In the interest of doing our part to support the health and wellness of our community and each other, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire will temporarily close to the public beginning at 5 pm, March 14th, 2020, through the end of March. All efforts will be made to reschedule cancelled events, and all groups and individuals affected will be contacted by our staff.
Over the coming weeks, our staff will continue to work both off-site and on-site with appropriate social distancing procedures. We will take this time to deep clean and refresh our facility & exhibits, plan programs and events, and host virtual online activities with our educators to engage children and families during this challenging time.
We will continue to monitor developments and share any updates via our website and social media channels. We appreciate your support and understanding and look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum when we reopen!
At the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, the well-being of children and families is always our first priority. We take great care to ensure the cleanliness of our space and train our staff on the practices and procedures that lead to healthy and happy communities— every day.
In light of concerns related to the recent coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to take this opportunity to address the health and safety measures we are taking to protect the health of our visitors, both big and small.
1. We are committed to following public policy. CMNH adheres to the safety procedures and protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of Children's Museums, and the NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS).
2. We invest in cleanliness. The Museum has best practice standards and processes in place for the cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection of the Museum, including exhibit areas and common areas, as well as “loose” interactive items (costumes, props and other consumables). These standards include:
- The Museum team cleans and disinfects both common and exhibit areas (affixed and loose parts) throughout the day.
- The Museum undergoes a deep and thorough cleaning after hours every day by third-party custodial staff, including common areas (bathrooms, hand rails, door handles, elevator buttons, floors etc.).
- All cloth props (costumes, puppets, etc.) are machine washed daily using a high temperature cycle.
- Containers for toys placed in the mouth are located throughout the Museum and are cleaned with professional disinfectant before they are returned to the Museum floor for use.
3. We promote personal steps to reduce the spread of germs. We know that washing your hands regularly and properly is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs or flu. We promote hand-washing with our visitors and staff and have 16 sinks with soap and paper towels in common areas and bathrooms, and we provide 13 alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the Museum. We remind all staff and visitors that the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
We are committed to the safety and wellness of our museum community and will keep you informed, as necessary, regarding this evolving situation. We will continue to follow the guidance and recommendations of the CDC and NH DHHS and be in touch if any of these recommendations impact our programs and schedule.
Jane Bard, President
and the entire team at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
SICK VISITOR POLICY
The Children's Museum of New Hampshire works to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our visitors. Towards this end, we request the following policy be followed by our visitors, staff and volunteers.
A general rule to follow is that if you or your child have a fever or are too sick to go to work or school, then you are too sick to visit the museum.
The following guidelines are more specific and we request that visitors with these symptoms not visit the museum:
- Flu (headache, fever/chills, lethargy, cough)
- Conjunctivitis or “pink eye” infection
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Impetigo (infectious skin disease which shows up as small pimples that turn into red blisters in a circular pattern)
- Strep Throat (child must be on antibiotics for 48 hours before coming to the museum.)
- Any of the following contagious diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, roseola, and chicken pox. Children with chicken pox may not come until all of the sores are crusted and there are no new eruptions.
Museum staff carefully monitors our Museum facility around the clock. We clean each exhibit on a rotating schedule, have after-hours staff cleaning daily, encourage parents to identify items that may need to be cleaned, and have 14 hand sanitizer stations throughout the museum.
As 2019 draws to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on the growth and change the Museum has experienced over the past year, and look ahead with anticipation to what 2020 will bring. Even after 36 years of creating experiences to engage children in hands-on fun and learning, each year still brings new challenges and opportunities.
In the past twelve months we:
- piloted three new fundraising events – Cider Flights & Tasty Bites, UnWined Grown-Up Night and Mini Golf at the Museum. All three events will continue in 2020 thanks to their success!
- hosted our final 5K Road Race. Thanks to all the runners, sponsors and the Seacoast Road Race Series for supporting this event throughout the past 34 Years.
- transformed an existing classroom into the Lights! Shadow! Action! Interactive Classroom that now serves as an engaging exhibit with the flip of a switch.
- converted our lighting to LEDs, continuing our commitment to being earth-friendly and cost effective.
- raised nearly $200,000 for a new outdoor space, the Play Patio, slated to open in the summer of 2020!
- increased our operating hours by opening at 9am to better serve our visitors.
- served a record number of visitors and program participants – over 110,000, an 8% increase over the previous year.
