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HOP RIGHT IN!  

I can’t believe May is almost over!  I have missed a couple of blog posts, but I promise it has been for a VERY good reason!  I have been EXTREMELY busy getting ready to Jump into June!  June is an exciting month for us at Coastal Heritage Society.  We have a LOT going on, and just two of our exciting adventures are the grand opening of Savannah Children’s Museum’s Exploration Station on June 9th at 9 a.m., and Savannah Summer Camps beginning on June 11th!  Instead of a typical blog post this week, I want to make sure all of you have the fantastic details on these events 🙂

Savannah Children’s Museum’s

Exploration Station

People in Savannah have been asking about a local Children’s Museum for years, and it’s about to happen!  Savannah Children’s Museum’s Exploration Station is a 1-acre, 2-level outdoor exhibit space that encompasses all domains of learning, with a focus on imaginative play and exploration.

Every detail of this exhibit space has been designed to encourage meaningful learning through play. Educational standards and developmental growth have been the keystones for the design, construction, and finishing touches in every exhibit area.  Your family will have an opportunity to engage in all sorts of challenging and educational activities. Our team has been dreaming of this day, working long after the sun sets each night, making it a reality!

 

OPERATING HOURS

Tuesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. -2 p.m.,

Closed on Mondays for  resetting and maintenance of exhibits.

ADMISSION COST

$7.50 per person ages 1 and older.

PARKING & ADDRESS

The parking lot will be shared with  Georgia State Railroad Museum, which has the same physical address of

655 Louisville Rd, Savannah, GA 31401

Located just off  Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd where Liberty becomes Louisville Rd.

RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY

Join us along with various special guests on June 9th, at 9am, for the GRAND OPENING ribbon cutting ceremony. The parking lot  will open at 8am.I hope you can come celebrate this wonderful addition to Savannah with us!

SPECIAL NOTE: Exploration Station is an outdoor venue. Casual dress encouraged, along with water bottles, sunscreen and good old Savanna bug spray. Your kids WILL get dirty, they WILL get wet, and above all, they WILL have fun!!

Look for our ad full of sneak preview pictures, in this Sunday’s Savannah Morning News!

I hope you can come!

EXPLORATION STATION

is made possible with support from

Girl Scout Grand Slam!

Do you have a Daisy, Brownie, Junior or older Girl Scout? Maybe you recently bought cookies from one! Help us spread the word about Savannah History Museum’s new exhibit, opening this weekend! Women of Merit featuring Juliette Gordon Low & The Girl Scouts is an exhibit the whole family will enjoy.

Leopold’s Ice Cream will be on-hand helping us celebrate Saturday June 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Show up between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday and have your picture take with “Daisy”!

Savannah History Museum is powered by Coastal Heritage Society

Savannah Summer Camps

This year, Coastal Heritage Society is offering 3 fantastic Summer Camps for kids!

The first, Get on Board camp, is for our youngest campers and will be held at Georgia State Railroad Museum.

The second, The Great Train Exploration, is much like the first- but for older campers that are ready for a more in-depth railroading experience.

The third, Travel Through Time in Savannah camp, is also for our older campers and will have children traveling through time in our great city- from the Native Americans who once lived here, through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, to modern day Savannah.

And since I know all of you are wondering, each camp will get an opportunity to enjoy SCM’s Exploration Station one afternoon during the week 🙂

Take a moment to click on the link below for more information on each camp, dates, and registration links!

https://savannahkidschs.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/summer-camps/

 

Bubbling Bonuses

Our sister-blog, Diary of a Museum: The Story of Savannah Children’s Museum is a great behind-the-scenes scoop on what we’re doing to get Exploration Station ready for opening day!

Thank you! Until next week,

~Liz

HOP RIGHT IN!  

Mother’s Day is in just a few days!  While we should show our love and appreciation for the mothers in our lives EVERY day, this is a special day to place her in the spotlight.  I like to think of Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate the important women in our lives; the ones that inspire us, nurture us, support us, and challenge us.  This may be a mom, neighbor, a friend, an aunt, cousin, niece, or sister… but whoever it is for you, please take a moment to say ‘thanks’ for all that they do.

