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.
Children’s Museum of NH’s Final 5K Road Race in 2019
The Children’s Museum of NH’s 5K Road Race had a good 34 year run, but is now coming to the finish line. Saturday, May 4th, 2019 will be the last road race organized and hosted by the museum, which is the first race in the Seacoast Road Race series.
“When we first started this race in 1985, it was one of our very first fundraisers, and it happened to be at the beginning of the road race movement,” shared CMNH President Jane Bard. “At that time, and in the many years that followed, it served as a wonderful community resource, and we are so grateful to all our participants, sponsors, and Seacoast Road Race Series partners for making it such a fun and festive event over the years.”
However, with the increased number of road races available to runners in the area “it no longer seems like it is the best use of our time and efforts,” shared Bard. “With our mission being focused on actively engaging families in hands-on discovery, we feel our other numerous events and programs better serve that function.”
“It was not an easy decision,” said Bard. “This year, our 35th anniversary year, we spent a lot of time looking back over our history, but also reflecting on the paths we want to blaze in the next 35 years. Change is tough, but it’s necessary!”
Those new future paths may include an event that reflects the popular Kid-venture Course that was developed as a silly obstacle course for kids ages 1-10 and happens the same morning as the 5k. “Our participation in the Kid-venture Course continues to increase each year, so that tells us a lot,” said Bard. “We’re also planning to repeat some popular new fundraising events that we debuted this year like Cider Flights & Tasty Bites and Mini Golf in the Museum.”
For those runners or walkers of all ages hoping to enjoy our race one final time as we say goodbye to this signature event, discounted $22 online registrations are being accepted through Friday, May 3rd, or you can register at the race itself on Saturday, May 4th for $25. The certified 5k course through downtown Dover starts at 9am at the intersection of Central Avenue, Washington Street and Henry Law Avenue. The Kid-venture Course, which has a superheroes theme this year, will take place in lower Henry Law Park at 9:50am, and discounted online registration costs $8 in advance or $10 on race day. The morning features a festive atmosphere full of awards and prizes, activities with some of our sponsors, and great food including La Festa Brick oven pizza, Panera baked goods, Terra Cotta Pasta pasta salad, RiverBend sandwiches, a top-your-own yogurt bar, water and granola bars sponsored by Hannaford, fresh fruit and more!
To learn more or to register, visit www.childrens-museum.org/things-to-do/events/5k-road-race-fun-run. The museum thanks it’s 2019 5K Road Race premiere sponsor Sprague, as well as Event Sponsors Relyco, Weathervane, Willem Verweij Physical Therapy, La Festa Brick & Brew Pizzeria, Seacoast Spine & Sports Injuries Clinic and Berwick Academy, and Supporting Sponsors Bob’s Discount Furniture, Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A., Calling All Cargo Moving & Storage, Dover Honda, FORMAX, Hannaford, RiverBend Pizza and Subs, Runner’s Alley, Terra Cotta Pasta, and Wing-Itz.
Six Children’s Books To Celebrate International Women’s Day 2019
Friday March 8th marks International Women’s Day 2019. In celebration we’ve compiled together a list of six children’s books that honor and empower strong women.
Grace for President
Written by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Grade Level: 1, 2, 3
Genre: Fiction, Hybrid
New York Times Bestseller
An introduction to the American electoral system, Grace for President tells the story of fourth grader Grace Campbell. Upon learning that America has never had a female president she decides to become the first, launching her political career by running in her school’s mock election.
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World
Written by Chelsea Clinton, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Grade Level: PreK, K, 1, 2, 3
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
New York Times Bestseller
In She Persisted, Chelsea Clinton outlines 13 American women who have helped shape the country through hard work and persistence. Featured figures include Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, and Oprah Winfrey. The success of She Persisted as a New York Times Bestseller spurred the creation of a second book: She Persisted Around the World. This companion book details the stories of 13 additional history-changing women from around the globe.
Malala’s Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai, Illustrated by Kerascoet
Grade Level: PreK, K, 1, 2, 3
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography/Autobiography
As a child in Pakistan, Malala would often wish for a magic pencil, one that would help her create happiness, clean her city, and sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as Malala grew up, she saw the ways a magic pencil could truly be used to make the world a better place.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai details her story for a younger audience in her first picture book, Malala’s Magic Pencil. She hopes to inspire children to think globally, and through hard work and determination, change their world.
