Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Family Features at DCM

Friday evenings at the Museum are more "eventful" than ever before with the launch of our new Family Feature initiative.

On Friday, October 4, we celebrated Fairy Tale Fest, the first event in the Family Feature series, and we pulled out all the stops! Guests were greeted with treasure maps, where “X” marked the spot to all the evening’s special activities. Each of our Neighborhoods was transformed to include storybook-themed activities ranging from creating sparkly treasure trinkets and lush pouches, to a shadow puppet show of The Bremen Town Musicians, and an interactive reading of Stone Soup. Even our S.M.A.R.T. Café got into the theme, featuring Jack ‘O’ Lantern Spice flavored popcorn and a hands-on cookie decorating craft.

Visitors also had the opportunity to join our #purplechairclub by uploading their photo taken in our famous purple chair decked out with storybook-themed props. Other activities included face painting, boat building, and most fun of all – children dressed to the nines in their favorite storybook character costumes!

Checkout all the fun here!

Family Features are scheduled throughout the year with activities, performances, and special experiences not available on a typical Museum visit. Events are set during the Museum’s extended hours on Friday nights from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Join us for our next Family Feature: Create! Giftable Crafts on Friday, December 6 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. for an evening of cozy crafting. Come dressed in your comfiest pajamas, enjoy toasty treats from our S.M.A.R.T. Café, and create handmade masterpieces perfect for giving to extra-special loved ones. This event will feature both free and ticketed activities. Check our website for more details as they become available

This post is written by Kristy Markovik, Membership and Community Relations Coordinator at DuPage Children's Museum. She has enjoyed her time in the Museum's marketing department since 2012 and loves meeting members and visitors at the many community events she attends!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Science, Fun, and Edible Finger Paint

What happens when your grasp is not quite tight enough to grip and hold a paint brush? What if you are eager to explore color with your hands and fingers?  How about when coordination and dexterity are not quite developed so you tap your hands to explore textures and surfaces?  Finger painting is the answer!

Making finger paint can be a fun way to engage children in a science experiment and show that not everything needs to be bought at the store. You may even have the ingredients for finger paint readily available in your kitchen. Try this recipe to create a fun, engaging, and useful product right at home!

Finger painting at home with edible paint
2 c. Corn Starch
1 c. Cold Water
4.5 c. Boiling Water
Food coloring

Children can mix the cornstarch and cold water. For safety, an adult adds the boiling water and stirs the mixture until it becomes the texture of custard. Let mixture cool and separate into small jars. Add food coloring, dip your hands in, and create your own masterpiece!

DuPage Children's Museum’s Family Fun Friday Nights offer many unique, engaging, and FUN! activities for you and your family.  Join us for All About Animals tonight! Meet the folks from Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and Dog Patch Pet and Feed for an up-close view of snakes, bearded dragons, rats, and a puppy! Then join students from the Naperville Central High School Art Club to create hybrid animals like mythical beasts or ones of your own invention!      

Take a look at the DuPage Children's Museum calendar for future Family Fun events!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Finger Painting for the First Time

Visitors to the Creativity Studio often ask if their children are old enough for the drop-in activity. The process of art making, including the handling of a variety of materials and the sensory exploration involved is beneficial to all ages of children. Although we want to consider safety with the materials, we encourage exploration!

During our week of finger painting, James W., six months old, came into the Studio with his older brother and mother (Nicole).  James was in a front sling ready to participate! Nicole sat with James and encouraged him to explore the paint, slap the paper, and see the marks that he was creating. Making art is a series of actions and/or decisions that have a specific outcome. For anyone observing James the sheer pleasure of putting both hands into the sticky, wet material and changing a blank white paper to one covered in marks was obvious.

Nicole’s choice to sit at the table where James would have paint within reach and also place herself in a position of getting covered in paint is a testament to her ability to facilitate James’ experience. The success of most experiences we have with our children depends largely on how we facilitate their experience. As parents and educators/facilitators, we strive to foster an interest in exploring our world around us and to encourage our children to be active participants. 

Rachel Davis is our guest blogger and Program Developer with DuPage Children's Museum. The  Creativity Studio is open for drop-in programs from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., Monday - Saturday and 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., Tuesday - Sunday. We look forward to seeing you!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Making the Most of Your Visit: Creatvity Connections

Seize your chance to make the most of DCM's Creativity Connections Neighborhood.  In November, Monumental, an exhibit that focuses on architecture in our world, is moving into this space. In the meantime, how can you make the most of your visit to our Creativity Connections Neighborhood? Enjoy all things light, color, and shadow in exhibits that engage the senses through textures, sights, and sounds!

In our multisensory room you will find a beautiful mosaic that engages the eye and your hands! Observe by looking, touching, and exploring how the colors pop out of the carefully placed pieces of rescued ceramic.

In the Creativity Connections Young Explorers area, our youngest visitors can explore bumpy, smooth, rough, and reflective fabrics.  Using adjectives that describe what the children are feeling as they run their hands over these surfaces can help to increase their vocabulary.  Young ones can become especially engaged when they are able to feel as they explore—the use of describing words can add an extra benefit to the experience!

Shadows are science! Shadows are blocked light. Use our shadow and Building a Town exhibits to introduce conversations about day and night!

Take a peek at the Dot Wall and observe how small dots can become BIG, magnificent works of art.

DCM’s Room for Rhythm offers many opportunities to explore sounds and patterns. Using the mallets and flap boards to tap the metal drums ask, “What happens when you strike the drum?” Suggest that the child tap gently; then help the child use comparative language to describe the difference in sounds.  This encourages exploration in the science of sound as well as good old cause and effect!

Visit Creativity Connections soon—Monumental is set to be installed by mid-November. Look for more on making the most of your visit in coming weeks!