Gift the JOY of Play…
While we have enjoyed some pretty nice weather this fall, that’s likely to change as we begin to move into December. Luckily DCM has some fun things planned while you stay warm indoors!
As December arrives, we have a variety of special programs, and we would love for you to join us! Get out of the cold and come in for all our Family Fun Friday Nights. At our First Friday Studio Sensation, from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m., you can paint with ice cubes in our Studio. On December 11, the Naperville Area Humane Society will be here doing presentations at 6:00 and 6:45 p.m. about animal facts, safety, and more. Our last Family Fun Friday Night event will be on December 18 as the Wheaton Starz Dance Troupe performs at 6:00 and 6:45 p.m. in our Cafe! All Family Fun Friday Night events are free with membership or admission.
Extending Learning at Home
Whether you prefer to have your fun inside or out, here are some ideas for building on what you have learned while playing with us at the Museum.
Winter Art and Science – I personally am a believer in outside time all year round, even if it is only for 15 minutes, but of course the weather in the Chicagoland area does not always cooperate with us, and that requires us to get creative! That being said, I have done the following activities both inside and out. If you want to try any of these inside, I recommend covering the floor and table top with old towels because open-ended learning tends to be fun and messy!
Rock Salt and Ice Science – Materials: A few containers of different shapes and sizes, eye droppers, liquid watercolors or food coloring, rock salt (table salt will work but a coarse salt is a little more dramatic), and a container in which to conduct your experiments, i.e. a sensory tub. (A baking sheet with a lip might work but you will need to periodically dump the water to prevent overflow.)
Fill containers with water and freeze overnight. When you are ready loosen the ice with warm water and place the ice into your sensory tub. Provide your children with a generous amount of salt to sprinkle onto the ice. Observe the ice closely to see what happens. Next, use the eye droppers to fill in the cracks on the ice surface with different colors. The reason for adding the liquid watercolors is to highlight the ravines, crevasses, and tunnels that are forming in the ice as the salt melts it.
Snow Painting – You can use actual paint and paintbrushes or spray bottles with water and food coloring. Spray mounds of snow to experiment with color mixing or decorate your snowman or snow fort. If you want to bring this activity inside, just scoop snow into either a sensory tub or a long, shallow plastic storage bin.
We want to hear from you…
What are your favorite December family activities? Have you tried something new lately that you want to share? We would love to hear from you! Comment below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.