Tag Archives: education

Give Thanks and Receive Thanks

thanksgivingIt’s our last week of November, and people are busily preparing to gather around the table. Many are fantasizing about their favorite side dish, and more than happy to let everyone know what that dish is! If you haven’t gotten your supplies… good luck to you, because the lines have already started to back up a few days ago.

Besides the food though, we must reflect on the actual thing being celebrated! Thanksgiving! Grace was given to those pilgrims all those years ago by tribes that saw the need to help. On a daily basis we give thanks to people that bestow on us small favors. Holding a door open, let a person get into traffic, stop for people walking across the street, saying good morning, or even offering a smile. These are all gifts, however minuscule they may be, they are all significant and help to make a person’s day better. You can’t help but pass those positive gifts forward onto another, and hopefully they will do the same.

I put “Give Thanks” first in the title above, because we so often don’t see or let it sink in, when we receive these small favors.  “I woke up, so did every member of my family. No one is coughing and we all feel good. Yay!” Thankful… YES! Employment, roofs over our heads, food in our refrigerator, clothes on our bodies, and a country with FREEDOM! Thankful… YES!

thankful 2The list of examples of things to be thankful for can go on and on. They will also vary for different people. What’s important is knowing that when life seems so down, there is always something to be thankful for, even if it’s for something simple as the air you breath.

If you are reading this, and subscribed to Discover! Children’s Museum, you are most likely around little ones or have great hope for our future generation. It’s important for us to teach children about being thankful. We have such a wonderful opportunity in our country to be able to teach our children about this wonderful tradition.  As they learn how to do so daily, they also become content, and are well likely to proceed to extend their hands out to share that contentment with others.

There are many simple ways of doing this, and not to mention oodles of articles on the subject.  So we’ll share a link about that too!

  • Be an example: If your child sees that you are thankful they will also mimic that same behavior.  Point out what there is to be thankful for. The air we breath, family, food, flowers, sun, etc. Say why you are thankful for them. “I’m so thankful for fresh air, it makes me feel so good, and thank goodness the trees make air for us to breath!”
  • Give Thanks and Receive Thanks: When you see them do something nice, thank them for it. Or just simply thank them for being themselves. They in turn will do the same to you as well to those around them.
  • Take in the life around you: When kids are taught to observe the joy and positive things around them. They will start to seek out those things where ever they go.
  • thankfulShare what you are thankful for daily: We often do this, it’s simple and yes we sometimes forget. I often ask the kids what was the best thing that happened in their day, and we’ll also asked what they didn’t like. This helps to keep me aware of what’s going on and expand on any positive or negative things. It also helps them too, to know that even if they had a very miserable day that something good was in it too.
  • Point out what’s good about the world around us: Now there may be some out there that say, “Well there is a lot of BAD out there too.” To which I say, there comes a time and a place as well as a different blog entry for that. So for now, talk about our freedom and the vast array of cultures/people/environments/celebrations.
  • Read books about gratitude: There are so many out there and if you don’t have the money. Well… fancy that! You can borrow them from the library! Yet another thing to be thankful for.  Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson is one of our family favorites!
  • Practice: Practice makes perfect, and we are teaching our kids to do so on a daily basis. We teach them to thank us after they have been passed the salt, handed a spoon, or given a treat. We also can teach them how to write a thank you note to someone that has given them a gift. Plus they get to see us in action when we have received something as well.
  • IMG_3880Craft Gratitude: We blogged a couple of weeks ago about making a Thankful Tree. There are oodles of other ways to use crafts to teach children about it, and most likely you have seen them come home with the results from school, church, or other clubs. Like adults, kids like to see things come together, and they also like feeling like they accomplished something when they’ve created their masterpieces. So praise them and add that you are so thankful that they are thoughtful and aware of the blessings they have had.

For more helpful articles & craft idea, check out our Be Thankful Board!

So with all these tidbits of advice. We at Discover! Children’s Museum wish you a very VERY happy Thanksgiving. We are very thankful for your support and will be even more happy to give thanks to all the little faces when we return. For now be safe and happy Discover! Friends!

 

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves… Compost!

The past two weekends have been beautiful! We even have a couple more days that are supposed to be wonderful.  People are out and shaping their beds up, or perhaps more like “turning the sheets down” so their gardens may go to sleep.

This is the first year that I have had to get rid of HUGE quantities of leaves.  I really am not over exaggerating! I mean BIG! So big I used the largest kiddie pool you can get… You know the one with the steps and hand rail. I filled that thing up eight times, and that was only the back yard.

DSC_5308So what are some of the fun things that you can do with leaves and kids? There is the obvious, like running, jumping, and scrunching them.  Which was exactly what we did, but what about a science project!

