The Children’s Museum of NH will host its second annual Pajama Day on Friday, February 19 from 10am-5pm. Kids and parents are invited to wear pajamas to play in the museum and enjoy special night-themed activities.
“Winter is a hard time for kids and for parents,” explained Museum President Jane Bard. “We started Pajama Day last winter as a chance to break up the monotony and it was a big hit with our guests. We thought it would be fun to do it again and have a day where everyone – including our staff – could wear cozy pajamas to the museum. Our education team has some great night-themed activities including a special astronomy project about the moon! We are all looking forward to seeing everyone come in wearing colorful pj’s, slippers and robes!”
During Pajama Day, guests can learn about nocturnal animals and the sounds they make, listen to night-time themed story reading, make owl crafts in the Muse Studio, and more. All activities are included in the museum’s regular admission price: $10 for children and adults over 12 months of age and $9 for seniors (65+). Admission is always free for Children’s Museum Members, and reservations are not required.
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire Celebrates Dental Health Month
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has partnered with two dozen area dentists during the month of February for a variety of fun programs centered on dental health. Children’s Dental Health Month is a program developed by the American Dental Association that has grown from a two-city event in 1941 into a nationwide program celebrated across the US. Throughout the month Museum educators will offer Storytime with a variety of teeth-themed picture books, share fun facts about teeth, show x-rays of teeth below the gumline, compare teeth of various animal skulls and lead toothbrush painting and other art activities and experiments. Sponsoring dentists will visit the Museum and give tips on flossing, brushing and eating well, as well as talk about how the food we eat helps or hurts our teeth. Every child who visits during February will get a free toothbrush and toothpaste to take home, thanks to the Museum’s Toothbrush Sponsor, Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry.
“Dental Health Month is the perfect opportunity to interact with our neighbors and have some fun promoting our mission of education in good oral health habits for children and adults,” shared Dr. Robert Christian, DDS of Keystone Dental Arts. “We really strive to be a resource to NH families,” said Paula Rais, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement at the Children’s Museum. “Whenever we can we try to partner with local experts who can talk to our guests and offer them timely resources. It adds another level to what we do here. Plus, who wouldn’t want to go home with a free toothbrush, toothpaste and a tooth fairy envelope!?”
Sponsors for Dental Health Month include Cochecho Family Dentistry, Seacoast Endodontic Associates, Crest + Oral-B, Children’s Dentistry, Keystone Dental Arts, Garrison Family Dental, Evelyn M. Bryan, DMD, North Hampton Dental Group, Piscataqua Dental Partners, Portsmouth Dental, Seacoast Periodontics & Dental Implants, JD Howard Dental, LLC, Anne B. Filler, DMD, Locust Street Dental Center, Inc., Dr. Michael St. Germain, DMD, Daniel H. DeTolla, DDS at Seacoast Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Center, John VerPloeg, DDS at Epping General Dentistry, Koglin Orthodontics, Seacoast Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Sheila Kennedy, R. Susan Horsley, DMD, Gregory L. Shaker, DDS and Kingston Family Dental. To learn more about Dental Health Month at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, visit https://www.childrens-museum.org/things-to-do/events/dental-health-month.
Here is a sampling of some of the dentist visits scheduled:
February 2, 4, 9, 16, 23 and 25 at 10am
Dr. Patrick Wilson from Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry, this month’s Toothbrush Sponsor will visit today.
Wednesday, February 17 at TBD
Anne Sleeper, registered dental hygienist and Certified Public Health Dental Hygienist will be visiting during the $3 after 3pm program to discuss the importance of good dental health, answer questions and give away coloring books. Anne coordinates Community Dental Education programs at Wentworth Douglass Hospital.
Wednesday, February 24, 10am-2pm
Keystone Dental will be here today and they’re bringing their mascot – Ribbit the Frog!
Owl Pellets – Do owls have teeth? How do they eat their food? Find out and also get a close look at the teeth of some of the rodents who became the owl’s lunch!
