opened a new exhibit here at Please Touch Museum!

It’s called “Access/ABILITY” and it presents people living with disabilities as participants in the world. The exhibit features fun and engaging activities that show similarities and differences in how each of us go places, communicate, have fun and learn.

Some of the things you can do:

· Going Places: Visitors can explore a wheelchair obstacle course and a multi-sensory City Walk.

· Talk with Me: Visitors learn phrases in American Sign Language, type their names in Braille and communicate using pictures.

· Just for Fun: Try a hand-pedaled bike and create art using sight, touch and sound.

· Think about It: Visitors test their attention and memory skills.

· Invent It: Experience design challenges, discover multiple ways to accomplish tasks and learn how things can be designed to work for the largest number of people.

· Resource Area: Visitors can learn more through books and online resources.

Come visit, have fun and make some new friends!

Friday, January 14, 2011

View from the Top!

With Fairmount Park covered in snow in January 2011, it is hard to imagine what it looked like in May 1876…135 years ago!

It’s fun to look at things from when you are way up high…here is some information on what Fairmount Park looked like back then.

There were two observatory towers at the Centennial—Sawyer’s and George’s Hill (pictured at the right). A series of images were taken from the top of George’s Hill. (Sawyer’s Observatory was located on the Belmont plateau.)

George’s Hill is an elevated tract of eighty-three acres of land that was gifted to Philadelphia by brother and sister, Jesse and Rebecca George in 1868.

The George’s Hill summit was the highest point in the city in 1876...210 feet above tidewater. Adjoining the hill was the Belmont reservoir—with a capacity of 36,000,000 gallons of water and can be seen on the Centennial model in the Centennial Explorations exhibit in the museum!

(Top Photo: View of Centennial Grounds from George's Hill-looking northeast with Memorial Hall in the distance. Bottom Photo: View of Centennial Grounds looking east-down Avenue of the Republic.)

All Images Courtesy of Robby Cohen Collection.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hide and Seek of the Week

Your parents had them. Your grandparents had them. And there’s even a chance some of your great-grandparents had them! What are they? Lincoln Logs! These miniature notched logs were invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright. In addition to being a celebrated toy manufacturer, John Lloyd Wright was the son of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

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 would you build with Lincoln Logs?

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.