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Sponsorship Spotlight—Target Free Family Nights

TargetBy Lindsay Pavell, Corporate Partnership Manager.
 
What makes the first Thursday night of the month so special? ...Free admission to The Children’s Museum, of course! Since 2007, Target has been a major partner in providing monthly free admission nights for the community—leading Target Free Family Nights to become something of an Indianapolis tradition.
 
Thanks to Target’s support, on the first Thursday of each month the museum opens free of charge from 4–8 p.m. On this special night, families explore five floors of museum galleries and participate in activities and programs centered on a unique theme, which may tie in with a current exhibit or the time of year. Recently we celebrated World Space Week with an “Out Of This World” Target Free Family Night, complete with a talk from Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence astronaut Dr. David Wolf!
 
Target celebrates the museum’s mission with a specific focus on providing free admission for underserved children and families. Because of Target Free Family Nights, we have new opportunities to create extraordinary learning experiences for families. At the museum we like to say that a day will last a lifetime—free nights make it possible for even more children to be inspired when they visit.
 
Be sure to stop by our next Target Free Family Night on Thursday, November 7, with the theme Making a Difference.  This event follows closely behind our annual Power of Children Awards, held November 1, which recognize youths who exemplify an extraordinary commitment to public service and social responsibility. On November’s Target Free Family Night your family will explore the lives of three extraordinary children: Ruby Bridges, Ryan White, and Anne Frank, and discover ways to give back to the community.
 
Did you know? We’re not the only museum that receives support from Target!  You can learn more about how Target is making a difference for kids nationwide at Target.com/Education
 

Safety Tips To Keep Your Family Cycling On This Summer

With its days full of warm weather and sunshine, summer is the perfect time for your family members -- from young children to parents to grandparents, and everyone in between -- to get outside and ride bikes.

But before your family takes advantage of all the health and leisure benefits that biking affords, it’s important to learn the ins and outs of bicycle safety.

We’ve compiled safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration below to help keep you and your loved ones safe and active all summer long while cycling. Make safety a family learning experience.

  • Girls wearing helmets on bikesMake yourself visible. Wear reflective clothing and outfit your ride with bike lights or reflectors on the front and back.
  • Get road ready. Before embarking on a bike ride, be sure tires are properly inflated and brakes are functioning properly.
  • Check fit. Wear a properly fitting helmet and adjust the fit of the bicycle seat and handlebars.
  • Know the rules of the road (or trail or sidewalk). No matter where you ride, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Go with the flow of traffic and obey laws or regulations that apply to the street, trail or sidewalk you’re riding along.
  • Be alert! Be on the lookout for traffic in all variations -- cars, pedestrians, other cyclists and so forth. Remember to watch for people or vehicles turning, merging onto your path or stopping ahead of you. Pay attention to any obstacles on your path, like potholes, puddles and parked cars.
  • Remember! It's generally safer to bike in the street, children under 10 should ride their bikes on the  sidewalk.

For more info check out this great post on Tips for Biking with Kids.

With a little planning and effort, your family is sure to enjoy this summer cycling safely!

The Sweet Taste of Success: Museum Apprentice Program Updates

Over the past few weeks, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Museum Apprentices have been hard at work creating their stands for Lemonade Day on Saturday, May 19th. To start this project, we divided them up into four groups and gave each group these challenges:

-Create a lemonade stand that is themed after an exhibit or icon in the museum.

-Create a unique recipe for your lemonade stand that will make it stand (ha, pun!) out from all the rest.

-Design an educational activity  that will enhance your stand and teach visitors about the icon or exhibit you are featuring.

-Meet with members of the Children's Museum Marketing Team to create a brand and really cool signs that will immediately cause lemonade cravings.