Girls Who Code, Learn to Code and Change the World
Written by Reshma Saujani
Grade Level: 5, 6
Genre: Nonfiction, Science/Technology
New York Times Bestseller
Written by the founder of the Girls Who Code organization, Reshma Saujani aims to inspire a new generation of female coders. This novel incorporates eye-catching artwork, understandable explanations of basic coding principles, and the inspiring real life stories of women working for corporations like NASA and Pixar. Girls Who Code aims to show women how coding can help them reach their dreams, whatever they may be.
I Dissent, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Written by Debbie Levy, Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
Grade Level: PreK, K, 1, 2, 3
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
In I Dissent author Debbie Levy demonstrates the power of saying no and standing up for what you believe in. This biographical picture book details the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ginsburg constantly says no, disagreeing when it matters the most. I Dissent outlines the stories of Ginsburg’s most famous dissents, and demonstrates to young readers “disagreeing doesn’t make you disagreeable”!
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Written by Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo
Illustrated by 60 female artists from around the world
Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls tells the stories of 100 historical female figures, both past and present, in an accessible fairytale style. Each figure is given a one-page biography accompanied with an original work of art. The book aims to inspire children across a range of fields including science, politics, history, sports, technology, and the arts. Featured women include Elizabeth I, Serena Williams and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls broke records by becoming the most crowd funded children’s book in history, raising over half a million dollars from over 13 thousand backers on Kickstarter. The book’s success has inspired two volumes, a journal and a 12 episode podcast, all of which can be found on the official book website: https://www.rebelgirls.co/
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Monday science class offered a group of eleven 3-5 year olds a chance to learn and apply the concept of symmetry.
The museum’s Early Childhood and Literacy Coordinator, Meredith Brustlin led the Junior Science Explorers class, offered by the museum on Mondays from 1:30 to 2:15pm.
Meredith first gathered the group together and explained the concept of symmetry using images of butterflies, lions, and houses. Kids were challenged to identify which images displayed symmetry and which did not.
Following the lesson, the group sat down to a hands-on symmetry activity, allowing them to apply what they had just learned. The kids were given the choice of painting one side of either a butterfly or a bee.
They were then instructed to fold their papers in half, revealing a symmetrical work of art they were free to take home.
Next time you are in our Muse Studio, take a look above you and enjoy the colorful array of flying “birds”. South Berwick resident and artist Peter Flynn Donovan donated a flock of his birds to be enjoyed by all our visitors. In the spring of 2018, Peter was in a group art exhibition at the Portsmouth Public Library, called “Of a Feather.” His contribution to the show was a sculptural installation entitled: “Tah Dah!”
This art installation consisted of a five-foot cartoonish green duck who held in his hand an orange magician’s hat, out of which170 of these birds flew. Unfortunately, the majority of these birds were destroyed since being displayed in Portsmouth. But thankfully the surviving birds have found a new home here at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.
Peter is a folk artist whose work is a narrative of the personal and universal conversation of what it is to be alive. He is strongly influenced by mythology – personal, world & religious. He makes art because it is one skill he feels has contributed to the vast experience and existence of Humanity. He is inspired by other artists and creators. He is honored to participate in this challenging avocation, and to be part of an often-invisible royal lineage whom make the world a deeply richer place.
As 2018 draws to a close, all of us at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire want to take a moment to thank you for choosing to spend your precious family time with us this year. Life is busy and childhood is fleeting, making the time to connect with loved ones and create joyful memories more important than ever.
Your children may not remember this year’s holiday gifts a year from now, but they will remember piloting the Museum’s Yellow Submarine with you as co-pilot, making you a meal in the Kids Cafe, meeting their favorite book character, and simply laughing, learning and being together with you.
In 2019, we will continue to fulfill our mission of engaging families in hands-on discovery through new programs and exhibits such as a Family Book Club and Mini Golf at the Museum, the Lights! Shadow! Action! interactive classroom, and the outdoor Play Patio. As a non-profit Museum, all of these initiatives are only possible thanks to the generous support from foundations, businesses and individuals.
Here’s to a new year of inspiring children and nurturing connections with family and friends!
Jane Bard, CMNH President