What Leaves Can Do

Leaves are a wonderful source for gardeners, and as long as you have leaf bearing trees that are in the ground and producing leaves each year, consider them a part of your team! Leaves are an organic resource, and make a wonderful mulch for your garden.  Each year they are pulling up minerals from your soil, which in turn, when you use them in your garden they feed earthworms and little microbes in the dirt.  Leaves help to break up heavy soils, and retain moisture in sandy soil.  They also helps to balance nitrogen in your compost pile. They also are handy for the plants you have in your garden whose roots may need a little protection from the cold winter.

compost_in_binsMany gardener’s or Green Thumbs love this time of year to get a jump start for their gardens next year.  They usually have a pile or bin that they have grass clippings, leaves, dirt, coffee grinds, as well as fruit and veggie scraps that they’ve been setting aside during the year.  They will spend the winter going out and turning it over from time to time, to help the contents break up more easily. When spring rolls around they will have a pile of incredible compost to use for their garden.

So how can kids do this? Simple, it’s like cutting a recipe down for two instead of a big family.  Check out our fun project below!

DSC_5302What you’ll need!

  • 16 oz cups with holes in the bottom
  • 1 large bowl
  • Compost items: Leaves, grass clipping, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grinds, etc.
  • 1/4 cup soil or dirt
  • 1-2 teaspoons of water
  • plastic wrap
  • rubber band
  • large spoon
Pillbugs
Pill bugs help to eat decomposing plant materials and turn it into compost.

So go ahead and go outside and have some fun with your kids.  Find all your outdoor materials and add them to the bowl.  While doing so you might come in contact with some of natures helpers. You can also add some pieces of paper if you want.

Compost_CupWhen you have stirred all your ingredients, you can divide the contents of your bowl in the different cups. (Make sure your holes are already punched through.  Then add your saran wrap on top and then you can place your rubber band around the brim of the cub and saran, so it’s sealed.

Now find a place to put it.  Also make sure you put something underneath, since there are holes.  It will need a spot where it gets sun and shade.  Add 1 teaspoon of water periodically, and after doing so, give it a little bit of a shake.  Both the water and movement will help the materials inside it break down and turn into compost!

What does the sun and shade do?

Bacteria and fungi love the heat, and they are also what helps to break down all the materials you threw in the cup.  Whereas the shade will help to cool down the compost so the moisture won’t all escape.

Now that your compost cups are all ready, it’s time to keep and eye on them and watch what happens.

wormsWhat do worms do?

Worms are actually called an organism, and they eat the leaves, grass, and any other decomposing material. When they do so, they actually are producing compost too. Now for this project, you won’t need to add them, but in big compost bins, these little critters are a huge tool in breaking down the leaves, grass, or whatever else is in the compost bin. Worms are not the only all stars in the dirt however, pill bugs or what I like to call “rolly polly’s” also help.  Along with many other bugs!

What do you do with the compost?

After the ingredients you have made have turned into compost (which may take several weeks), it should look dark, crumble easily, and look like soil. You can now add it to your garden.

cs-boy-helping-make-bin-480
Making a large compost bin.

For more articles on composting as well as how to make a large compost bin, visit our Pinterest Board Fun in The Garden.

Happy composting Discover! Friends!

 

Pillbugs

Craft Time: The Thankful Tree

IMG_3361November! Leaves have changed into their brilliant colors and then made magnificent blankets underneath each naked tree. Temperatures are dropping, and many are donning their scarves, boots, or dare I say favorite spots teams colors. Fire places have began to crackle and ovens have started emitting the delightful fragrances of baked meals and desserts. Mugs are being held with both hands, and noses are breathing in steam.  Oh the loving traditions fall brings!

One tradition that seems to start in late October is hearing or seeing people talk or write about what they are thankful for. Now we all know that we should not just spout out our thanksgivings during one month a year and appreciate them through out instead, but lets face it… It’s hard! Especially when we get into the routine of waking, rushing kids out the door, do our duties throughout the day, come home, help with home work, make a meal, put a number of little ones to sleep, and then either crash on the couch or crawl into bed. While doing all these daily tasks it can be very difficult to shout out… “Thank you for the Sun! Thank you for the neighbor who picked up our trash can that fell over! Thank you that my child is learning in school! Thank you for freedom in this country! Thank you for health, love, hugs, music, rain, food, comfort, teachers, and so on.”

Part of why we have this month is to rejoice in our blessings. To share that we are thankful, and that luckily as humans we can have that in our nature. Children learn from those around them, and that is why teaching this particular trait is crucial. Pointing out the positive things on a daily basis helps children to learn to be optimistic and more positive.  When they say “I hate the rain!” A positive come back is, “But what does the rain help out with… Our planet, the plants, our food, and more!” Taking it further to point out a break in the rain. “Look at that, that cloud is letting us stay dry while we walk into school… Yay!”

Looking for the silver lining of any cloud is hard, but teaching our little ones will help them in the future with their feelings. It can help them get through tough situations and also help if they are experiencing depression.

So perhaps having a month to point out what good things are happening in your day can be a great way to start teaching your little one the lesson of being grateful.

IMG_3868There are many ways that people have done this.  We wanted to bring up just one this year and we’ll do more in the future to come! The Thankful Tree! This is a simple craft that requires some craft paper, scissors, and tape.

