The Museum Blog

Category: Learning

First Friends at Home: Our Favorites!

By Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator

This week I shared some tried and true Baby Storytime favorites! I hope you enjoy!!

Hello Song:

Hello it’s time to play
Let’s have some fun today!
Let’s clap our hands
And wiggle our toes
A hug...and a kiss...and away we go!

Hello (insert name here) it’s time to play
We’ll have so much fun...hooray!

Open Them/Shut Them (action song)

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Give a little clap-clap-clap

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Lay them in your lap-lap-lap
Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them
Right up to your chin-chin-chin

Open up your little mouth…
But do not let them in!

Sugar Babies (action rhyme)

Roll, roll sugar babies
Roll, roll sugar babies
Push! Pull! Clap-clap-clap!

“ “
Hot! Cold! Clap-clap-clap!

“ “
Up! Down! Clap-clap-clap!

Little Bird (action song/bounce)

Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I saw a little bird go hop-hop-hop
I asked that little bird to stop-stop-stop
I went to the window to say: How do you do?
He wagged his little tail at me and away he flew!

Popcorn (bounce)

Popcorn, Popcorn
Sizzling in the pan
Shake it up, shake it up
Bam! Bam! Bam!

Popcorn, Popcorn
Now it’s getting hot
Shake it up, shake it up
Pop! Pop! Pop!

Colors in the Air (prop song)

Colors, colors
Colors, colors
Floating in the air!
Floating in the air!

Red, Orange, Yellow
Green, Blue, Purple

Floating in the air!
Floating in the air!

Goodbye Rhyme (action rhyme)

This is big, big, big
And this is small, small, small
This is short, short, short
And this is tall, tall, tall!

This is fast, fast, fast
And this is slow, slow, slow
This is yes, yes, yes
And this is no, no, no

This is hi, hi, hi
And this is bye, bye, bye!

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Wacky Art: Windsock Craft

By Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator

I love this windsock craft! It’s an art project that is accessible to all ages and abilities - and you get to sneak in a little bit of science. Here’s how to make your own windsock:

Materials Needed:

  • Paper (printer paper, cardstock, construction paper, etc)
  • Markers or crayons
  • Crepe paper streamers or tissue paper cut into long strips
  • Tape or glue
  • A stapler
  • A hole punch or scissors
  • String or yarn

Directions:

  1. Invite little ones to decorate their piece of paper with the markers or crayons. If you have stickers or stamps, you could use those, too!
  2. Once their paper is all decorated, flip it over so that you are looking at the back
  3. Tape or glue the streamers onto the bottom end of the paper
    1. If you used glue, give it a few minutes to dry
  4. Pick up the paper and curl it into a tube/windsock shape
  5. Staple on the top and the bottom
  6. Hole punch or cut small holes on either side of the top
  7. Put your string through the holes
  8. Hang up your windsock!

The Science:

  • The science behind windsocks is pretty simple...if you put your windsock outside, you’ll be able to tell a few things:
    • If the wind is blowing
    • How much the wind is blowing
    • Which direction the wind is coming from!

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Marching to Your Own Beat: Books for Cool Kids & Parents

by Taylore Kelly, CMNH Graphic Designer and Communications Specialist

If you and your children march to the beat of a different drummer, have we got a list of picture books for you. After much research and a lot of fun, we came up with ten books that speak to the modern inner rebel, artist, musician, and trickster. Each story is filled with messages for big and small people and poignant art. 

Dadusedtobecool

My Dad Used to Be So Cool, by Keith Negley

This is a very thought-provoking, moving book about a boy who sees hints of his father’s former life. Rock-bands and motorcycles! Who knew Dad used to be so cool!? The story is combined with many colorful and vibrant illustrations and will resonate with all, the young, the middle, and the old(er).


Urbanbabies

Urban Babies Wear Black, by Nathalie Dion

First off this book has amazing, stylish art by Nathalie Dion. The truth MAY be that no child will REALLY identify with this book in words, however if parents enjoy reading this board book, the baby will appreciate the effort. The message may appear to be that urban babies do all sorts of cool things, but what comes across is that the babies in this book do things with their parents, and that's what makes them the coolest!


Tatoostory

Tell Me a Tattoo Story, by Alison McGhee & Elizabeth Wheeler

This is a beautiful story about a father sharing his life stories, and memories with his son. But instead of flipping through a photo album together, we see his life and loves come alive in his description of his tattoos - a statement of family love. It dispels the myth that only certain types of people have tattoos. It’s a love story you won’t regret reading.