- launched a new three-year strategic plan that focuses on providing outstanding guest experiences, engaging in best business practices, expanding marketing efforts and growing our audience in purposeful ways.
All of us at CMNH are lucky to be surrounded by families and caregivers who want the best for their children, helpful volunteers and generous donors who want to make a positive impact in children’s lives, passionate educators who strive to spark a love of learning in their students, and vibrant communities that welcome us with open arms.
Thank you for being part of our story and success!
Jane Bard, CMNH President
By Neva Cole, CMNH Communications Director
When I first started working at the Children's Museum of New Hampshire, I knew my mother had only months to live. She had been diagnosed with cancer and we were in the process of saying goodbye. My daughter was four at the time. My mother, ever the educator, was the first to suggest that we look into some picture books that might help her grandkids understand what was about to happen. So, on top of starting a new job, parenting a four year old, being there for my family, and processing my own grief, I now had to find picture books to somehow help me try to explain death to my daughter.
But Mom was right. She always is. I'm glad I took the time to find some of those books, because talking about death with anyone is not easy, but with kids...it seems even more complicated. Depending on their age, they don't necessarily have the vocabulary to understand what dying really means. And unless you've spent a lot of time pondering the process yourself, you might not be well equipped to explain it to them. My Mom would speak to her in her own religious terms, introducing the idea of Heaven, but with every new word comes a whole different set of questions.
But in the end, those questions are what it's all about. Starting a dialogue with your kids about what death means to you, and encouraging them to ask those hard questions, helps prepare them for something that no one in this world escapes from. We will all be dealing with it, sooner or later, wether we have time to prepare for it or not. We were fortunate to have time.
Four years later, we still talk about Nana with the same language we learned from those picture books. We even have one of those audio picture books that Nana recorded so we could always hear her voice telling us a story. Recently I met Linda Dinndorf who is a Training and Education Coordinator for a NH non-profit called Friends of Aine. Aine was established to provide bereavement support services to grieving children and families. This organization was borne out of the tragic loss of Aine Marie Phillips (pronounced Ahnya) at age 8, and the recognition that bereavement services for Aine's surviving 5-year-old sister Bella, were sadly scarce. I told Linda about my Mom's passing and how it was a struggle to find resources as simple as picture books that would help my daughter process her grief, and she instantly said, "Oh, we have a great library of picture books for all ages! We'd be happy to share some info with you!"
So thank you Linda for this wonderful list, which can also be found here on their website: https://www.friendsofaine.com/...
On this list of resources, I see some of the books that I used, like The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst, and Badger's Parting Gifts by Susan Varley, both gentle, loving stories about how the people we love may leave this world, but their memories and influence remain constant. I hope this list helps you when you need it most.
Sometimes I Feel Like a Storm Cloud – by Leslie Evans
I Will Always Love You – by Melissa Lyons
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief – by Joanna Rowland
A Child’s View of Grief – by Alan Wolefeit
Badger’s Parting Gifts – by Susan Varley
Help Me Say Goodbye – by Janis Silverman
How It Feels When a Parent Dies – by Jill Krementz
In Mommy’s Garden – by Neyal J. Ammary
Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children – by Bryan Mellonie
Saying Goodbye When You Don’t Want To – by Martha Bolton
Sesame Street – When Families Grieve Kit – by Sesame Workshop
Someone I Loved Died – by Christine Harder Tanguald
Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss – by Pat Schwiebert
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf – by Leo Buscaglia
The Invisible String – by Patrice Karst
The Mountains of Tibet – by Mordicai Gerstein
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney – by Judith Voirst
Turned Upside Down – by Karen Keesler
Waterbugs and Dragonflies – by Doris Stickney
What On Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies? – by Trevor Romain
When Dinosaurs Die – by Laurie Krasny Brown
Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You – by Nancy Tillman
Learn more about Friends of Aine here https://www.friendsofaine.com/
This summer we had a wonderful art exhibit on view in Gallery 6 here at CMNH featuring the art of Richard Haynes, a Portsmouth, NH African American artist and the Associate Director of Admissions for Diversity at UNH. Haynes' vibrant drawings ask us to use the universal language of "Love" to see how we can all rewrite a history that has not been fair to everyone.
