Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thumbprint Butterflies

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

This week is all about butterflies at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: 9” X 12” piece of construction paper, stamp pads with colored ink or assorted colors of tempera paint and markers.

Instructions:

Look at pictures of butterflies.

Choose a piece of paper.

Press your thumb onto a stamp pad or into a small puddle of paint.

Press your thumb on the paper four times to create the wings of a butterfly.

Use markers to add a body and antennae.

Create a picture around your butterflies.  Add more insects.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

You can begin this project by sharing a book about butterflies with your child.  Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek is a wonderful picture book that introduces the child to colors in addition to butterflies.  Following are some fun butterfly facts to share with your child:

  • Butterflies range in size from 1/8 inch to almost 12 inches wide.
  • There are about 24,000 species of butterflies
  • Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton.  This protects the insect and keeps moisture inside their bodies.
  • Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.
  • Butterflies can fly as fast as 12 miles per hour.
  • Monarch butterflies journey over 2,000 miles from the Great Lakes to spend the winter in the Gulf of Mexico.  They return north again in the spring.
  • Most butterflies have a short life span, but some do live for 9-10 months.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

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Munching, crunching caterpillars

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

This caterpillar craft introduces the beginning stages of life as a butterfly. You can see live caterpillars turning into real butterflies at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix this week.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: styrofoam peanuts (white or colored – available at craft stores), pipe cleaners cut into 1” lengths, markers, green construction paper, glue sticks or white glue and scissors.

Instructions:

Choose a peanut.  Use markers to add a face and details on the body (i.e., stripes, polka dots, etc.)

Stick two pipe cleaners for antennas on top of the head.

Draw and cut a leaf shape out of the construction paper.  Glue your caterpillar on the leaf.  You can make holes in the leaf where s/he has been munching.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

Creating caterpillars is a wonderful way to introduce the young child to the life cycle of the butterfly.  A good way to begin this project is to read your child a book about butterflies.  Two of our favorites are Butterflies by Kate Davis and My, oh My – a Butterfly! by Tish Rabe.  You can also review the following information with your child:

  • The life cycle of a butterfly begins when a butterfly lays tiny eggs on a leaf.
  • The eggs hatch into larva called caterpillars.
  • The caterpillar eats leaves.  As it grows, it sheds its old skin and forms a new one.
  • When the caterpillar is fully grown, it attaches itself to a twig and transforms into a pupa by forming a hard shell called a chrysalis.
  •  The butterfly is formed in the chrysalis.  Eventually it breaks out of its chrysalis and flies away.  It lays eggs and a new cycle begins.

You may order your own caterpillars from Insect Lore (www.insectlore.com; 800-548-3284).  You will receive three to five Painted Lady caterpillars with food for $14.99 plus shipping and handling.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Sea Turtles

By Beth Jenkins
Art Studio Assistant, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

It’s Earth & Sky month at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. This project introduces the sea turtle, an endangered species.

Ages: preschool (with assistance)  & up.

Materials: 6” X 9” piece of white construction paper, 4” X 5” piece of green construction paper, paper fasteners, scissors and markers or crayons.

Instructions:

Show a picture of a sea turtle to your child.  Have them draw and cut out a turtle from the green paper.  Decorate with markers or crayons.

Help your child draw an egg shape larger than the turtle on white paper.

Cut out the egg and decorate it.

Draw and cut a jagged line in the middle of the egg, cutting the egg in half so it looks like it was cracked in two pieces.

Use a paper fastener to attach the two egg pieces on top of the turtle.

Open and shut the shell to demonstrate the hatching of the baby sea turtle.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

A good way to begin this project is to read your child a book about sea turtles.  Two of our favorites are One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies and Jane Chapman, and I’ll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara and Lee Edward Fodi.  This is an optimal time to introduce the topic of endangered species and what we can do to protect them.  The following information can be reviewed with your child:

  • Sea turtles are an endangered species that live in warm oceans around the world.
  • They are the largest of turtles and can grow to 7 feet long, weigh 1000 lbs., and live to be 100 years old.
  •  The life cycle of the sea turtle begins when a mother turtle travels thousands of miles to the beach where she was born.
  • She digs a pit in the sand and lays about 100 eggs, the size of ping-pong balls.
  • She covers the pit and leaves.
  • Baby turtles hatch in 50 to 70 days, crawling across the sand to ocean.
  • It is a dangerous journey since they can be eaten by predators such as birds and fish. They can also die from ingesting plastic wrappers floating in the ocean.
  • Those babies that survive eat fish, seaweed, and algae and grow to adulthood.
  • Certain beaches are designated as protected habitats for turtles that are nesting.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Welcome to my garden! – a springtime collage

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

It’s Earth & Sky month at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. This project teaches children how a seed grows into a plant.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: brown construction paper or a brown paper bag cut into 6” X 9” pieces, tissue paper scraps, glue stick or white glue, scissors, birdseed, dried beans, peas and/or corn.

Instructions:

Choose a piece of construction paper and fan-fold it along the 9” side to create furrows to “plant” seeds in.

Create plants and flowers out of tissue paper.

Glue beans, seeds, and plants and flowers in the furrows.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

Following April’s theme of “Earth and Sky,” we are focusing in the Art Studio on living a “green” lifestyle.  This is a wonderful art project using simple materials that introduces the young child to how a seed grows into a plant.