Punk

What is Punk, by Eric Morse and Anny Yi

This little diddy is a pop-culture primer. The history of punk rock is told in clever rhyming that will delight little readers and amuse parents. Anny Yi's phenomenal 3D-clay illustrations are pure perfection and bring this world to life. Readers of all ages will have so much fun. You can read this in less than 5 minutes, to your child and, maybe, play the music! Teach 'em young!


Warhol

Where's Warhol, by Catharine Ingram and Andrew Rae

This beautiful and fun book shares art history and pop culture! Instead of trying to spot "Waldo" you get to try to spot Warhol and friends. In the process, discover figures such as artist Rachel Whiteread, potter Josiah Wedgwood, novelist Gustave Flaubert and architect/designer Walter Gropius who appear alongside the likes of rappers The Beastie Boys, actor John Travolta, singer Madonna, and even Yoko Ono and John Lennon!


Nopictures

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

If there is one thing kids like even better than pictures, it’s nonsense words. Hearing nonsense words read aloud by your parents is top tier! We had a hard time not collapsing into fits of giggles and barely made it past “a hippo named Boo Boo Butt”.


Goodnightvader

Goodnight Darth Vader, by Jeffrey Brown

There are really no words actually needed to describe this book, BUT this whimsical bed time romp through everyone’s favorite space fantasy highlight’s superb artistic talents & goofy sensibilities. This makes a great bedtime treat for any Star Wars devotee.


Goodnightipad

Goodnight iPad: a Parody for the Next Generation, by Ann Droyd  

This short, sweet book highlights our dependence on technology and the usefulness of knowing when to put it down. This closely follows the cadence, rhyme, and illustrated scene sequencing of the original "Goodnight Moon", by Margaret Wise Brown. However, it makes serious fun of our addictions to bright, noisy, digital media. This book will hit a home run with parents of school-aged kids today!


Triangle

Triangle, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klasen  

This book brings a quirky, clever tale to life. It’s a silly story about friends playing tricks on each other. A truly fun and simple story that will connect with kids, but also have adults smiling at the antics and conclusion.


Bewareoffrog

Beware of the Frog, by William Bee

A great picture book for older kids perhaps as this story starts out very sweet, but has some twists along the way and a surprise ending! It’s the twists and turns that make this story great! A perfect blend of sweet and funny. Great illustrations and a hiding snail to find on each page!

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Wacky Art: Raised Salt Paintings

By Colie Haahr, CMNH Educator

This fun art project can double as a science project! Kids make designs with liquid glue, add salt, then carefully add some colors and watch what happens! The liquid water colors should be absorbed by the salt, and move along the glue and salt design right before your eyes!

Materials Needed:

  • Card stock or thick paper, construction paper works
  • Tray or plate work surface
  • Salt in a dish with a spoon to scoop it
  • Liquid glue - that kids can use on their own
  • Liquid watercolors or food coloring mixed with water
  • Pipette, eye dropper, or spoon

Directions:

  • First, make a design on the cardstock using only glue- lines work well!
  • Next, add salt to the glue so that the glue design is covered in salt. Gently pour the extra salt back onto your tray or into the trash. Similar to what you would do with glitter and glue- you want the salt covering all of the glue
  • Use the pipette to carefully add colors to your design. Only add a little bit of color at a time so you can see the colors move. Only add color to the glue.
  • The color should magically spread on your design as the salt absorbs the liquid
  • Let your project lie flat to dry, otherwise the colors will spread where there is no glue!

Experiment:

  • Here are a few ideas you can try to make this art project into an experiment:
  • Try using different kinds of salt, and see which kind works best (larger or smaller grains). Make a prediction before you try each one!
  • Try this project with sugar and with salt (use the same design for each), and see which works better, or if sugar works at all. 
  • Try color mixing by using primary colors to do the project. Can you get them to mix? Why or why not? 

Links:

www.cbc.ca/parents/play/view/art-science-salt-glue-watercolour-experiment 

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Walking Rainbow Experiment

Walking Rainbow

By Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator

We share a lot of different science experiment projects at CMNH. Many of these experiments have instant results - things like vinegar and baking soda bubbling, popcorn dancing, and invisible ink appearing. What I really like about this “walking rainbow” experiment is that it takes some time to see the results (as in, it takes hours to fully see the results!) Although it may not be as exciting in the moment, it is a perfect experiment to practice making predictions and thinking like a scientist. It really gives young scientists time to think and hypothesize and even change their guesses throughout the day. 