Art Activities & Games – Smile Masks, Toothbrush painting, Tooth Fairy Envelopes and Tooth Games!
Animal Skulls – We’ll take a close look at our goblin shark and beaver skull. We’ll try to figure out how they’re different and how their teeth help them eat.
Elephant Toothpaste – A favorite experiment at the museum, what ingredients can we mix together to make a fun, bubbly, foamy and exciting toothpaste mess?!
Tooth Story – Enjoy storytime with museum staff all about teeth!
Make Toothpaste Putty – Did you know you can make your own toothpaste? Using household ingredients we’ll mix up some toothpaste putty that will smell minty fresh!
The Children’s Museum of NH is now selling raffle tickets for its annual car raffle fundraiser. Only 750 tickets are being sold at $100 each, giving purchasers the odds of 1 in 375 to win a prize. This year, the first place winner can choose between a 2016 Nissan 370Z sports coupe valued at over $30,000 or they can choose the $20,000 cash prize. Second place winner will win a custom African Safari for 4 (airfare not included) form A-Way-To Africa Safaris valued at $9,000.
“The car raffle began in 2012 and has become an annual event our supporters look forward to,” said Jane Bard, President of the Children’s Museum of NH in Dover. “As a non-profit organization, we need to be creative in raising funds for our educational programs and exhibits, as well as for our commitment to providing subsidized museum visits for schools and families in challenging circumstances. The 'Adventure' theme works well for both prizes and we hope to sell every ticket to support our mission.”
Tickets can be purchased online via the Museum’s website: www.childrens-museum.org or by calling 603-742-2002 during regular business hours. The raffle drawing will take place at a date to be determined in the spring of 2016 at Port City Nissan on the Spaulding Turnpike in Portsmouth, NH. Winners need not be present at the drawing to claim their prize.
Motortrend.com says the 2016 Nissan 370Z sports coupe offers “a great combination of straight-line speed and agility.” “This is not a family car,” notes Jane Bard “and that’s the appeal! You can get into this sports coupe and drive to the beach, the mountains…wherever! With this car, you can literally pick an adventure, and it will take you there in style!” In this raffle, the prospect of winning the second place prize is just as enticing as the first place prize. “This African Safari is completely customizable,” shares Jane. Winners can choose to visit Lake Manyara National Park, which Ernest Hemingway called “the loveliest I had seen in Africa,” or spend more time in Serengeti National Park, which to the Maasai means “the place where the land moves on forever” and whose ecosystem is one of the oldest on Earth.
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire thanks Port City Nissan, A-Way-To Africa Safaris, Manchester Regional Airport, NH1 News, Rock 101FM and Z107.1 FM for supporting this fundraiser. Purchasers of car 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 750 tickets will be sold. If less than 375 tickets are sold, the raffle grand prize will be 50% of proceeds; the second prize will the African Safari. First place car or cash are not transferable. Second place African Safari can be transferred. Raffle tickets are not tax deductible.
Symposium on popular Alzheimer’s Café
Children’s Museum of NH collaborates to share lessons learned
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has hosted a free monthly Alzheimer’s Café program for the past four years for families who have a loved one with dementia. With generous support from AARP, the Museum was able to conduct a research project to determine the benefits of attending the Café. The findings will be shared at a free symposium at the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Conference Center (789 Central Ave) in Dover, NH on Monday, November 16 from 1- 4pm.
A report highlighting the results of the study, done in collaboration with Keene State College’s nursing program, will be available to anyone attending the symposium. “We conducted interviews, observed, and surveyed our Alzheimer Café participants,” says Paula Rais, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement. “All of the data was compiled and revealed the benefits of the Café from the perspective of those who attend. We also learned what improvements we can make to help us plan for the future. It’s been an invaluable process and we’re excited to share the results with the community.”