~Liz Comparetto

BOOKSHELF ESSENTIALS

Where the Wild Things Are

By: Maurice Sendak

ISBN-10: 0060254920

The world lost a true visionary author/illustrator this week.  Maurice Sendak, who is best known for his Caldecott Medal book, Where the Wild Things Are, passed away on Tuesday May 8th.  I want to honor him by highlighting this extraordinary book that I, undoubtedly, consider a bookshelf essential.  Where the Wild Things Are is a modern children’s classic that follows a little boy named Max into a magical nightmare.  Yes, it is a nightmare… but it is truly a magical place in which Max finds strength, acceptance, and conquers his fears.  Children love to act out the wild rumpus, portraying their favorite ‘Wild Thing’.  Taking on the role of something previously considered scary, is very empowering to children (and adults, honestly!)  If you don’t have this book in your collection, I HIGHLY recommend it!

FAMILY FUN

Since Mother’s Day is just a couple days away, I pinned a bunch of fabulous Mother’s Day ideas on one of our Pinterest boards.  Go check it out!

Ask Liz

Liz,

I am a first grade teacher and I have a female student in my class who’s mother died last year.  What are your thoughts on celebrating Mother’s Day in my classroom?

-Sarah (SC)

Sarah,

What a tragic loss to experience at such a young age!   From my education and experience with death and grieving, children need to feel free to communicate these very tough emotions.  Some children (and adults) do this in a private way, in which they wouldn’t feel comfortable with a group Mother’s Day activity.  Other children are very vocal about their emotions and want to share these feelings and memories with those around them.  I have had experience with both types of reactions to significant loss.  I would recommend taking the girl aside, privately, and having an informal chat about her feelings regarding Mother’s Day.  At 6 or 7 years old, she should be able to tell you how she feels about the celebration and activities.  Follow her lead.  If she appears uncomfortable at all, that is your answer.  Another direction you could go is to make the activity more about celebrating important women in our lives, not necessarily mothers.  I’m guessing (or hoping, rather) that a female family member has stepped up and has become the nurturing influence in her life.  This could be an opportunity to celebrate significant women in general, which could be less intimidating and emotional for the girl.  I hope my advice was the slightest bit helpful.  Good luck with this tough situation!

-Liz

Bubbling Bonuses

Make sure to head over to our Summer Camp post to find out more about all of the fun camps that CHS is offering this year!

Our sister-blog, Diary of a Museum: The Story of Savannah Children’s Museum is a great behind-the-scenes scoop on what we’re doing to get Exploration Station ready for opening day!

Thank you! Until next week,

~Liz

HOP RIGHT IN!  

Hi everyone!  First, let me say thank you for the comments on my posts!  It really makes my day to read your thoughts and interact with you this way.

I have a serious addiction to children’s books.  I’ll be blatantly honest.  It’s a bit problematic when our living room bookshelves have more children’s books than big people books.  Well it might be problematic for some, but I am perfectly content!  This week, I’m going to share 2 fabulous authors with you, and a great activity for having fun with language.  I hope you enjoy!

~Liz Comparetto

BOOKSHELF ESSENTIALS

Instead of highlighting one book this week, I want to highlight one of my all-time favorite children’s author/illustrators, David Shannon.  He has written and illustrated more than a dozen of what I would consider ‘bookshelf essentials.’  I’m sure you’ll recognize some of the titles from the ‘David’ series; No, David!, David Gets in Trouble, and David Goes to School.  The recurring character, David, is actually modeled after the author as a child.  My favorite *secret* about Shannon’s books is that his dog, Fergus, makes an appearance in almost every one.  In fact, I have yet to find one that doesn’t have Fergus hiding somewhere in its pages!  That’s his picture on the side in case anyone wants to go searching!  One of his lesser known books, A Bad Case of Stripes, is a wonderful way to reinforce to your children that being just like everyone else is no fun.  Duck on a Bike is a hilarious tale of a bunch of farm animals who borrow bikes from the neighborhood kids and go cruising… nothing beats a horse riding a bike!  The last book I’ll mention (though I could go on all night!) is Alice the Fairy.  It’s a tale of a little girl, who happens to be modeled after Shannon’s daughter, that finds pure magic in everything around her.  She even imagines her bathwater as Jell-o!