The challenges were set, the MAPs accepted, and they have been tirelessly creating lemonade stand gold for the big day.  Along the way, they sharpened their teambuilding skills, became experts of the lemonade culinary arts, and practiced their skills at creating fun and educational programming for children and families. They constructed their stands and spent hours in the test kitchen perfecting their lemonade recipes for the big day, and have arrived at the perfect lemon to sugar ratios. Millions of ideas were tossed around, and only the strong survived. What is left are four lemonade stands, four activities, and four recipes designed by the MAPs for the tastebuds and eager minds of our visitors.

I can't tell you all of the details, but I CAN tell you that you can expect to see some pirates, robots, dinosaurs, and explosions of color. Join us on Saturday, May 19th to buy lemonade to help support the Museum Apprentice Program and see what these amazing youth have been creating over the past few weeks. Learn more about the Museum Apprentice Program.

LEGO® Travel Adventure—This Week's WOW!

Spring is quickly approaching (can you believe the warm weather this week?!), and here at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, spring means Spring Break! This Spring Break we're especially excited about the LEGO® Travel Adventure exhibit that just opened.  The exhibit invites you to use one of the greatest building materials of all time—LEGO® bricks—as a vehicle for imagination. Where do you need to go? What does your vehicle need to do? You're not just along for the ride! You imagine the journey and the destination, and build your dream machine!

In This Week's WOW, Josh, Claire, and a special guest Nicole take part in a cool LEGO® challenge similar to what families will get to do at our LEGO® Late Night event on March 31. You pick the destination, determine what terrain you'll have to cross to get there, then build a vechicle to take you.



If you want to participate in a challenge like the one here, be sure to sign your family up for Spring Break LEGO® Late Night on March 31. If you're visiting from out of town this Spring Break, check out our hotel packages and get the most out of your family trip to Indianapolis.

LEGO® Travel Adventure is at the museum through July 22, 2012. Be sure to see it before it leaves!

March into Literacy at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis!

Book FairBy Ashley Zrosec, Family Programs Teacher

It’s National "March into Literacy" month!  At The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, we're celebrating with a series of activities and events to get YOU excited about reading!

We're kicking it all off at our Scholastic Book Fair opening today! We have books for the whole family.  The best part? Your purchase will earn points that allow us to purchase books for kids in our community. Last year we were able to provide more than 300 brand new books for kids to keep! This year, even your online purchases in the month of March will earn points, too!

In celebration of Literacy Month we've been compiling a list of our favorite books from when we were kids. Check out some of our favorite authors, titles, and book series:

Top 5 Authors

  • Dr. Seuss
  • Robert McCloskey
  • Shel Silverstein
  • Eric Carle
  • David A. Carter

Scholastic Book FairTop Book Series

  • The Mad Scientists’ Club
  • Harry Potter
  • Nancy Drew
  • Hardy Boys
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
  • Little House
  • Pinkerton

Top 10 Favorite Books

  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
  • Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  • Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Stay tuned, all month we'll be posting blogs about books that were influential in the lives of staff members here at the museum.

We’ll see you at the book fair where you can purchase new favorites of your own! And don’t forget...

"The more you read, the more you know, the more successful, you will grow!" - Dr. Seuss.

 

Digging for Dinosaurs - You will be WOWed.


One of the things that makes The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis the biggest and best in the world is its ability to extend learning beyond the walls of 3000 N. Meridian Street. In fact, every summer, museum staff and paleontologists escape the Dinosphere dome and travel all the way to the Badlands of South Dakota where they dig for real dinosaur bones! And the best part? You can do it too. That’s right, families, teachers and adults are all invited to register for single or multiple days of dino digging fun. And yes, we find stuff. Lots of stuff.

 

For example…

Last summer we found over 200 65 million year old specimen including Nano-tyranous teeth, femora from school bus sized Edmontosaurus annectens (aka Duckbill Dinosaur), ribs, mandible pieces and so much more! 

 

Check out This Week’s WOW to see what a day at the dig site looks like and learn the answer to the question Just what happens to all those fossils once they’ve been discovered and can I use mine as a paper weight?

 

 

To learn more or to register for this summer’s dig, click here.