 

Gather your things:

  • This image above required the background to have (6) pieces of blue construction paper and (3) pieces of green.
  • The tree can be made up of one or two pieces of brown construction paper that were cut and taped together.
  • The leaves and sun were also made of construction paper, cut from a variety of colors.
  • You can also see that there are foam leaves on the example above. You can get them from a craft section this time of year, but make sure you get the kind you can write on, and it is also helpful if they have the sticky back.
  • You will also need tape and glue.
Tape the nine pieces of construction paper together three across and three down.  (6) blue and (3) green
Tape the nine pieces of construction paper together three across and three down. (6) blue and (3) green

Now get creative!

Let your kiddos help you to tape the background pieces together.  There will be three pieces taped together across and down, running lengthwise.  You will end up having a nine piece panel background that looks like a vertical rectangle.

DSC_5265Then start to make your tree.  I cut (1) piece of brown construction paper in half vertically.  then I placed the two short ends together and drew a tree trunk on it.  Afterwards, I let the kids cut out the trunk.  With the left over scraps, the girls cut thin strips for the branches.

DSC_5271Now you and the kids can glue down your tree trunk onto the background.  Remember to give some spacing between the branches for your leaves.

They can also cut out pieces to make a sun, clouds, flowers, grass at the bottom of the tree, or anything else their minds can come up with!

I cut out the leaves by layering four pieces of paper together, and then proceeded to make a simple leaf pattern.  I store them in a large ziplock bag, along with a pen and glue stick to we can add our leaves each day.  Sometimes there are days where we add a lot of leaves.

Now find a spot to hang up your tree and get ready to start posting your leaves each day!

Grateful Leaves

DSC_5279This part is where you start to see the craft come together, and many times you will be surprised what your kids might say.  Sometimes you may not like what they are, or wish that it was something bigger, but please don’t say anything discouraging.  You want them to willingly participate, and enjoy the process.  Also, it’s alright to be thankful for things you might not think are a big deal.  In his or her mind, small things can be BIG!  

You can leave up this tree until the end of the month or the end of the year. We left our tree up last year till the end of the year, and it was incredible how full it got, and really helped to make the holidays even more special.  IMG_3880

We hope that this craft is one that you will enjoy doing with your kids. We wish you the very happiest of November blessings Discover! Friends! Happy crafting!

For more Thankful Tree examples check out Discover! Children’s Museum Pinterest Thankful Tree board.

The Dark Cloud of Childhood… Bully

Big blue eyes stare at me with huge tears falling down his cheeks. It surprised me and then made my heart sad. What started off as watching a new movie for the family, turned into a sad little boy telling me about something that had happened last school year, and now worries him for the future. So I asked what had happened. He called him his arch enemy, the biggest bully he’d ever seen. He would follow him and push him down time and time again.  When he finally told the duty, the bully said that he was lying, and guess what… She believed him. He then said he spent the rest of the year trying to avoid him, and when things did happen the duty would still not believe him.

Is this hard to hear? Yes! Is it something that I wish he had told me before? You bet!

My son has a big heart. He is the kid that will watch the movie and hope for the bad guy to turn good. Hence his love for Darth Vader and the celebration that he turns back to the light. He prayed for the Denver Broncos to make one touchdown (even though he’s a total Hawks fan), because Peyton Manning looked sad.  When they did, he stood up and hollered and said “Yes, I prayed for that!”  Even though his father and I looked at him in shock, we were proud that he was looking out for the other team.

He’s one of the youngest in his class and gets easily excited, over energized, easily distracted, loves to hug, and forgets his size is intimidating, and he wants to be everyone’s friend. He can be easily razzed which I know is not a good trait to have around other kids.  Which is why I have always feared for him having this problem, and bummed when I find out that he has.  However, as his ever adoring parents our biggest fear is him feeling that he is alone in all this and not letting us know.

After he told me the whole story, I assured him the best that I could. I talked to him about the things I encountered as a kid, and then said how many people also have experienced being bullied. I also talked to him about things that we saw in this particular movie was a made up story, and the chances of the exact thing happening to him wasn’t likely. I can’t promise him though the particular experience wouldn’t happen again, so it made me think what I need to do to help him through the years. Be there, listen, support, give advice, and step in when needed.

This particular topic is probably fresh in many parents minds this month, and being that Discover! wants to help relay information that can help, here we find ourselves. October is an official month to become aware of bullying, therefore we plan on doing a mini series on it.  So let’s get started!

What is Bullying?

Most people know the answer to this question.  Everyone has been teased by a family member or friend in their life.  This teasing is usually not harmful because it’s meant to be playful or funny and both or all parties are enjoying it.  However when the teasing is done to hurt a person, or becomes constant, and needs to stop… then it is bullying.bullyingBullying is when a person targets another by either physically, verbally, or psychologically attacking them.  Pushing, name calling, forcing a person to hand over money or other items, threatening, ganging up on, and spreading rumors are all ways that we have witnessed this nasty process taking place. Now children don’t even need to be around each other.  The internet has broadened the playground in a virtual way, causing the same emotional damage, allowing bullies to pick on people they may know through school or perhaps perfect strangers.  However, there are no duties or fences to limit their reach, and unfortunately the boundaries are endless and supervision is almost nil.

