The Glazer Children’s Museum can be a source of fun and learning for your family even while you’re at home. The museum recently launched GCM@Home, a virtual learning platform packed with science experiments, recipes, art projects and so much more. We asked the team at GCM to tell us their favorite at-home activities and they gave us some great ones. Try these at home and don’t forget to share your creation by tagging the Glazer Children’s Museum on social media with #GCMatHome.
Cave Painting with Ashley
Cave paintings can be found all over the world, even in your own home—with a little imagination, of course.
Some cave paintings are over 35,000 years old, created during the Paleolithic time period when our ancestors lived in caves and first started making tools out of stone. Some of the most familiar cave paintings are found in France in the Lascaux Caves (you can help your kiddos find images of this cave online). Early artists painted different animals they may have seen and used their hands as stencils.
Here’s how your little ones can channel their inner cave painters:
- Gather your materials: crayons, markers, colored pencils and paper. You can even make your own paint by mixing different spices found at home with water. Use any paper you have; I used the inside of a brown paper grocery bag so that my art looks more like it was created on a cave wall.
- Find a place to create! Your little ones can create a blanket fort cave, sit under a table, or anywhere they feel comfortable.
- Create! Show your children how to use their hands as stencils like the early cave painters to make animals.
- Hang up the artwork in your cave!
-Ashley Williams, Field Trip Educator
Baking PUPcakes with Chris
This is my absolute favorite activity. It gives you and your family a chance to have some fun in the kitchen and leaves you with a fun and tasty treat for your furry friends. These dog- friendly cupcakes, or PUPcakes, are super simple to make and they use ingredients that you may already have at home.
All you need is whole wheat or oat flour, quick cooking oats, organic peanut butter and water. Mixing together equal parts of all the ingredients is a great way to introduce the concept of chemical reactions as you turn the dry and wet ingredients into a thick, biscuit-like textured batter. Complex subjects like chemistry are easier to understand with an engaging and memorable experience to tie into the lesson! Once the batter is divided up in a muffin tin, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. While you wait, ask thought provoking questions, such as how your kiddo thinks the thick and gooey batter can turn into a cake. The answer? An endothermic reaction! In an endothermic reaction, energy (heat) is being absorbed by the batter as it sits in the oven. That heat helps produce bubbles in the batter which will cause it to rise and give it that light texture that we all know and love.
When the cupcakes are finished, and the science lesson handled, allow them to cool for five minutes. If you want to continue the fun, you can pivot towards making some icing for the cupcakes using a simple combination. Keep the ratio of 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt for every ¼ cup of peanut butter and mix the amount you want! Additionally, you can add various toppings; my dog loves oats and slices of banana on top.
Give it a try! Your kiddo (and pup) will thank you!
-Chris Bueno, Field Trip Educator
Exploring your creativity with Sensory Shaving Cream
This sensory activity is simple, but it can be hours and hours and hours of fun! It’s super cool to feel the shaving cream on your hands and on the ground. It’s always good to get your hands in and get involved with a craft.
Materials: Can of shaving cream, paper towels, food dye and assorted utensils. You’ll want to do this activity on a flat, clean surface like a counter top OR lay a plastic table cloth on the floor.
Directions: Pour a generous amount of shaving cream on the area you want to create in. Don’t forget to shake the can first. Flatten and spread the shaving cream out with your hands, then draw away with your finger or utensils! Add food coloring to experiment with different colors. Use different household utensils to make interesting patterns in the shaving cream!
While you draw, think about these questions: What texture does the shaving cream feel like? What can I draw in the shaving cream? What words can I write? If you’re using food dye, what happens when you add color to the shaving cream? What happens when you mix two different colors together?
How fast can you write all the letters of the alphabet? How many words can you spell correctly in a minute? You can draw a picture and have someone try and guess what it is. The possibilities are endless!
-Jenna Rinnicker, Playologist