To make your own rainbow you will need:

  • 7 clear cups--these can be glass or plastic, just make sure they are perfectly clear (not colorful)
  • Water
  • 6 paper towel pieces (this could be three large sheets cut in half, or 6 of the little half sheets)
  • Primary colors of food coloring or liquid watercolor

Set-up:

  1. Set out the 7 cups in a line
  2. Fill cups 1, 3, 5, & 7 about halfway with water
    1. Leave cups 2, 4, & 6 empty
  3. Fold your six paper towel pieces in half lengthwise and then in half again. Take that long skinny strip and fold it in half so that it can stand up in the cups (pictured above)
  4. Invite young scientists to help you add some food coloring to the cups. 
    1. Ask them--what is the first color of the rainbow? Red! Add about 6 drops of red food coloring to the first cup.
    2. What is the second color? Orange! That cup is empty though, so we will skip that one. 
      1. Add yellow to the 3rd cup
      2. Skip the 4th cup (green)
      3. Add blue to the 5th cup
      4. Skip the 6th cup (purple)
      5. Add red to the 7th cup and ask your scientists why they think you may have done that…!
  5. Next, carefully place your paper towel pieces in between each cup so that they are resting in the colorful water. 

That’s it for set up! Now it’s time to think like a scientist!

Ask your young scientists…

  • What do you think will happen with the cups?
  • Why do you think we left some cups empty?
  • What do you know about primary colors?
    • How do you think what you know about primary colors (that they make secondary colors) will come into play in this experiment?
  • What do you notice is already happening with the paper towel pieces and the water?

Feel free to have your scientists write or draw what they are seeing!

This experiment will take awhile to completely finish and make the rainbow design. It’s a good idea to either do this experiment at night before bedtime, make some predictions, and then wake up and see the walking water rainbow. You could also do this experiment first thing in the morning and then watch it change all day long!

Have fun making a walking rainbow and thinking like scientists! 

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Wacky Art: Tin Foil Printmaking

By Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator

This printmaking is so fun and easy to do with materials you probably already have at home! The best part is it can be done over and over again with very little clean-up in between! Here’s how to get started:

Materials Needed:

  • Piece of paperboard (like a cereal box) or cardboard, slightly bigger than an average piece of paper (10in X 12in-ish)
  • Piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to cover the paper/cardboard. If needed, you can use two seperate pieces to cover the board
  • Tape
  • Acrylic or tempera paint
  • Cardstock, printer, or construction paper
  • A paintbrush
  • Q-tips
  • Paper towels or old kitchen rags

Directions (prep):

  • Make your printing board
    • Cut your piece of paper/cardboard to the appropriate size
    • Cover with aluminum foil
    • Fold the foil over the piece of cardboard and tape on the back so it does not move around
  • Prep/gather paint, brushes, q-tips, paper towels, etc

Directions (activity):

  • Drizzle a small amount of paint onto your printing board
    • NOTE: Start with quite a small amount, you do not want too much paint on there for this activity--you can always add a bit more!
  • Use the paintbrush to spread it out across the printboard so it is completely covered
  • Use q-tips to quickly draw designs and pictures directly into the paint
    • NOTE: Do this fast! Since you are using such a small amount of paint, it will dry quickly
  • Place a piece of paper onto the painted printboard and gently press down
  • Peel away to reveal your print!
  • Use a damp paper towel to clean your printboard, dry it off, and try again!

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First Friends: BIG and small

By Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator

Hello Song:

Hello it’s time to play
Let’s have some fun today!

Let’s clap our hands
And wiggle our toes
A hug...and a kiss...and away we go!

Hello (insert name here) it’s time to play
Hello (insert name here) it’s time to play
Hello (insert name here) it’s time to play
We’ll have so much fun...hooray! 

Open Them/Shut Them (action song)

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Give a little clap-clap-clap

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Lay them in your lap-lap-lap

Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them
Right up to your chin-chin-chin
Open up your little mouth…
But do not let them in! 

Five Little Kittens (action rhyme)

Five little kittens standing in a row,
They nod their heads to the children so!

They run to the left,
They run to the right
They stand and stretch in the bright sunlight!

Along comes a dog who’s looking or some fun…
ME-OW! See those little kittens run! 

Sugar Babies (action rhyme)

Roll, roll sugar babies
Roll, roll sugar babies
Push! Pull! Clap-clap-clap!

“   “
BIG! Little! Clap-clap-clap!

“   “
Up! Down! Clap-clap-clap!