Don’t Brush it Off

Bullying is to be taken seriously though. Many parents look at it as something that kids just go through. In many ways that is true, however children today deal with it and are exposed to it far differently than we ever were.

When we were young we were around our bullies at school every day. We got breaks from them though! We didn’t see them at the end of the day after school or sports, nor did we see them on the weekend or when we were out for school breaks. Now there are kids on social networks, they have cell phones, and they are able to talk or communicate with their friends all year long.

Those that may not be on social networks are not any less likely to be exposed to it. They may be in a neighborhood, daycare, live with, or be involved in another group setting where they find themselves in the proximity of a bully all the time as well. No matter the method, we have seen tragic things come about in some incidents, where children have taken their own life or lives of others in a desperate attempt to escape it.

What are the Signs

If your child doesn’t let you know, then here are some things to keep an eye out for.

  • Your child may start acting differently. They may have a loss of appetite, become anxious, lose sleep, and stop enjoying the hobbies or activities that they usually enjoy.
  • Their attitude may have changed. They may seem more easily agitated or depressed, and start to avoid situations like saying they are sick and can’t go to school, or not want to ride the bus, or want to quit a sport or club.
  • You may notice it yourself when you see them interacting. A bully may try hiding often from your child. They may purposely break, hide, or take your child’s toys. You may notice your child asking them to stop and the other won’t listen. Your child may start to stop play and seek you out, either for help or act as if they don’t want to play with them any further. You may also notice that when in a group setting that your child’s typical best friend starts to exclude them while playing.

Why do Kids Bully?

It can be very hard to understand why kids do this to each other.  Child development researchers have said this. Some children look for other kids that are weaker or different so then they can feel important, cool, or more powerful. In some cases, they also may be bullying because they are mimicking how they have been treated themselves. They may live in an environment where it is common to argue or call each other names. It’s also common to see bullies on television. They can see how people are treated or talked about, which in-turn promotes them to do the same.

Why Kids Bully

Why Do Kids Not Tell Us?

  • Children often feel guilty, embarrassed, or ashamed. They may worry that you will be upset or disappointed in them.
  • Sometimes kids think that it is there fault. They may feel that if they started acting differently the bully would stop.
  • They may be afraid to talk, because if the bully gets confronted or in trouble, they think the bullying towards them will get worse.
  • It’s also possible that they may think that you won’t believe them or you won’t do anything about it.
  • They may also be afraid that you would urge them to fight back when they are too scared to do so.

depressed child 4What do I do?

  • Tell your child that is is okay to let someone know what it happening. That they can tell you or another adult they trust.  Like a teacher or counselor, family member, or a family friend.
  • When they are telling you what has happened, listen calmly and comfort them.  They may fear that you have a bad reaction, and even if you react angry with the bully, they may think you are angry with them.  So be calm.
  • Let him/her know that you are so grateful that they shared what happened with you.
  • Tell them that they aren’t the only ones going through this and that everyone goes through something similar at some point.
  • Make sure to point out that what the Bully is doing is very bad behavior and that it’s not your child’s fault.
  • Assure them you are there for support, and that you will help them in any way to figure out how to get through the situation.
  • Contact the school, daycare, or club about the situation. Depending on the age of the child, and the extent of the bullying, your actions may be different.  Working out a solution with someone, such as a principle, counselor, or teacher is advisable.
  • Some parents may want to speak to the bully’s parents, as tempting as that may be, it’s better to have the school officials do so or have them present if you decide to contact them.

What Kids Should Do

It’s tempting to tell kids to defend themselves.  However this can lead to more trouble for both your kiddo and possibly yourself.  So what should you tell them to do? I know I’ve told my son to avoid them, and to make friends with other kids that are nice and hang around them all the time, you know the term “you are more safe in numbers.” I know I have also told him to let someone know.

So here is what you can tell your little ones.

  • Use the buddy system: If your child finds that it’s common for the bully to always approach them in a certain place try to find ways to avoid those situations, or have a friend that can come with you.  Also tell them to do the same for their friend.
  • Don’t give a rise: It’s natural to get worked up when something is happening that you don’t like, but chances are that is exactly what the bully wants to see.  Seeing your child upset makes them feel like they are more powerful or cooler then they are. Help your child to not react by crying or looking upset. Suggest that they walk away, breath, count, or find a calm quite place to sit and write down how they are feeling.  These are all ways to help not show the bully that their feelings are hurt.  This may be a time that you also teach them about the “poker face,” where they just walk away with a face that looks like nothing happened until they have been able to get away from the bully.
  • Ignore and walk away: Let your kiddo know that it’s okay and that they are allowed to firmly tell the bully to “Stop!” and then walk away. However, if that method does not work they can pretend that they didn’t hear or are uninterested in what they said. When they ignore the bully, they are basically conveying that they don’t care what the bully does or thinks. Eventually the bully will get tired of being ignored and hopefully become uninterested.
  • Tell someone: In order for something to be done, they need to know that it’s okay to tell someone.  Teachers, principles, counselors, parents, and many other staff workers can all help stop bullying.
  • Let’s talk: It’s okay to talk about it to an adult you trust, sibling, or other family member. They can help you with advice and help you feel better.