FAMILY FUN

One thing I have learned through my years teaching in the classroom, and also as a parent, is that having fun with language is the ALL-TIME BEST way to foster a love of literacy in children.  I could very well go all ‘teacher-ish’ on you and give you all the formal research, but that would be really boring to the average reader!  What I will tell you is to play.  Play with sounds, letters, intonation, meanings, and metaphors.  One of the current favorite language games we play at our house is with first sounds.  Vinnie (our 4 year old) is learning all of his sounds and letters and he’s starting to put together words with their beginning sounds.  We take an ordinary word or name and change the first letter/sound in order to make it as silly as we can.  For instance, if we take his name, he can tell us it starts with a V.  He’ll tell me another letter and I’ll change the first sound of his name accordingly… Vinnie becomes Finnie, which becomes Binnie, and then Zinnie.  He ends up rolling on the floor with laughter and coming up with plenty of his own in the meantime.

Another great game to play is with voices and intonation.  Instead of just saying, ‘Put away your toys, please’, I might say it in a laughing voice, a scary voice, or a singsongy voice.  I’ll put emphasis on words that don’t necessarily need emphasis in a sentence, such as ‘away’ in ‘put AWAY your toys, please’.  It makes it fun.  It makes the mundane enjoyable.  And above all, it makes kids eager to play along.  The more experience they have playing with language, the more they’ll appreciate it and enjoy it!

The book pictured above is The Z was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg… an amazing book for older children that makes the alphabet really fun and interesting, even if they’ve known their ABC’s for years!

 Ask Liz

As you may have noticed, I really like language.  I deeply enjoy teaching language and I love playing with language.  I promise this section won’t be as long as the last two… I do tend to be a little long-winded, especially when I’m really passionate about something 🙂  I am using this week’s Ask Liz to highlight another author/illustrator that has me as a devoted fan… Shel Silverstein.  His silly poems have been delighting children (and adults) for more than 30 years now.  He has a knack for making language fun, which you obviously have guessed by now, I am a big fan of!  I just have to share my absolute favorite Silverstein poem, My Beard from his compilation of poems, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

-Liz

Bubbling Bonuses

Make sure to head over to our Summer Camp post to find out more about all of the fun camps that CHS is offering this year!

Our sister-blog, Diary of a Museum: The Story of Savannah Children’s Museum is a great behind-the-scenes scoop on what we’re doing to get Exploration Station ready for opening day!

Thank you! Until next week,

~Liz

HOP RIGHT IN!  

First, I have to give all of you an enormous apology for not doing a post last week!  Wednesday came and went… and no new post for all of our loyal followers 😦  I’m sorry!

Second, I have to tell you that I was up in the air about this week’s post topic… until about 5 seconds ago, literally.  I looked up from my laptop and noticed my big furry cat, Henry, batting at the largest millipede I have ever seen in person.  I rescued it from the curious claws of sweet Henry and knew in an instant I had to write about insects!  I’ll be honest.  If they are physically ON me, I can’t stand insects; but I absolutely LOVE watching them.  They’re fascinating!  I have made sure to teach this philosophy to our son as well.  Look but don’t touch.

~Liz Comparetto

BOOKSHELF ESSENTIALS

Insect (DK Eyewitness Books) By: Laurence Mound

ISBN-10: 0756630045

DK Eyewitness books are always a wonderful resource to have available to your child, especially if they are particularly interested in a certain subject.  They offer such a wonderful array of information and pictures that will captivate even the youngest of children.  I like Insect for those very reasons.  My son inherited his Mama’s curiosity when it comes to nature, so this book provides him with some fascinating information (even though, at 4, he’s more interested in the beautiful pictures.)  Older children can use this book, and others in the series, as a school resource or to indulge their curiosity.  Even if you don’t have this one in your collection, it’s definitely worth picking up from the library when your child starts asking about all the creepy crawly things they’re noticing!