To close the exhibit, we're doing a day of art making on Saturday, August 24 from 10am-2pm here at the museum. The day will offer lots of opportunities to make art with fine art materials, go on a scavenger hunt, a chance to contribute to a community art project, AND...listen to stories!
And because we can only do so many storytimes in one day, we thought we'd share our favorite picture books that highlight the very important themes of unity, compassion and diversity, here on our blog. We hope you check them out and share with your kids.
by Wendy Anderson Halperin
For ages 4-8
This poetic and soothing book ponders the eternal question asked in the Tao Te Ching: How can we bring peace to the world? Using lavishly detailed drawings, each with a storyline of its own, the illustrator shares her artistic rendition of the path to true inner peace.
Strictly No Elephants
Written by Lisa Mantchev and Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
For ages 4-8
Today is "Pet Club Day." There will be cats and dogs and fish but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn't understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.
Written by Sam Williams and Illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
For ages 4-8
"On the street,
when you meet,
when you eat, when you play.
Kids and animals from around the world invite readers to dance and play and make the sounds of peace in this tribute to harmony.
by Shane W. Evans
For ages 4-8
On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place - more than 250,000 people gather in our nation's capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and eded with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech, advocating racial harmony. This book combines Evans simple yet compelling illustrations and words to show the thrill of the day.
Barefoot: Escape on the Underground Railroad
Written by Pamela Duncan Edwards and Illustrated by Henry Cole
For ages 4-8
A heron, a squirrel, a mouse, a deer, and a frog all witness a pair of bare feet running frantically through the woods. The feet belong to a runaway slave trying to escape his pursuers, whom the animals recognize as the Heavy Boots. Following the animals' lead, the Barefoot is able to escape and survive. He listens for the croaking of a frog to find fresh water and observes the nibbling of a mouse to find berries to eat. Eventually he comes upon a house in the woods - but is it really a stop on the Underground Railroad? Firefly light reveals a quilt hanging in front of the house - a signal of welcome.
When Harriet Met Sojourner
Written by Catherine Clinton and Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
For ages 4-8
Two women with similar backgrounds. Both slaves; both fiercely independent. Both great in different ways. Harriet Tubman: brave pioneer who led her fellow slaves to freedom, larger than life...yearning to be free. Sojourner Truth: strong woman who spoke up for African American rights, tall as a tree...yearning to be free.
One day in 1864, the lives of these two women came together. When Harriet met Sojourner is a portrait of these two remarkable women, from their inauspicious beginnings to their pivotal roles in the battle for America's future.
Child of the Civil Rights Movement
by Paula Young Shelton and Raul Colon
for ages 4-8
What was it like growing up in the Deep South when Jim Crow laws were everywhere? How did it feel to sit down to dinner with grown-ups who planned protests between bites of Mama's creamy macaroni and cheese? And imagine walking right beside Uncle Martin and Aunt Coretta in that historic march from Selma to Montgomery - until your legs were so tired that you had to ride on your father's back. Paula Young Shelton, a daughter of civil rights leader Andrew Young, and Raul Colon take readers on a vivid trip back to Paula's childhood in an extraordinary family - the family of the American civil rights movement!
The NH Maker & Food Fest has a new date - Saturday, June 29th, 2019, and we are still accepting Maker & Food Vendor applications through June 7th. A couple of cool new things about this year's Fest:
NO FEE to enjoy the FOOD TRUCKS!
You heard right, you don't have to pay the Maker Fest ticket fee to enjoy the food trucks (of which we have about 11 so far). BUT, of course we hope you'll come in and check out all the Makers anyway.
Dover Ducky Derby
We're bringing back the Dover Ducky Derby as a collaboration with SEED (Seacoast Educational Endowment) during the Fest at 1pm. Adopt a duck and you can watch it drop off the Washington Street Bridge into the Cocheco River. The first few ducks to cross the finish line will win some great prizes! You don't have to pay a Maker Fest ticket fee to see the Derby either. Just gather by the food trucks along the river!
Recycled River Regatta
Right after the Dover Ducky Derby is the Recycled River Regatta! Basically, we're inviting anyone and everyone to craft a small boat out of recycled materials and we'll launch them off the Washington Street Bridge at 1:15pm to see if they can not only float, but survive that 20-foot drop into the water! Anyone can participate (it's FREE), and we're just asking that if you want to be considered for an award, just fill out a quick form when you drop off your boat in the lower park. You also do not have to pay a Maker Fest ticket fee to watch or participate in the Recycled River Regatta. Psst... EDUCATORS! This would make an awesome end of year project for your kids!