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire launched the first Alzheimer’s Café in the Eastern United States in October 2011. It has since attracted widespread attention from families affected by dementia as well as healthcare professionals. In 2012, the Museum’s Alzheimer’s Café program received the Leaders In Innovation award from the New England Museum Association. Held the third Thursday of each month from 2-4pm, people living with Alzheimer’s disease are welcomed, along with their family members and caregivers, to gather in a supportive, non-clinical setting to relax, enjoy refreshments and socialize.
The public and press are welcome to attend the symposium and are asked to RSVP to Paula Rais at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 603-742-2002.
A Gallery 6 art exhibition preview
Fanciful Out of This World art exhibition debuts at Children’s Museum of NH’s Gallery 6
This winter, the walls of Gallery 6 at the Children’s Museum of NH will take the magical and fantastic impossibilities of our imaginations and present them in a way that is real and believable. Out of This World, on view December 3, 2015 through March 1, 2016, contains fanciful creatures in playful and whimsical settings and promises to take viewers on journeys to strange worlds.
Out of This World shines a spotlight on Fantasy art and invites the viewer to suspend disbelief just long enough to view a new realm of possibilities, unhindered by our own expectations. “Believing the ‘impossible’ comes very naturally to children, so this Fantasy theme is a perfect fit for an art exhibition within a Children’s Museum,” shared Tess Feltes, Gallery 6 Curator.
Also on view on the exterior of the Museum is an installation by local artist Sam Paolini. “Sam’s art is all about other worldly creatures existing in fantastic and colorful environments, so we wanted to have her art greet guests as a way of saying, ‘Hey, anything is possible here!’” said Exhibits Director Mark Cuddy. The Gallery 6 art exhibitions are supported by Optima Bank and Trust, the NH State Council on the Arts and the Fuller Foundation.
Close to forty works of art have been selected for the Out of This World exhibition, ranging from anthropomorphized forms to detailed illustrations. These paintings, prints and mixed media pieces are mostly available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds goes directly to supporting the programs at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.
Featured artists in this show include: Bill Baber, Cori Caputo, Brian Cartier, Victoria Elbroch, Wolfgang Ertl, Tina Fazio, Marina Forbes, Theresa LeBreque, Fleur Palau, Sam Paolini, Sue Pretty, Phillip Singer, Beth Wittenberg and Shi Yue. The public are invited to join the artists at an opening reception, generously sponsored by Optima Bank and Trust, on Thursday, December 3 from 5:30-7pm.
Out of This World can be viewed in Gallery 6 during regular business hours at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday noon-5pm. No admission fee is required to view the gallery only. Regular admission applies for families who wish to also explore the rest of the museum.
A New Exhibit Opens at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
Children Shape the Landscape with an Augmented Reality Sand Table
A new exhibit has opened at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and it combines all the fun of a sand table, with some interactive and responsive high tech imagery. Guests to the Museum can help shape the landscape with a new augmented reality sand table, installed in the ever-popular Dino Detective area.
The technology behind this new exhibit was developed by the UC Davis W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (keckCAVES), as part of an informal science education project funded by the National Science Foundation. This hands-on exhibit allows guests to create topography models by shaping real sand, which is then augmented in real time by an elevation color map, topographic contour lines and simulated water, rain and even snow. The system was created to teach geographic, geologic and hydrologic concepts, but the exhibit takes on a different significance when placed in the Museum’s Dino Detective area.
“The sand table relates to the Dino exhibit well,” says Exhibits Director Mark Cuddy. “Geology looks at changes to Earth’s landscape over time, which helps paleontologists determine where to find fossils and, sometimes more importantly, where NOT to look for fossils.” In the rest of the Dino Detective exhibit, guests can dig for fossils, donning the protective eye gear and using the specialized tools that paleontologists would use to unearth these remains. “This entire exhibit is about exploration and questioning what we think we know. Why are the dinosaurs extinct? What can we learn from their bones? How does the water flow around the sand? What happens when I build a dam and then break the dam? Where does the water go?” These kinds of questions are answered, not through labels on a wall, but by the constantly shifting interactivity between the augmented reality component, the sand and the children.
