Welcome Back to CMLH!

We are so excited to announce our re-opening next Wednesday, September 23rd! It has been a loooong time since our guests have played, learned, and discovered in our Museum and we are SO thrilled to tell everyone that we will be opening our Museum for 2-hour sessions from Wednesday-Friday 10AM-12PM!

Since the closure of the Museum in March, we have been putting our best foot forward to connect with our audience and create opportunities for playing and learning at home. We used our digital platforms to reach our audience and tell stories, play games, and do activities. We created a curbside pickup for kits that ranged from Everything Water to All Out Art. We created a Play Pass for families to come to our Museum and Design & Build, have a Dino Day, and more.

It has been such a joy to create programming for families during this time. We are beyond grateful for the patience and kindness that people have shown us while we try to get back on our feet and return to “normal”.

We’ve had some questions about our opening and what it means, so check out our FAQ below:

Q: What days are you open?
A: We will be open for play Wednesday-Friday from 10AM-12PM!

Q: What is the Museum’s capacity?
A: Our Museum is following state and local guidelines around health and safety during this time, and our new capacity is 50 persons inside the Museum!

Q: Do members need reservations as well?
A: Great question! To make sure we are following our capacity maximum, ALL guests inside of our Museum need a reservation. If you are a member and sending in your RSVP via Google Forms, just click the “Yes” box under the “Are you a member” question–no need to fill out the credit card info!

We will post more updates soon. Stay tuned for more information!

Teach Me Tuesday: All the Arts!

Hello friends, we’re back with another Teach Me Tuesday. Today we’ll be talking about supporting your child’s development through art. As caregivers, we know first hand that the artistic process is about more than developing skill as a painter or sculptor, but let’s talk about what’s really going on as your child finger paints, cuts paper, and draws!

We’ve talked before about the four pillars that make up the California Preschool Standards: mathematics, social-emotional development, language/literacy, and English language development. There are also guidelines on age-appropriate development for the arts! We’re going to focus on visual art, but there are also guidelines on dance, drama, and music. And guess what- they are things you, our amazing caregivers, are already doing with your little ones!

At the early childhood stage, art education isn’t about formal study of artists or cookie cutter skills. Here at the children’s museum, our approach is to focus on the process and use art as a medium in which to develop language, critical thinking, and sensory skills.

Language– Let’s use our words to describe our art! Model descriptive language related to your child’s work to help them develop their own language skills. Comments like “I put a cow in front of the barn,” “I like the circles you drew- blue is my favorite color,” and “That house reminds me of grandma’s house” help your child make connections between what they see and what it means.

Sensory skills and motor skills– Toddlers and preschoolers are very in tune with how things feel. Give your child a variety of materials to work with- slippery finger paint, delicate chalk and crayons, ripped paper collages, and everything in between. Working with clay and painting help develop finger muscles and small motor skills, which are the foundation for learning how to write! And remember, your child’s work doesn’t have to look exactly like the Pinterest sample- it’s the process of learning and creating that is so valuable.

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Literacy– How about extending an art activity by reading a book beforehand? We love The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Press Here by Herve Tullet, and MIXED by Arree Chung.

We hope this helps you understand that the value of art goes far beyond crafts and doodles! What kind of art does your child enjoy? Share it in the comments below!

Water Play and Everyday Learning

Hello friends, we are back with another Teach Me Tuesday focused on this week’s theme: water! Whether it’s splashing in a pool, taking a bath, or even washing their hands, children instinctively love the sensory action of water. With a little bit of prep, you can frame water play as an inviting learning experience! Here are some ideas to try at home.

DIY Water Wall

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Photo from Little Bins for Little Hands

Attach funnels, cut open water bottles, plastic tubing, or whatever strikes your fancy to a fence. Use zip ties to attach your water wall pieces. It may take some tinkering to create a successful path to the bottom, but that’s part of the learning experience- and part of the fun.

Measuring Cups

Give your little one plastic measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a small pitcher for pouring and scooping water. This develops motor skills (muscle control) and independence (building towards pouring their own drinks). Point out the numbers or volume measurements on the cups (“Can you pass me the quarter cup measuring cup?” “What if we add 2 teaspoons of bubble bath to the tub?”). Which bottle holds more water, the tall skinny one or the short wide one?

Toy Wash

Toys being cleaned in soapy water
Happy Hooligans

Keeping toys cleaned and sanitized is more important than ever! Set up a small, shallow bin with water, child-friendly soap, and a scrubbing brush. This soothing activity also sets your child up to contribute to the household and other cleaning chores- it’s a win win!

Water Painting and Ice Cube Painting

Try a quick water activity on the next hot summer day to cool off with your kids!
Hands On As We Grow

This one couldn’t be simpler- give your child a bowl of water and a paintbrush (bonus points if you let them use real tools like paint rollers or a house paintbrush), and let them “paint” outside with water! For a different experience, freeze water (add food coloring if you have it) and a popsicle stick- this works well on paper or outdoors. Can you still see your water painting a few hours later? Why or why not? Where do you think the water goes?

How do you play with water at home with your little one? Are there any ideas that we’re missing? Please share in the comments below!

Thank-You-Thursday: Making it Happen.

Hi all! Welcome back to another Thank-You-Thursday, where we thank the people, organizations, and community members who make our Museum’s mission of “play for everyone” possible!

Today we are thanking our local American First Credit Union branch for providing bags and supplies for a FREE giveaway (hint: look at the bottom of this post for more information). Not only did they bring by these super cute bags with coloring pages and crayons, but they also do a lot to uplift our Museum throughout the year. Let’s talk about it!

As some of you know, the work we do at our non-profit Children’s Museum depends on different streams of support, particularly donations made by generous donors like American First Credit Union. They support our programming, staff, and even keep community at the center of their organization by tying in a Museum membership when banking with them!

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Picture from the grand opening of the Harbor-Imperial branch.

We are so grateful to the organizations in our community who continue to make donations and make us a priority–even through a pandemic where things are especially tough and community is more important than ever.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

Keep an eye out for a post about our American First Credit Union giveaway next Friday, September 11th from 11AM-1PM or while supplies last!

With love and thanks,
The Children’s Museum at La Habra