The Royal Duke of York (bounce/movement rhyme)

The royal duke of york,
He had 10,000 men,
He marched them up the mountainside
And marched them down again!

Oh, when you’re up you’re up
And when you’re down you’re down
And when you’re only halfway up…
You’re neither up nor down! 

Hurry, Scurry, Little Mouse (action rhyme/tickle)

Hurry, scurry, little mouse
Starts down at your toes…

Hurry, scurry, little mouse
Past your knees he goes... 

Hurry, scurry, little mouse
Past where your tummy is…

Hurry, scurry, little mouse…
Gives you a mousey kiss!

Shake your shaker! (prop song)

If you’re happy and you know it, shake your shaker...one time! ONE!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake your shaker...two times! ONE! TWO!
If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it
If you’re happy and you know it, shake your shaker...three times! ONE! TWO! THREE!

If you’re happy and you know it, shake your shaker...four times! ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake your shaker...five times! ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE!
If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it
If you’re happy and you know it, shake your shaker!!!

Goodbye Rhyme (action rhyme)

This is big, big, big
And this is small, small, small

This is short, short, short
And this is tall, tall, tall!

This is fast, fast, fast
And this is slow, slow, slow

This is yes, yes, yes
And this is no, no, no

This is hi, hi, hi
And this is bye, bye, bye! 

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Science Magic: Secret Rainbow

By Colie Haahr, CMNH Educator

This project is fun and easy, and only requires a little bit of prep ahead of time. Kids will enjoy magically making a rainbow appear by adding water to a paper towel. This activity is fun on its own, or it can be set up as an experiment that they can try a few times and record the results.

Materials Needed:

Paper towels
Washable markers
Black permanent marker
Cup for water
Tray or plates 
Pipette, eye dropper, or small spray bottle
Optional: Different brands of markers, highlighter, permanent markers, pencil, pen 

Directions:

  • Prep ahead: This project requires some prep ahead if you want to create a truly “secret” rainbow! You can create more sheets for kids to try as you go if they enjoy the activity! -Use a water based marker to create a rainbow on a paper towel. Remember ROYGBIV! 

-Thin lines work well for this- do not make them too thick because you need to cover them with permanent marker

-Use a black permanent marker to carefully draw over each line, hiding the colorful lines under the dark lines. 

-Optional: create shapes that are different colors, and use the same process to cover them with permanent markers. 

-Optional: Set up the color mixing part of the activity the same way coloring two circles next to one another in primary colors (red and yellow, red and blue, and yellow and blue)

  • Place one of the prepared paper towels onto a plate or tray that is okay to use for an art project (it may get marker ink on it!), with a cup of water and pipette or spray bottle
  • Make a prediction- ask: what do you think will happen when we add water?
  • Ask kids to slowly add some water to the picture
  • The rainbow will “magically” appear when the water based marker dye spreads, and the permanent ink stays in place
  • Try the same method with color mixing, or the colors hidden behind shapes
  • Let the artwork dry completely, and some of the dye will stay on the paper towel once it dries. Too much water can cause the color to wash out completely
  • Alternatives: This also works with a tray of water, and kids can carefully place the paper towel in the water and watch what happens. 

-Make an experiment! To make this a true experiment, try using different types of writing utensils, like markers, pens, pencils, highlighters, etc., and testing each one to see if water changes anything. Compare different brands of markers to see which ones work the best. Make predictions and write down the results! 

Science Information: 

For this activity there were two types of markers used, and they were made of different types of dyes or inks. One was water soluble, and one was not. If the experiment went as planned, the water based markers should have spread color out on the paper towel. These markers have dye that is water soluble, which means that it is able to dissolve in water. 

The permanent marker has a different kind of ink or dye, and it is not water soluble, which means that water will not wash it away. The permanent marker is alcohol based, so it will dissolve in alcohol. If rubbing alcohol were added to the paper towel, it may have changed the permanent marker, but because only water was added, the permanent marker stayed the same.  

The paper towel also played an important part in making this activity work. This activity did not work well on other types of paper, like card stock and copy paper. Paper towels are absorbent, and designed to absorb or suck up liquids. If the paper were waxed paper or something similar, the water would bead up into droplets because water molecules like to stick together. Water molecules still like to stick together on paper towels, but there are tiny air pockets in paper towels, and a soft cellulose material that allows the water molecules to move around the paper towel together. 

References:

https://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/how-do-paper-towels-absorb-water.php

https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/surprise-rainbow-activities/

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