“The best part about this exhibit is that it appeals to everyone. Young, old, new or repeat visitors: Everyone loves to play with the sand!” says Mark. “I’ve heard some great things while watching guests at the table. Things like ‘Woah! Look I made it rain!’ or ‘Let’s all push the sand into a big mountain in the middle of a lake.’ It keeps our guests constantly engaged and learning.”
Children’s Museum of NH sponsors bring new life to popular programs and spaces
Favorite fall programming for the younger set has begun at the Children’s Museum of NH. Wee Ones Wednesdays, which has a huge following with CMNH families, is now proudly sponsored by the Bank of New Hampshire. This drop-in class for walkers and talkers ages 2-4 is described by museum educators as “PRE-preschool.”
“This class is so popular that we offer two sessions, one right after the other in order to accommodate more kids,” says Education Coordinator Xanthi Gray. Beth Pagliuca, who has been bringing her children to Wee Ones since her daughter was a week old, said
“I loved Wee Ones as a first school style experience for my children. They learned to sing songs with their peers, do a craft and sit quietly eating a snack while listening to a story. All while still having the comfort of a parent or caretaker right there in the room with them. I think it helped prepare both my children for preschool because they both started preschool with big smiles and no concerns.”
After families take part in this or other Early Learning Programs such as Shake, Rattle and Read baby storytime or Junior Science Explorers, they can make their way to the second floor of the museum where the Primary Place, an Early Learning Landscape has gotten a major refresh from the exhibit’s Sustaining Sponsor, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. This exhibit is designed specifically for the museum’s youngest visitors and the wear and tear on the beloved baby butterfly garden, animal puppets, giant box and train table are evidence of the over 700,000 kids that have enjoyed this space since 2008. “We are thrilled to support the exhibit,” says Dawn Fernald, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
“The Children’s Museum is a treasure in our community and provides wonderful experiences for families centering on education, history and culture with fun and interactive displays. The wow factor is huge!”
The Children’s Museum’s recent Toddlerfest celebration, which highlights all these programs, exhibits and more designed specifically for their youngest guests, culminated on Sunday, October 4 with Train Day from noon to 2pm. The trains, which are also featured in the second floor Primary Place, are a favorite exhibit and this program allows families to not only play in the museum, but also take a trolley to the Dover Rail Yard where they can climb on and explore a real locomotive.
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire has been awarded an $8,000 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation to support three educational opportunities for New Hampshire’s struggling schools and underserved students. This grant will allow the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire to offer free school trips to the Museum (Museum InReach or MIR), more Focused Group Visits (FGV) as well as Traveling Focused Group Visits (TFGV) all of which were designed to respond to educators’ requests for more in-depth curriculum-based experiences.
“We recognize that schools and educators are struggling to access curriculum-based experiences for their students,” explained Paula Rais, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement at the Children’s Museum of NH. “We’ve developed these programs to not only help bring the students here to the Museum where they can experience our unique educational exhibits and programs, but also to help bring our knowledge into their classrooms.”
FGV and TFGV are flexible and portable learning experiences for pre-K through 5th grade students that explore art, science, history, ecology and world cultures, all of which align with state and national educational standards. These programs are based in STEAM education, an expansion of STEM learning concepts that integrate the arts into technology, math, engineering and science.
One hundred 1st grade students from McDonough School in Manchester, NH visited the Children’s Museum of NH recently as part of the Museum InReach program. “Thank you for letting us go on a field trip for free,” said Zachary. “My favorite part was the mind ball, kitchen and submarine.” The response from teachers has been equally positive. “As teachers, we really appreciate when students are involved and engaged,” said one teacher after her students participated in a Focused Group Visit. “The Physics of Flight program ties in beautifully with our curriculum.”