Friday, December 26, 2014

News from the Creativity Studio!

Fabric Bound Books: 

Creativity Studio Drop-In Engages Guests in                         Creativity & Literacy Fun! 

Guests who visited a Creativity Studio drop-in late last summer learned a new skill… simple book binding.  We explored a number of different binding options, from basic yarn sewing to more advanced needle and thread techniques.  After learning about binding their pages together, kids took the lead to personalize their books.  Some children wrote stories about animals, their family, alien octopuses, a sunny day, and their visit to DCM.  Others turned their books into illustrated art books, photo albums, and even a dictionary!  This is a great skill building activity that  fosters immense creativity and story-telling as well.  

Blogger Katie Fodor is a Program Developer at DuPage Children's Museum. Katie has an MA in Art History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University. Katie joined DCM’s team in the summer of 2013.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Inside Fun for Everyone!

Are cold temperatures keeping you inside? Have you run out of ideas to help keep the children active? If you are looking for ways to keep the young ones engaged in hands-on, interactive, playful learning at home, try these easy and fun-for-the-whole-family activities!

Hallway Bowling 
A hardwood hallway can make a great lane for bowling! No hardwood hallway? No worries! Any floor surface, some empty plastic bottles and ball--even a roll of socks will work.Ten pins are standard, yet six will do. 

Play with math skills! Count the pins; subtract them as they fall; add them as you reset. You can even keep score and challenge young ones to consider how many different ways they can add to ten.

Indoor Obstacle Course
This one may be over the top for some parents, yet there are so many opportunities for gross motor development, agility, and movement right in your home. If you are a parent that allows climbing on furniture, jumping from a footstool, or climbing under the table, the indoor obstacle course can be a blast! 

This activity offers math fun too! Get out the stop watch and estimate. How long will it take Mom to get through the course? How about Dad? 

Get creative with your obstacle course design. Add a limbo section and a spot for jumping jacks. What about a reading nook at the end?


build an indoor fort, build an indoor cubby, rainy day activities, fun for kids, fun kids activities
Building forts is an               old-fashioned favorite that never goes out of style! Grab some clothes pins, a few blankets or sheets, and strap over the couch, table, or chairs. Engage the architect and critical thinker in your young one by drawing out your own blue prints before you begin. Designs can be intricate or simple. Everyone loves a hideaway! 

If you just can't shake cabin fever, plan a trip to the Museum! School's Out CampsCreativity Studio drop-ins, and our guests Anderson's Insect Zoo promise fun and learning for all ages.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Instilling a Sense of Giving

Back when no curbside recycling existed, my sisters and I used to help our mother collect recycled materials to take to the recycling center. Although this experience started me on a philanthropic path, at the time I only knew it as a way of life. We looked at the adventure as fun!

Instilling a sense of giving can start early! Children three and under are primarily focused on themselves. A sense of giving is learned by watching         grown-ups. When children observe adults share, listen, or be kind to others, they learn compassion. “Giving” can mean your time or treasures. In this season of giving and helping those less fortunate with food or gifts, you are modeling compassion! Even very young children can help shop, assemble, and wrap donated items.

Support your philanthropic ideals via picture books, too, like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Giving Box by Fred Rogers, or the classic Stone Soup.

By the time children start school, they are ready to be more involved in their own philanthropic adventures, usually centering on their own interests. A few years ago, two second graders learned about our Champions campaign and donated the proceeds from their lemonade stand to the Museum! Children’s charitable involvement contributes towards raising self-esteem, developing social skills, fostering an introduction to the greater world, and encouraging kids to appreciate all that they have.

Make giving a family affair by encouraging your children’s interests and working together. By allowing them input and decision-making, you will start them on the path of lifetime giving!

Content originally shared by Jayne Carpenter, M.S., former Early Childhood Specialist with DuPage Children's Museum. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Math Young Explorers at DuPage Children's Museum

As many of you know, XOXO: An Exhibit about Love and Forgiveness moved into the upper level of DuPage Children's Museum (DCM) in October. When traveling exhibits visit, we rearrange and adjust space to fit the needs of the exhibit components. Since XOXO offered so much, we moved several exhibits to storage and some to other areas of the Museum. Some of our Math Young Explorers exhibits moved into the Family Resource Center (FRC), a small room in the back corner of the upper level. Here we share information about the math exhibits now located in the FRC.

The Peekaboo Bridge offers gross motor skill development coupled with the fun of a childhood favorite, peek-a-boo. Our young explorers love the element of surprise that comes along with a game of peek-a-boo! Children explore geometric shapes and color as they crawl, toddle, or run across the bridge. If we can get them to stop along the way, we have the opportunity to draw attention to the identification of shapes or the way color can change the look or perspective of what we see! 

Large and smaller Lego™ pieces also draw children to make math connections. Watch spatial development skills in action with shape building/stacking pieces and Legos™. Spatial activities encourage children to distinguish a characteristic of a single object while determining the relationship between two objects at the same time. As they build, children have to consistently determine the size and shape of one object relative to another, how those objects will fit together, and if it meets the goal of what they are attempting to accomplish. Building with Legos™, and bigger Lego™-like blocks for younger ones, is spatial reasoning at work! 

In addition to math skill building, the FRC is home to several special activities including a story time with Ben Webber every Friday, Music My Way with Nancy Culp each third Thursday of the month--the Naperville Public Library also visits on select Wednesdays to host a program. During your next visit see what is happening in the FRC!