FAMILY FUN

Bees.  Even hearing the word can strike immediate fear in some people.  Children, in particular, have an ingrained sense of danger when they see a bee.  Hands start swatting at the air and feet begin running in aimless circles.  Sound familiar?  A good dose of ‘bee learning’ will do the trick, I promise!  I highly recommend taking your family to one of the fabulous bee-hives we have in Savannah.  Savannah Bee Company on Whitemarsh Island has educational hives, as does Oatland Island.  There, trained beekeepers will teach you all about the AMAZING bee!  I can vouch for the power of ‘bee-learning’ as I was privileged enough to accompany a group of Girl Scouts to the Savannah Bee Company’s hives earlier this year.  As you can imagine, a group of squeamish little girls is hard to keep calm when they know there are bees around.  I watched with wonder as these young ladies learned and grew to respect bees during their visit.  They learned how to carefully observe and how to behave around bees so to not get stung.  By the end of our hour long visit, not one of the girls was scared of bees.  NOT ONE!  In fact, it was a little difficult to get them to leave!!

The first picture above is of a beautiful worker bee (workers are female, and the ones with stingers) who explored my hand and tasted my salty skin with her proboscis.  Super cool!  The second picture is of a drone bee (drones are male and do not have stingers) who was getting all fat and happy on a spoonful of honey.  His chubby little body was literally dripping in the stuff!

Trust me- it’s worth a trip.  Honest.

 Ask Liz

Dear Liz,

I was hanging out with a group of friends the other evening and the mosquitoes were starting to come out.  I was mindlessly swatting at them and apparently I swatted a ‘mosquito eater.’  One of my friends stopped me and told me they literally eat mosquitoes… is this true?  If so, can I breed them and keep them as pets? LOL!

-John (Savannah, GA)

Hahaha!  Great question, John!  ‘Mosquito Eater’ is a nickname for an insect called ‘Crane Fly.’  There are lots of other nicknames for them as well: ‘mosquito hawk’, ‘gallnipper’, and ‘gollywhopper’ are a couple of the regional nicknames for this insect.  Unfortunately, no, they don’t actually eat mosquitoes.  They don’t even harm them or bother them.  I found out that the only relation they may have to mosquitoes is that Crane Fly larvae will sometimes eat mosquito larvae, but they don’t search for it or only eat that.  Crane Flies also don’t bite humans, or bite anything at all for that matter.  Once they reach adulthood, they basically reproduce and die.  They’re really interesting to watch though… they are not graceful in the least, kind of flopping around as they fly.  They look like horribly overgrown mosquitoes, so I think lots of people immediately assume they are and kill them.  Honestly, though, there’s no reason to kill a Crane Fly.  They just want to reproduce and die.  What a life, huh?

-Liz

Bubbling Bonuses

Make sure to head over to our Summer Camp post to find out more about all of the fun camps that CHS is offering this year!

Our sister-blog, Diary of a Museum: The Story of Savannah Children’s Museum is a great behind-the-scenes scoop on what we’re doing to get Exploration Station ready for opening day!

Thank you! Until next week,

~Liz

HOP RIGHT IN!  

So, normally, I keep this blog about the kids; Fun family crafts, book recommendations for children, and child-related questions and answers.  This week, however, I decided to focus on the people actually READING this blog… the adults in children’s lives!  I’m not sure about you, but this has been an especially stressful spring for me so far.  I want to share some tips and tricks for staying sane during these hectic times.  Relax and enjoy!

~Liz Comparetto

BOOKSHELF ESSENTIALS

Real-Life Stress Busters for Moms on the Go

By: Jenelle Valentine Davenport

ASIN: B0058CX5Q6

I had to share this resource with all of you out there… this isn’t just for Moms, even though the title makes you think otherwise!  Anyone that is around children and gets stressed out can benefit from this handy Kindle book.  Yep, it’s a Kindle book… and it’s only $3.99!!!  How’s that for cheap?!  Plus, you can carry it with you wherever you might need some de-stressing inspiration.  You may think that there would only be the ‘obvious’ de-stressing ideas in here, like scheduling a hot bath ALONE; but it offers a lot more than that.  Trust me.  I have tried everything I can think of to de-stress, and this gave me some new ideas to try!

FAMILY FUN

The best way I have found to de-stress as a family is to schedule in very specific family time into our week.  It helps to keep us connected, relaxed, and generally pretty content with the chaos in our lives.  My advice is to check out the local scene.  There are so many fabulous resources available in our community that are free or low cost… and worth every penny.  I know it feels like you’re actually making your schedule more hectic, but taking a time-out to spend with your favorite people will actually make the rest of your schedule seem a lot less insane!