Make them Feel Strong Again

As mentioned before, the emotional damage that happens from bullying can be deep and hard to recover from. You can help them by letting them know that true friends are ones that are kind to them and make good choices. Also encourage them to take part in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, church groups, or other activities they may enjoy.

Most importantly listen! Find out what happened in their day, both good and bad. Discuss ways that they can tell you something is going on without explaining, like a code word. When I was growing up my mom always told me that I could say that I wasn’t feeling well when something was wrong and she’d come and get me. Believe me I used this when I felt out of place on a few occasions, and I was grateful for knowing that I had my mom to bring me home. This will help them to learn that you’ve got their back, and knowing that they have a strong relationship with you, helps make a strong foundation for their well being.

Here’s our first article on bullying.  We know that it’s a lot of info to process and we hope that it has helped.  Hug your kiddos tight Discover! parents!

 

Rescources National Association for Child Development, Helpguide.org, and Kidhealth.org, and PBS Kids

 

 

Bees Buzzing in the Breeze

DSC_3393Honey Bees, the awesome little critters that keep many plants on this earth growing.  What would we do without these little wonders…  It is certainly not something we want to ever happen, therefore there are thousands of people that have become assistants to these incredible creatures.  We had the opportunity to meet one such family, that we are sure many of our Discover! friends may know… The Boyd Family! DSC_3349During our visit the Boyds had eighteen hives started.  The number can fluctuate depending on the queen and the strength of the hive.  By fall, many hives are combined in order to increase their chances of surviving throughout the winter.  After suiting up, we visited a large hive first.  After using the smoker to take a peak inside, Brandon’s first tid bit of information became very apparent!  “Honey bees are called social animals because they live in colonies and rely on each other.” Within the hive, there is a division of labor among the various kinds of bees in the colony.  A colony can include a queen, drones, and worker bees.

Brandon placed a little yellow mark on the back of this queen so she could be more easily spotted.
Brandon placed a little yellow mark on the back of this queen so she could be more easily spotted.

The Queen

The Queen is the only bee in the hive that is sexually developed.  She is the largest, and can be recognized by here elongated abdomen. She lives longer than all the bees in the hive.  Some say she can live years and years, but she is most productive the first two years of her life.

On the far right, you can see the undeveloped heads of two drones.  There cells stick our further than the rest of the larvae cells.
On the far right, you can see the undeveloped heads of two drones. There cells stick out further than the rest of the larvae cells.

 

 

The Drones

The Drones are the male bees in the hive.  Their job is leave the hive and to mate with a queen from another hive.  They do not collect food or pollen, nor do they tend the babies.  Sadly, in the winter time they are often kicked out of the hive because resources are scarce.

DSC_3392
Here you can see the girls busy at work. See all that honey!

The  Busy Workers

Workers are all girls!  In a colony there could be as many as 50,000 to 60,000 bees! Worker bees pretty much work themselves to death.  In the beginning of their lives they are nurse bees, then they graduate to field and scout bees.  They also protect the hive and make comb.  They are very busy, and live only about a month or less.  In the winter, they can live longer. 

Bee Facts

The worker bees keep the hive at a steady temperature all year round with their wing flaps.  They would like it to be 92-93 degrees.

Here is a worker bee arriving back to the hive with her legs covered in pollen
Here is a worker bee arriving back to the hive with her legs covered in pollen

Honey bees fly in a radius of about 3-5 miles from their homes to forage for flowers and food. Bees gather both nectar and pollen from flowers and trees. They bring the nectar back to the hive and regurgitate the nectar into a honey cell.  Then through flapping their wings, the bees evaporate some of the liquid in the nectar until it is honey. Then they cap it with a thin wax cover and store it for later use.

Bees use pollen, which is really sticky, and combine it with nectar to make bee bread.  They feed this bread to the baby bees.

Baby bees are called a brood.

Bees preform an essential act by moving pollen and nectar from one flower to another.  They pollinate the flowers and trees which allows fruits and vegetables to be created and to grow.  A hive can make 50-200 pounds of honey a year, and it takes over 150 trips to a flower or tree to make just one teaspoon of honey.

Hope you enjoyed our first blog post about bees.  We are hoping there will be many more.  Thank you Boyd family, we will check in with you again soon!  Happy honey making Discover! friends!

SUMMER VACATION IS HERE!

SOME DAYS “HORRAY!” and OTHER DAYS “HELP ME!”

Now that school is out everyone is pretty excited about the prospects of some fun and free time.  No more schedules, getting up early, or homework.  Time instead for playing outside, visiting friends, going to the pool, or maybe a family trip.  But eventually you start hearing those little voices:  “Mom!  There’s nothing to do.” or “I’m bored!”  It’s moments like this that strain our patience and cause us to count the days till the first day of school.  While errand jars are great and cleaning your room is always an option, there is another terrific resource available.  It’s close, it’s kid and family friendly and best of all it’s FREE!

TIMBERLAND LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM

“Fizz, Boom, Read!” 