Museum and Park
This year we're not exhibiting any Makers across the river at One Washington. Everyone will either be located inside the Children's Museum, on the Rotary Pavilion stage, or outside in the upper park, with the food vendors down in the parking lot next to the Dover Adventure Playground.
As usual, it pays to get your Maker Fest tickets early! They're only $10 per person (ages 6 - adult) when you buy them online through Friday, June 28th. BUT, you might want to check out all the awesome discounts we have for EBT Cardholders, Active Military, Seniors, etc before you buy them online. We want EVERYONE to enjoy this day of discovery!
And now for a SNEAK PEEK at just a handful of participating Makers and Food Vendors:
Boogalows Island BBQ
In the mood for some Jamaican food? How does Jerk Dinner, Jerk-a-Rito, Mango BBQ Chicken Skewers, Pork on a Bun, or a Jamaican Beef Patty sound? Stop by Boogalows Island BBQ Food Truck for tons of mouth watering BBQ from the island of Jamaica! Accepts cash or credit.
Dover Public Library
Did you know your local library is a great resource for makers learning to expand their skills? Stop by the Dover Public Library booth to learn more about their maker space and all the support they offer to makers. Try out making a fun rainbow bubble snake while you’re there!
Sub-Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream
Not only will you be able to taste this incredible ice cream in the Food area of Maker Fest, but they’ll also be showing off the science behind their “cool” treats on the stage using liquid nitrogen!
Doggie Investigation Gang
The Doggie Investigation Gang, DIG, is a children’s beginner chapter book series that promotes acceptance and teamwork while engaging the child in mysteries that a canine team solves. All proceeds from sales are donated to PAWS New England, All Breed Dog Rescue. One or more of the dogs from the books might be available for a meet-and-greet!
Snap Circuits with UNH InterOperability Lab
Join members of the UNH InterOperability Lab, a testing lab right here in NH, to learn about electricity and STEM fields. Play with Snap Circuits and see if you can make lights turn on or spinners spin!
Have a great book idea and always wanted to publish it? Meet Author/Publisher Layne Case, AMITY Publications, to learn the steps needed to make it happen! Layne will be giving two workshops, one entitled “So you Want to Be an Author” which will talk about how to become a published author, and the other entitled “See My (Dis)Abilities” which will feature a book that addresses four disabilities as they are defined, however, through the use of photography, “redefines” them by focusing on their abilities.
Local Artist Nicole Ellis
Nicole is a local artist who “dabbles” in crafts and will be showing off and selling her paintings of quiet New England moments, as well as her upcycled, hand-sewn crafts and ornaments, wood block printed notecards, and more.
LetGo Your Mind STEM Programs
This is a team of teachers and engineers who have a passion for helping kids discover creativity through science. They use LEGO builds to help teach the basics of design and engineering! Stop by their booth to create your own magnetic levitation LEGO car that will travel down a ten-foot ramp!
Henna & Body Art By Squirrel Cat Designs
Denice Kelly from Squirrel Cat Designs is back and offering all natural henna and jaguar designs! Come learn about how henna is used in different cultures, shop henna-inspired items, or let the kids pick out a temporary glitter tattoo.
FIRST LEGO League
This is a group of 3rd -8th graders who are part of the FIRST Lego League Robotics Team, who use cooperation and gracious professionalism while coding and building autonomous robots. Learn more about how they work together to find innovative solutions to contemporary issues and then try your hand at coding a LEGO robot!
NASA Ambassadors can tell you all about NASA’s latest space missions! Stop by their booth, space out with them, and pick up some NASA swag and freebies!
Persistence of Vision with NHPBS
Come learn about animation with one of the festival’s media sponsors, NHPBS! Discover what “persistence of vision” means – hint – it’s why we see TV and movies as moving images and not a series of still shots.
Slime Buffet with Main Street Art
SLIME IS BACK! This Newfields community art center will be talking about all their fall art classes suitable for children and families, while also inviting everyone to play in their popular slime buffet!
Clay: Awakening an Earth Resource
Let Vicky Anderson teach you how to recognize, simple-test, and awaken natural clay to craft into a small item to take home.
Local artist Melanie Lovering will show us how she creates her unique nature photography/fabric paintings that are enhanced with thread!
