Friday, June 18, 2010

The Path to Wisdom...

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A few weeks ago my path led me to the Peabody Essex Museum. It was a rainy day, drizzly and cold. My two children, ages 5 and 7, were bored stiff! My husband and I were looking for an activity that would be fun for the whole family. What we found was both entertaining and tremendously enriching. While the Peabody Essex Museum has a variety of exhibits geared to adults, they also offer the Play Zone; an area, chock full of interactive activities for kids!

Here we enjoyed the Trash Menagerie exhibit, where artist from around the world transformed recycled materials (plastic bottles, newspapers and trash) into amazingly beautiful works of art. Slideshows and videos were on hand for families who desired to discover more about global recycling and the route of inspiration for these gifted artists.

Additionally, we entered the drop-in Art Activity Center available to families and constructed spiders out of paper-mache. The activities offered in this room vary from week to week. A year ago, my daughter and her kindergarten class explored with paints.

As a final treat, we enjoyed a tour of the Yin Yu Tang; a 200 year old Chinese house. It was a great opportunity to learn about traditional Chinese architecture and gain an understanding of the Chinese culture.

My family and I spent the entire day at the Peabody Essex Museum thus turning a dreary day into an enjoyable one. What was most satisfying about this trip was that it gave my kids a chance to discover what was interesting to them. While my son was very interested in learning about recycling and the history of China, my daughter spent about an hour in the Art Center constructing various objects with paper-mache. These are things that they can build on; interests that may lead them to a path all their own.

Check out PEM’s upcoming events:

Move It! Art and Nature Story Time
For children ages 3-6 with an accompanying adult
(Deadline for reservations is TODAY)

Get into action with Swing, by Rufus Butler Seder, featured artists in the new interactive exhibition. Then create your own simple optical illusion toy.

PEM Pals

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Dinosaurs at the Museum!
For ages 3 and up

Watch the kids’ classic dinosaur film “Land before Time” (70 minutes) in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Kids can create their dinosaur feet to wear as they explore the museum and the special exhibitions Imprints: Photographs by Mark Ruwedel featuring spectacular color and black and white images of dinosaur tracks and ancient human footpaths.

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