This year the theme for children is “Fizz, Boom, Read!”, and is designed to complement the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program which has been adopted by local schools.  Specifically the summer program promotes excitement about reading, learning and exploring new characters and discovering new places – through books.

There are numerous activities planned throughout the Timberland Library system.  Just to get you enthused, here are a few that are happening in Chehalis

library front“Summer at the Library”

Fun bags will be given to children when schools let out.  These include event calendars, puzzles, word games, book lists and entry forms for prizes.

“Weekly Coupons” –at the library while supplies last, pick up coupons for  Quiznos, Rollerdome, Twin Transit, Northwest Trek, Point Defiance Zoo, Fairway Lanes, Papa Murphy’s, Centralia Ballet Academy, Hands On Children’s Museum (Olympia), Book n’ Brush, Southwest Washington Fair

“Wacky Wednesday” – Find four strange things in the library, and receive a small prize. Sponsored by the Friends of the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library.

529629_4076593189207_811326620_nReptile Man” – Thursday, June 19th at 11:00am – See and learn about 15 exotic reptiles from around the world. Scott Petersen, a zoologist and educator, shows turtles, an iguana, an alligator and numerous types of snakes. He also talks about each animal’s importance to the balance of nature. Certain animals will be available for petting after the performance.

“Family Program, Making Sense of Your Five Senses” – Wednesday, June 25th, at 11:00am -Explore the ways your five senses work both separately and together with games, activities and experiments that thrill the senses. Take-home crafts and activities will keep the fun and learning going.

fluffy dog“Stuffed Animal Sleepover” – Thursday, June 26th, all dayBring a favorite stuffed toy animal for a sleepover at the library. Tuck your animal in and say goodnight. Come back the next day to pick up your friend and find out what mischief the animals got into during their night at the library.

“LabARTory: DIY Craft” – Friday, June 27th, all dayDrop by the library any time during open hours for an arts & crafts activity.

Also be on the lookout for other fun, educational programs, such as;

“Experiments of a Mad Scientist” – Wednesday, July 2nd at 1:00pm

“Chris Fascione: Stories, Clowning & Mime” – Thursday, July 10th, 11:00am

“Rhys Thomas: Science Circus” – Thursday, July 17th, 11:00am

“Shaver Marionettes” – Wednesday, July 24rd, 11:00am

“Mad Science’s Spin, Pop, Boom!” – Thursday, July 31st, 11:00am

With all that’s planned by the Timberland Regional Library, and the events at the Chehalis Vernetta Smith branch – you can now prevent ever hearing that oh, so common summer cry: “Mom!  I’m bored!”

 

For more information, check out the Timberland Library website at:

http://www.trl.org

Or better yet, go on over the Chehalis Library and discover for yourself:

http://www.trl.org/Locations/Pages/LibraryInformation.aspx?lib=ch

400 N. Market Boulevard
Chehalis, WA  98532-0419

360-748-3301

For Timberland’s complete Calendar of events for all of Lewis County  (and more) Timberland Libraries.   http://events.trlib.org/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp

 

 

Discover! Crew Activity Sheets

Unfortunately we missed our blog entry last week.  One of our Discover! computers came down with a nasty virus.  Apparently even technology gets sick!

Anyways, getting back to all of you, we decided it has been a little while since we’ve had any new activity sheets for our Discover! fans.  So we decided to add a few more.

Tia’s Word Search: To print click green link below

Word Search 1

Word Search 1

Discover! Crew Jigsaw Puzzle: To print click green link below (This will require cutting)

Discover Crew Jigsaw

Discover Crew Jigsaw

For more fun FREE activity and coloring sheets, check them out at our site: http://www.discovermuseum.org/discovercrew.html

Have fun Discover! Friends!

Kids Helping at Garage Sales

Last week, we talked about helping children to let go of unused or outgrown belongings.  If you were successful, you may have found that you created quite a pile of belongings for them to either donate or put out for a garage sell.  This up and coming weekend has many in our communities starting to pull out tables and stickers to price.  So we thought why not include your kids in the process!

How to Start

Gather the Items

If you haven’t already done so, go through each room and create a pile that is garbage, one that could be donated, and then a pile of items to sell.   Don’t forget a room!  Closets, attics, basement, pump houses, and garages can be full of items.  Don’t think that people won’t buy your belongings.  You would be amazed what people might want, and if they don’t then you can haul it off after the sell is over.

This is a great opportunity to talk to your children about making money from selling belongings as well as  encouraging them to give to others.

garage salePrepping for Sale

Advertising

After you’ve chosen your date, you can start to spread the word.  You can place an add in the paper or online.  It’s amazing how many group pages you can find on facebook, created specifically for your community.  We found Lewis County Baby and Kids Site, Lewis County Furniture and Home Decor for Sale/Wanted, and Lewis County Area: Free, Wanted, For Sale as well.  There are so many, for examples: sports equipment, farm equipment/supplies/livestock, antiques, and more.   Craig’s List is also a great way to post about your garage sale too.   Make sure that you list the date of your sale, as well as location, and time.