If you’re looking for something fun to do this holiday weekend, take a look at EGGstravaganza, powered by Coastal Heritage Society!  It’s only $10 per person, but that includes an egg hunt, fun activities you can do with your child, and even a train ride!  Click on this LINK for the event details and for registration information.  Hope to see you there!!

ASK LIZ 

My day typically looks a little something like this: alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm, wake up, check email, get ready, wake up kid, get kid ready, feed kid, take kid to school, go to work, run around like a crazy person, pick up kid from school, go to store for random (but apparently necessary) item, get home, say a quick ‘hi’ to the husband, unpack from the day, take care of animals, make dinner, attempt to eat dinner if time allows, get kid ready for bed, put kid to bed, work on grad school stuff, work on work stuff, finally trudge up the stairs and go to bed myself.  Only to start it all again in a matter of hours.  UGH!!!  If you’re relating to me at all here, please head over to our Pinterest board called “Stress Relief for Adults” for some great ideas, tips, tricks, and products to help you make YOU a priority!

http://pinterest.com/savannahkidschs/stress-relief-for-adults/

While you’re at it, follow us on Pinterest.com: SavannahKidsCHS!

-Liz

Bubbling Bonuses

Make sure to head over to our Summer Camp post to find out more about all of the fun camps that CHS is offering this year!

Our sister-blog, Diary of a Museum: The Story of Savannah Children’s Museum is a great behind-the-scenes scoop on what we’re doing to get Exploration Station ready for opening day!

Thank you! Until next week,

~Liz

HOP RIGHT IN!  

A few short weeks ago I wrote a post entitled ‘In Like a Lion…’ because March certainly started off with a big ‘ol roar!  The weather has been glorious the past few days and we are now leaving sweet March like a lamb.  The azaleas are in bloom, lilies are showing their fresh emerald green leaves, and the mosquitos are in full force… welcome to SPRING!  Whether or not you have a green thumb or not, gardening is a wonderful activity to share with your children.  They learn so much about the cycle of life, responsibility, patience, and environmental awareness.  This week’s blog is all about getting outside and getting DIRTY!  Enjoy!

~Liz Comparetto

BOOKSHELF ESSENTIALS

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

ISBN-10: 0152626107

This is a magnificent book for introducing gardening to your children in a fun and engaging way.  The story’s text is age appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, but the informational labels are of great interest for children up through elementary school.  Ehlert introduces a huge amount of new gardening vocabulary in a child-friendly and relatable way that gets children interested in starting their own rainbow garden!

FAMILY FUN

I know a lot of parents are ‘anti-dirt.’  I am not one of them 🙂  Dirt is fabulous when the conditions are right.  Yeah, you’ll have to give them a bath afterwards, but I think all the learning and exploring that can be done in the dirt is worth a bath!

At my house, Vinnie and I always plant a special ‘Pizza Garden’ each spring.  We call it a ‘Pizza Garden’ because we can use all of the things we grow in it on our pizzas!  My husband and I built a raised bed with garden timbers and filled it with amended soil.  Each year we add compost and manure to the mix just to freshen it up.  Vinnie and I then go to our local nursery and pick out our plants: basil, oregano, cherry tomatoes, and a few varieties of peppers.  We plant them together and tend to them together.  When we have enough of a crop, we harvest them and bake some fabulous organic pizzas together.  Trust me… they taste a LOT better than the local pizza joint!! 🙂

I also pinned a ton of other fun gardening ideas for the family at: http://pinterest.com/savannahkidschs/the-great-outdoors/ 

While you’re at it, follow us on Pinterest.com: SavannahKidsCHS!

 Ask Liz

Dear Liz,

I really wanted to try gardening with our 6 year old daughter, but when I mentioned this to one of my friends she flipped out and told me that kids can get really sick from playing in garden soil.  Is this true?  I played in dirt all the time growing up and I turned out alright!  Should I be worried?

Samantha (Augusta, GA)

Hey, Samantha!

