Children’s educational programs on the Chinese New Year, dancing, active play, art, literacy and science will behighlighted during the Spring 2014 Children’s Museum: Family Times season that begins Saturday, Feb. 8.
Children’s Museum: Family Times offers interactive, hands-on educational experiences in a environment where the Cortland community — parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, college students, teenagers and young children — can be inspired to play and learn together.
Organizers have added “Family Times” to the museum’s name to more closely represent what the program involves: children, families and other adults learning and playing together.
Presented by faculty in SUNY Cortland’s Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department and students who are teacher candidates, the programs run on selected Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., unless otherwise noted. The activities are open to community families and their children. With the exception of the “Week of the Young Child: Kidsville” event and the Cortland Blooms Festival, all programs will take place at the Child Care Center on the ground floor of the Education Building, located on Prospect Terrace. Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted.
On Feb. 8, Hai Ying Wang, lecturer in SUNY Cortland’s Modern Languages Department, will celebrate the Chinese New Year with participants as the first event in 2014, the year of the horse. The families will do Chinese New Year activities, listen to stories related to spring festival celebrations and make and taste dumplings.
Susan Stratton, an associate professor of childhood/early childhood education, will offer “The Incredible Journey of Water” on Feb. 22. Children will roll large, paper dice and learn where they — as a water molecule — might go next, whether they rise into a cloud, fall as rain into the ocean or become a drink of water lapped up by a jaguar. Other movement-oriented water activities such as “creating a thunderstorm” and “water visualization” will be shared during this presentation. The Cortland Dance Company, a student dance ensemble, will join the gathering at 11 a.m. to encourage participants to dance and move their bodies to music.
On March 1 Orvil White, an associate professor of childhood/early childhood education, will host “Dinosaurs Galore!” The youngsters and families can make their very own dinosaur hand puppets, finger puppets or shadow puppets, which they will be encouraged to take home and use to tell stories and entertain family and friends. They also will explore dinosaur eggs.
Andrea Hart, SUNY Cortland’s registered dietitian nutritionist and New York State certified dietitian, and Aaron Hart, programs development director for SPARK, will host “Staying Healthy and Being Active” on March 22. SPARK is a research-based, public health organization dedicated to creating, implementing and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. The children will learn about the different food groups, various healthy choices and different ways to make healthy nutritious snacks at home. The families will have an opportunity take part in creating a healthy snack. Children also will participate in physical educational games and activities that are centered on staying active and healthy.
Elaine Sturges, an early childhood professional and the “Project Wild” facilitator, will present “Beautiful Butterflies” on March 29. Children and adults will explore butterflies and discover their life cycle from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. Activities will include song and movement, butterfly stories, art projects and a variety of hands-on butterfly materials.
Judith Schillo, a lecturer in childhood/early childhood education, will present “Painting from Books” on April 5. Participants will explore the different painting styles of famous children’s book illustrators. They will play with paint to create their own masterpieces that are easy and fun. Children and adults can make and take samples of their favorite styles.
On April 12, celebrating the national “Week of the Young Child,” the program moves to the Cortland Country Office Building Gymnasium on 60 Central Ave. There the youngsters and their families will join “Kidsville,” the City of Cortland children’s Fair, where SUNY Cortland childhood/early childhood education majors will provide interactive children’s activities.
Additionally, the museum’s dedicated volunteers will be present at the Cortland Blooms Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. Patricia Roiger, a lecturer in childhood/early childhood education, will host the event, which is part of the College’s “Green Days” celebration formerly called “Sustainability Month.” Activities related to the festival’s theme will take place at the Cortland Country Office Building Gymnasium.