“I saw ALL of your signs!”

IMG_5713[1]This is one of the most important things.  A small little paper, being batted around by the wind and possible rain, may do you little good.  We found that having a large sign, and a lot of them, makes a huge difference.  We used boards cut to  2′ x 3′ and some 12″ x 24,” and painted them white.  We simply placed the word “SALE” with an arrow on them.  Then put them at the head of each road to guide people there.  The days of the sale, they were set up in the mornings and taken down each evening.  We heard more people say “The saw the signs,” over reading about it in the paper or online!  The nice thing about these signs too, is you can use them for years to come.  These particular signs are twenty years old and are pulled out for any garage sell we hosted or for friends that needed them too!

Have the kids help paint the boards and the arrows.  They can even come along with a parent to set them up!

Garage Sale Essentials

IMG_5686[1]Stickers for Pricing

This particular task is great to include the kiddos.  Especially when it is for their own items.  They can decide how to price things, with guidance of course as well as putting each sticker on their own belongings.

Bins and Boxes

These can be very handy when you have a lot of things that are the same price.  Put a sign on the bin or write on the box the price you would want per item ($.10, $.50, $1).  Have your kids help sort the toys according to what each bin is marked at.  These worked great for all those toys that manage to make it home from McDonalds, the fair, school, as well as old stocking stuffers, cars, stuffed animals, barbies, and more.

Tables and Placement

Having table space makes it easy for browsers to look around.  You can use your own, borrow some, or make them.  One way to create more table space is by setting two tables three to four feet apart, lengthwise, then bridge the gap in between with a board that is about the same width of both tables.  You can also use sawhorses with a board on top to make a large table.  Table clothes can help to make the display look a little more put together, as well as conceal any items not included in the garage sale below.

IMG_5688[1]Now that you have your tables set up, call the kids back out.  This is another task where they can help! Have them pick a spot to put all the toys that are for sale.  Some kids may love setting them up to be displayed.  We found that they even gave pointers as to what level they should be placed… So kids coming in could see them.  Their sales skills are already blooming!  

Don’t Forget the Change

Find a money box or deposit bag to use.  Make sure to have fives, ones, quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies.  Chances are you will get a lot of people that will bring large bills.  Periodically take out the larger bills or when you start collecting a large amount, and set it aside in a safe place.

If you feel your child is ready, have them help to collect the money and count change back.

Ask for Help

It doesn’t hurt to have more than one adult present to help out with the garage sale.  It’s nice to have an extra hand to look out for sale itself and your kiddos if they are outside with you.  That’s why having a couple families doing a sale together can help make it be a lot less stressful for both families.

Time to Conduct Business

When the big day comes, prepare to have a smile ready,  hear some low ball offers, see many things go, and even…. talk your kids through saying goodbye to some of their well loved belongings.  Yes, they still might want to hang on, and you may need to pull out some tips from last weeks blog post.  ( http://discovermuseum.org/blog/2014/05/teaching-the-little-ones-to-let-go/ )

If they are still resistant, this could be a moment when you offer to match your child’s funds, or offer a reward with the earnings.  You may find that with a little bit of encouragement your kiddo may become a great salesman.  It’s also a great opportunity for them to count change, and add up how much they’ve made.

The most rewarding part is being able to free your house of clutter, and who wouldn’t want to cut some chaos out of their lives?  So if you are planning on having a garage sale, good luck to you Discover! friend!

IMG_5714[1]Discover! Crew Observations

  • Kids were somewhat resistant until they saw that they had money to spend.
  • Kids had fun when other children visited and played with them.  “The Perk” was that it relieved parents and grandparents a bit while they looked around.
  • Kids started demonstrating what the toys did while visiting children watched, which at times convinced parents to buy them.
  • Kids even went back into the house to grab more items to sell.  BONUS!!!!
  • Kids can help put things in the free box, as well as set up a lemonade stand.  If you have the time you can even make some cookies to sell!

Teaching The Little Ones to Let Go

SPRING-CLEANINGFor many, this time of year means it’s time to do some spring cleaning.  Emptying closets, putting away winter gear and pulling out the summer garb, and deep thinking sets in.  You may find yourself staring at the things that you haven’t used in months or years.  A list of people come to mind that could use them, or you may wonder how much money you could possibly get for your once treasured (fill in the blank).

Taking your items to friend, donating them, or putting together a garage sale all require time and patience.  No matter who you are or where you live there are nooks in every home where things sit and collect dust over a period of time.  Children’s rooms are no different. Most everyone, at some time in their lifetime, has gone through their belongings and rid themselves of items that don’t fit anymore or are no longer needed for that time in their lives.   What we take for granted is how healthy that is for us.  Learning to “let go” of stuff is a healthy habit for people to learn.

Involving-Kids-in-Daily-Cleaning-Chores-300x213Children learn their habits from those around them.  The way they treat their belongings, clean up after themselves, and eventually dispose of these items is also learned from their peers.  As adults we teach them how to take care of their prized toys, clean up with the multiple storage options we buy, and gently nudge them to donate/sale their outgrown toys to another kiddo that would love to play with them.