Let Thulasi Makireddy create a traditional henna design on you with freshly mixed natural henna that can last up to a week!
oneTesla Musical Tesla Coil Kits
These awesome DIY Tesla coil kits shoot lightning, play music, and teach electronics! Started at an MIT hakerspace and funded by Kickstarter, oneTesla has been sparking interest in physics worldwide since 2012.
Eric Weiss is a professional puppet builder who teaches people how to build their own puppets. Stop by, meet his puppet friends, and build your own foam carved puppet using pool noodles and common craft supplies!
Puzzle Making with New England Tutors
These local group of tutors work to inspire, challenge, and advocate for students of all ages and all abilities. Stop by their booth to learn more about them, and to design and color a puzzle to take home!
McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance School
Dover’s own traditional irish dance school, led by former “Riverdance” cast member John Grimes, will not only be performing on stage today, but will have a booth where you can stop by and learn more about the different dance steps or maybe even join in a group dance!
One Story Houses
Erin Mawn brings her favorite books, movies and stories to life in miniature through her unique dollhouses which she crafts using mostly upcycled and thrifted materials!
Triaxial Weave Baskets
Peggy Thrasher will be back promoting the art of basket weaving and selling her baskets made from colorful ribbons that are woven in three directions with each ribbon at a 60 degree angle. This produces a basket with vibrant colors that often have the 3D “Tumbling Blocks” pattern on the side of the basket. Stop by her tables and try weaving a pine needle basket and learn about available classes at the Northeast Basketmakers Guild.
A Moose with a Uke
Join local author and illustrator Aaron Risi as he demonstrates how he draws Monty the Moose from his inspirational children’s book “A Moose with a Uke.” And if you ask nicely he might just play the Monty the Moose theme song on his ukulele!
Check out what Yvonne Martin, a Rye NH inventor has created to help jazz up your cupboards or your closet! The Kno-Bu is a fabric accessory that stretches and holds tightly to existing knobs or buttons. Play at being a fashion stylist and try it out yourself on one of their mannequin’s coats!
Sages Entertainment – Balloon Art
Kali and Wayne Moulton are an enthusiastic husband-and-wife duo providing balloon twisting and décor along with magic and balloon workshops! Watch as they create some amazing balloon sculptures to display. You may even be able to take one home if you are visiting at the right time!
Granite State Ghostbusters & N.E.G.A.T.E.
These volunteer Ghostbuster groups love showing off their cosplay gear and will be roaming the Fest again this year! Be sure to stop and say “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”
WITH MORE TO COME!
Car or Cash Raffle Winner Chosen Soon
In less than two weeks, one lucky person will be randomly chosen as the winner of the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Car or Cash Raffle. The winner will get to choose between a 2019 metallic gray Nissan 370Z Coupe (MSRP $32,995) or $20,000 cash.
The winner will be chosen at a free event at Port City Nissan in Portsmouth on Tuesday, May 21 from 5:30-6:30pm. Everyone who has purchased a raffle ticket is invited to the event, and there is good reason to come. “If you come to the winner reveal event on Tuesday, we’ll automatically enter you into a last minute drawing to win an extra Car or Cash raffle ticket,” shared CMNH President Jane Bard. “Who knows, that last minute ticket might be the one that wins!”
Odds of winning in the raffle are very good. According to the museum, as of this release they have only sold less than 400 tickets out of the total 725 they have available. “Those odds are fantastic, and definitely better than the Powerball,” said Bard.
The Car or Cash Raffle is one of the non-profit’s museum’s fundraisers. “We rely on the proceeds of this raffle as it allows us to continue offering subsidized museum visits for schools and families in challenging circumstances,” said Bard.
Tickets can be purchased online via the Museum’s website: www.childrens-museum.org now until 2pm on Tuesday, May 21st. After that, tickets can still be purchased in person at the Port City Nissan event until 6pm.
Purchasers of car or cash raffle tickets must be 18 years or older, possess a valid driver’s license and provide proof of insurance. The winner is responsible for registration, title and all applicable federal, state and local taxes resulting from the award of this prize. A maximum of 725 will be sold (50 less than last year). Raffle tickets are not tax deductible. The museum would like to thank its media partners Z107, Rock 101 and 96.7 News Radio as well as Port City Nissan for being a wonderful supporter of this fundraiser.