That’s a really good question and I’m glad you asked!  As a mom, I’m sure you are much more aware of the ingredients in food than you were before you had children, right?  The same thing goes for gardening.  There are things in foods that aren’t healthy, and there are things in the garden that aren’t healthy as well.  It’s not hard to make the right choices to keep your kids safe and healthy gardeners, though.

First thing you need to understand is the soil… natural is best.  The more fertilizers and chemicals in the soil, the less healthy it is for our bodies.  There are all types of fancy and expensive soils at your garden center that promise wonderful results, but they aren’t necessary for a children’s garden.  Natural fertilizers are fine, however.  Compost and (treated) manure such as Black Cow help to create an abundant garden, and they’re not harmful at all.  Second, make sure you can control who goes in your garden, meaning animals.  We have a neighborhood cat who loves to use garden beds as a litter box… not ok for children’s gardens!  Untreated animal feces can carry some nasty germs that can get anyone sick.  YUCK!  If you do find animal poo in your garden, simply get rid of it and a good section of soil surrounding it.  Also, if you have a dog who uses the potty in the backyard, don’t just scoop it into the garden.  It might, technically, be a fertilizer… but it’s not healthy at all! :-/

Anyways, the next thing you need to know about is the plants you choose.  Edibles are wonderful because you know they can be eaten without harm (unless there’s a food allergy involved.)  If you choose non-edibles, just check with your local nursery to make sure they aren’t poisonous.  There are some gorgeous plants I would love to have in my garden, but I can’t because I have a child and animals who might be hurt by ingesting them.  Other than that, just make sure you supervise your child when gardening and using garden tools.  Teach her how to use the tools properly and wisely.  Gardening with kids is an incredible learning experience and a great way to bond with your children.  Don’t let fear stand in your way!  Maybe you should plant a pizza garden and have your nervous friend over to have some pizza once your crop is in… that’ll show her how fantastic and SAFE gardening with kids can really be!!

Happy gardening, Samantha!

-Liz

Bubbling Bonuses

Make sure to head over to our Summer Camp post to find out more about all of the fun camps that CHS is offering this year!

Our sister-blog, Diary of a Museum: The Story of Savannah Children’s Museum is a great behind-the-scenes scoop on what we’re doing to get Exploration Station ready for opening day!

Thank you! Until next week,

~Liz

Summer Camps!

Savannah Summer Camps are back!

I cannot believe that it’s ‘that time of year’ again… 

Coastal Heritage Society is offering another fun-filled summer of camps!

In order to get all the information and registration details, simply click on each of the dates below.

Frequently asked questions are below as well.

‘Get on Board’ 

June 11-14

July 9-12

July 16-19

‘The Great Train Exploration’ 

June 18-22

‘Travel through Time in Savannah’

July 23-27

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I register my child?

A: We have set up an online registration for each week of camp.  Simply click on the dates above to get more information and to register.  If you are having difficulties or need assistance, please email us at childrensevents@chsgeorgia.org.

Q: Will you hold a spot for my child while I research other camps?

A: We are unable to hold spaces for children because sessions fill up so quickly.

Q: May I register my child(ren) for multiple weeks of camp?

A: Yes!  If you register more than one child or for multiple camps, there is a 10% discount!

Q: Must my child be fully potty trained to attend camp?

A: Yes.  Campers must be fully potty trained.

Q: I want to enroll my child in a particular week of camp, but they are older/younger than the ages listed.  Can I still register them?

A: Of course!  The ages listed are only general guidelines.  We do ask, however, that you not register your 1 or 2 year old for Get on Board camp because they will not be developmentally ready for the camp.  If you are still concerned or would like to talk to someone about this, email us at childrensevents@chsgeorgia.org.

Q: My child has food allergies.  Can they still attend camp?

A: Absolutely!  Snacks will be provided, but we ask parents to pack a brown bag lunch for their child each day because of possible allergies.  We also request that when you register your child, you let us know if there are any medical needs (including allergies) that we need to be aware of.

Q:  So, does that mean that lunch has to be provided by parents?

A: Yes.  In the past we have offered an option to eat food prepared by our site, but we are no longer offering this option due to the increasing number of children with food allergies and diet restrictions.

Q: Do I need to pay all at once?

A: Yes.  Your registration will not be complete until you have paid in full.