One sentimental blogger said that he would personify his belongings which made it hard for him to let go.  So when he started to get rid of things that he thought he could still possibly need in the future, for example his truck, he turned the tables and asked himself this:  “If my truck really were a living creature, it’s purpose would be to be used. Not to weigh me down. I realized I am disrespecting my things by leaving them laying around, dormant, trapped merely to serve my memories. They have a purpose that I’m holding them back from.” ~ Nicky Hajal

This advice can be easy for an adult to understand and try out, but how do you teach your kids to let things go?

pile_of_toysStart to Talk

  • Too much stuff can not allow enough room to play.
  • It’s hard to find the toys that you really want to play with.
  • Tripping isn’t fun!
  • “There are little kids that would love to play with the toys that you don’t play with anymore, and you feel so happy when you give.”  Share stories of toys you gave to younger kids when you were little.
  • It’s a sign that they’re growing up.
  • Have them pick their ten favorite toys that they love, and then let find ten toys that they don’t play with anymore.

Teaching them these habits will help them to continue to donate or get rid of things in the future.

family fun with cleaning upMake it Positive

One big thing you want to avoid is a negative experience.  There are several ways to do this.  When you are going through the process encourage them to talk about the space.  “Look at all this space, you could set up your hot wheels track now,” “Look, you have a whole cubby to put whatever you want in!  What do you think you can put in there?” Let them talk about what they can do differently in their room with the new available space.  Kids may be inspired to make their room more grown up, or the idea of donating may make them happy, and some might just love to spend the time with you.

toy storyLet it Go

There will be times during the process that they will cling to a toy that they haven’t played with in eons, and it’s your job to stay calm and walk them through a process of letting it go.   When they’re crying.. let them, sure it sometimes feels very sad to let go of something that used to be so fun to play with.  Explain that it will continue to have a good life giving the same pleasure to another happy kiddo and let them say goodbye and wish it a great life ahead.   You can do this with your own things too.  “Oh I love this hat… I wore it to Elsa’s and Jack Frost wedding, what a wonderful ceremony it was!  It’s such a shame I never wear it anymore!  I think I’m going to give it away to the little shop, where someone wonderful can wear it again!”  You showing this simple habit will be a great lesson, and is a truly good gift for their future.

Overloaded with Stuff

toy-donationWhatever you decide to do with your much loved belongings is up to you.  It may take time to build up a worthy amount of items to have a garage sale.  If you decide to donate your items there are many options.  You can ask churches if they or members of the congregation have specifics needs, local shelters (especially women’s shelters) welcome clothing and toys, and there is also a visiting nurses in Centralia and Chehalis.

Next week we will write something for throwing a garage sale with help from your kids.  Stay tuned!

Places to Donate

Visiting Nurses Centralia 222 S Pearl St.

Visiting Nurses Chehalis 749 Market Blvd.

Human Response Network (360) 748-6601

Salvation Army (360) 736-4339

Lewis County Shelter (360) 736-5140

Lewis County Women’s Shelter (800) 244-7414

Longview Housing Authority (360) 423-0140

Don’t forget to reach out to any church!

 

 

April Update

What’s Happening!

As mentioned in earlier blogs.  Our Advisory Committee was busy in February and March raising funds for the new building, securing a location, receiving estimates, pursuing grants, updating our website, exploring other museums, and putting together a presentation to visit with groups about the success of the pilot museum and our plans moving forward.  
Splash! our water table at the South Washington Fair
Splash! our water table at the South Washington Fair

On the road again!

We are excited to announce that we plan on being on the road and attending fun events around the area.  If you plan on going to Centrailia College Fun Fest on April 18th at 10 am, we will also be there!  We are currently organizing to have a staff person that will be able to attend these events, as well as have a trailer that can be used to transport mobile exhibits to each destination.  We are excited to bring you more news and pictures as it develops!

abcABC’s and 123’s

Since we know that our future success will be strongly dependent on location.  We knew that we would have to pick the right spot and space.  After much searching, we concluded that in order to find an area that met all requirements, we  would best suit those needs by building.  One big benefit to this, is that we can design the facility to have all the areas we dreamed of!  Such as exhibit floor, administrative offices, event room, gift shop, food court, and a place allocated for early education and development!

We are still in the first stage of exploring an early education program that will work for Discover!  The possibility is exciting, and we will have to make sure that we have the space available for it.  So as the months progress keep watching our updates for more news!

DSC-2628We would love to fill you in on what we’re doing!

The Discover! Board Members are excited to share what’s going on with Discover! with your group, school, daycare, or organization.  If you are interested in having us come to you for a presentation, please feel free to email us at info@discovermuseum.org

There are many other things that we went over in our meeting, but we will save them for later.  Until then, happy spring break Discover! Friends!

Suggestions?

We would love to hear any suggestions you have about what you would like to see on our blog.  If you are interested in helping with a blog post, we would love to hear from you. Some of the subjects are art, activities, animals, books, crafts, encouragement, events, Inspiration, parks, play dates, science, and more.  

Email us at: info@discovermuseum.org