Any art project lends itself to integrating corresponding literature.  There are many fine books which have a garden theme.  Here are two of our favorites:  The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a treasured story of how childhood faith is rewarded.  It is ideal for the very small child. The Flower Ball by Sigrid Laube and Silke Leffler, French authors, is a story about vegetables who crash a ball hosted by some snooty flowers.

Here is an ideal time to review with your child some facts regarding how a seed becomes a plant:

1.  A seed needs soil, water, and sunlight to germinate or grow into a plant.
2.  The root grows downward in the soil to receive water and nutrients for growth.
3.  The shoot grows upward, reaching for sunlight.
4.  When the shoot reaches the surface it becomes a sprout.
5.  The sprout develops green leaves, becoming a seedling.

What a wonderful time to plant an actual garden with your child– even in a container pot!

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Frog puppets that catch flies!

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The  Children’s Museum of Phoenix teaches children about the life cycle of frogs with this clever craft.

Ages: preschool (with help) & up.

Materials: 6” or 9” white or green paper plates, stapler,  scissors, white glue, crayons,  green construction paper cut into 2” x 4” pieces, red construction paper cut into 2” X 6” pieces, red yarn cut into 8” lengths,  ½” X 1” pieces of black crepe or tissue paper.

Instructions:

Fold a paper plate in half.  Cut another paper plate in half and staple that half onto the first plate.  This makes a hand hold so you can hold onto the frog’s head to “catch flies.”

To make frog eyes, draw two elongated “n” shapes on two pieces of green paper with crayons.  At the tops draw eyeballs.

Cut out the eyes, fold up a flap on the bottom, and glue them onto the top of the half paper plate to create stand-up eyes.

Draw and cut out a long skinny tongue out of the red paper.

Take a piece of yarn, place it under the tongue, and glue this inside the mouth on the bottom of the paper plate.

Pinch a piece of black crepe or tissue paper in the middle to form a bow shape.  Tie this at the end of the yarn to create a “fly.”

Use crayons to decorate the frog – green spots, etc.

Put the frog on your hand and try to “catch” flies.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

This is a wonderful project where your child can learn about the life cycle of frogs while making a toy that reinforces hand/eye coordination.  You can share the following poem as you show pictures of how frog eggs become tadpoles and then adult frogs.

Five Little Tadpoles

Five little tadpoles swimming near the shore.

The first one said, “Let’s swim some more.”

The second one said, “Let’s rest awhile.”

The third one said, “Swimming makes me smile.”

The fourth one said, “My legs are growing long.”

The fifth one said, “I’m getting very strong.”

Five little tadpoles will soon be frogs.

                                      They’ll jump from the water and sit on logs.

 

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Chalk Silhouettes

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The  Children’s Museum of Phoenix shares how to make a beautiful chalk silhouette of your favorite outdoor scene.

Ages: preschool (with help) & up.

Materials: 6” X 9” piece of bright colored construction paper, 6” X 9” scrap pieces of paper, 6” X 9” piece of black construction paper, colored chalk, scissors, glue sticks or white glue and pencils.

Instructions:

Choose a piece of brightly colored construction paper.

Take a scrap of paper and tear off a skinny edge the length of the long side of the paper.

Rub a heavy line of chalk on the ripped edge of the scrap paper.

Place the scrap paper on top of the colored construction paper so that they fit together perfectly.

Holding down on the scrap paper, rub the chalk off the ripped edge onto the construction paper.  Remove the scrap paper and you have now created a serrated line of chalk on the construction paper.

Tear off another skinny edge off the scrap paper, rub chalk on the edge, hold it on the colored paper, and rub the chalk off the scrap paper onto the colored paper.

Repeat the process until you reach the bottom of the scrap paper.  Remove it and notice the beautiful rows of chalk lines you have created.

On the black paper draw a simple outdoors scene.

Cut out your black picture and glue it onto the colored construction paper creating a silhouette.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

silhouette  (sil’ oo et) noun, a representation of the outline of an object, as a cutout or outline drawing, filled in with black

This is a wonderful opportunity to inform your child that we have borrowed words from other languages to create our English language.  Silhouette has its origins as a French word.  In the 18th century, before the invention of cameras, artists created a silhouette of a person by cutting their profile out of black paper and mounting it on white paper.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Continuous Line Drawings

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Relax and let the creativity flow with this project from the  Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

Ages: 5 & up.

Materials: white drawing paper, fine tipped black markers or pencils and crayons.

Instructions:

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and relax.

Take a black marker or pencil, put it on the paper, and slowly move it around the paper, not lifting it off the paper. Do not attempt to draw a picture of anything and don’t overdo the drawing. Keep it simple.

Open your eyes. Remove the marker. Turn the paper around, looking at the random shapes you have created. Do the shapes suggest pictures of anything?

Using crayons, color in the shapes to represent whatever they suggest.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

A continuous line drawing focuses on “line” as an element of design. Sometimes when people draw, they are so focused on making things look real, their muscles actually tighten up which can impede the creative process. This exercise is a good way for your children to relax as they draw. There is no right or wrong way to accomplish a continuous line drawing. Not only does the drawing spark the imagination, it also can result in some silly combinations of pictures. Have fun!

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.