American Bike Month

14 05 2012

American Bike Week takes place every year during May and is generally a week of cycling events. Bike Week is dedicated to showing and teaching people how they could help the environment and exercise in a fun way that would also allow them to socialize while they bike ride. Austin, Boston, Portland, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and many other cities celebrate Bike Month.

Kate, on two wheels, outside the Museum.

Here at the Austin Children’s Museum, we love to bike. Gallery Manager, Kate, doesn’t have a car – she gets to the Museum, her college classes, and everywhere else she needs to go by bike. Ibaad, our newest Gallery Manager, rode the MS150 a few weeks ago. The ride starts in Houston and cyclist travel all the way to Austin, raising awareness and money for Multiple Sclerosis. Technology Education Coordinator, Emily, has been enjoying commuting to work on her touring bike, and getting special attention for kids for her goofy helmet:

Here are some fun ways to celebrate Bike Month:

  • Decorate your bike with streamers, bells, and colored tape.
  • Learn the names of different parts of your bike.
  • Have a bike parade in your neighborhood.
  • Practice pedaling by laying on your back and “pedaling” your feet in the air… Away you go!
  • Build an obstacle course to ride your bike around.
  • Find some pictures of bikes to find out how bikes have changed through the years.

Make a Mother’s Day Bouquet!

10 05 2012
Mother’s Day is this weekend, and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate moms and every thing they do! This year, we wanted to make a bright and happy bouquet that would last for a long time. Here’s how we did it:
  • Card stock (assorted colors)
  • Decorative Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler (optional)
  • Envelopes

To make this hand made flower bouquet, we need to start by creating a ‘vase’ for the flowers to stand in. To do this simply follow these steps:

– First cut a simple wave across the top of a sheet of card stock.

-Fold a small section of the cardstock in to create a tab.

-Fold the card stock into three sections and glue down using the tab.

Next we move on to creating the flowers!

For this you will use different colored card stock to make the flowers brights and colorful!

– Cut out circles of all colors and sizes.

– Cut petal designs to the edges of the larger circles

– Glue the smaller circle into the center of the larger circle.

– Grab some green card stock and cut out stem shapes for as many flowers as you want to make.

Finally, glue the stems of the flowers into the vase to be sure that they will not fall.

You can always add extra decoration to the outside of your vase. Try adding your own special, personalized message to your mother on her special day!

National Police Week

1 05 2012

The third week of May celebrates National Police Week. During this week, you are encouraged to be thankful for Police Officers who have worked hard to keep America safe. National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. This week was established in 1962 and has taken place at the same time every year since it’s creation. It’s slogan is “In Memory of Many, in Honor of all”.

As well as recognizing police officers, May also holds days dedicated to other hard working professionals such as nurses, teachers, receptionists, and those who serve in the armed forces.

National Nurse Week takes place starting May 6th, with school nurses getting their own recognition on May9th.  The week draws awareness to the importance of the care , comfort, and well being that nurses bring to us,  especially our children and the aging, and those in poor health.

National Teachers Day takes place on May 1st and is dedicated to those hard working, patient and understanding people who look after us and out children throughout most of the week. National teachers day values professionals working as teachers and teaching assistants through Kindergarten to college.

National Armed Forces Day is on the 19th May and was created in August 31, 1949 by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. This is a day specifically designed to remind everyone of the hard work and dedication that the armed forces do every single day. It is to congratulate them on all of their hard work during training and to thank them for their bravery during risky and sometimes perilous missions for freedom and country.

Mathematics Awareness Month

30 04 2012

Celebrate your math skills in April!

Mathematics Awareness Month is designed to recognize the importance of mathematics in everyday life. This nationally recognized month was created by President Ronald Reagan in a way to try to make math more ‘cool’. During April, we’re encouraging everyone to discover the ways in which math is important and how it can also be fun!

Sometimes students have a hard time understanding how the math skills they are learning relate to every day life. To show how math will always be a useful skill to have, try incorporating math problems into your everyday life!

Use math while Grocery shopping! Try to work out the total price of your grocery bill while you are shopping, or work out how much you will save by using coupons when you shop. This will help you to enhance your basic math skills.

You could also play games! Board games, card games and strategy games all incorporate many mathematical concepts. From counting to probability you may see your chances of winning improve with your math skills.  Playing board games with money like Life or Monopoly will allow you to figure out calculations while also playing games.

You can also start learning about math early by reading about math. There are many books for all ages dedicated to helping people of varied ages with they math problems. These may be able to help you in showing you a different way to work out problems in an easier way than you learned at school.

Come by the Austin Children’s Museum to check out our feature exhibit, 123 Geometry Lane, which is inspired by the numbers and calculations in everyday life.

Hans Christian Andersen

23 04 2012

April brings us so many exciting things, like Easter, April Fools Day, and National Garden Month. But April is also home to the birthday of the great author, poet and children’s story writer Hans Christian Andersen!

Andersen was most famously known for creating popular stories such as Thumbelina, The Ugly ducking, The Emperors New Clothes and The Princess and the Pea.

Andersen lived from April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875 in Denmark. Within this time, he wrote an incredible 168 tales most of which have been translated into many different languages.

A movie was released in 1952 starring famous actor Danny Kaye. This movie incorporated many of his fairy tales. The opening scene of the movie describes it best: “Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales.”

What is your favorite Andersen tale?

National Pet Owners Day

18 04 2012

Here's my pet, Hazelnut, looking at some bluebonnets.

Do you own a pet? If so, what kind?

April 18th is National Pet Owners day. Having a pet is a great way to stay active and keep busy! Several studies have shown that dogs can be powerful motivators to get people moving. Dog owners have been found to be more active than those who do not own dogs. This is because dogs require regular walks to keep them healthy.

Dog walkers exercise an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. “This is a highly motivating physical activity, when children walk with a dog,” Rebecca Johnson, director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri

What is better than owning your own exercise motivator?

Well pets also help in other ways!

  • Pets Can Improve Your Mood
  • Pets Help Control Blood Pressure
  • Pets Can Help With Social Support
  • Pets Prevent Loneliness and Provide Unconditional Love
  • Pets Can Reduce Stress

Keep America Beautiful!

16 04 2012

April is now known as Keep America Beautiful month. Here at the Museum, we have been trying to come up with ways that we could all actively participate in keeping our country beautiful!

There are many ways in which you could take part in this month whether you help to clean a spot or to pick up litter in a local park, any little helps!

  • Don’t litter and tell your friends that they shouldn’t litter

There are many reasons why people litter. It could be because there is no trash can nearby,  or they are simply too lazy to walk over to the nearest one. Litter is not only ugly, but it can also be harmful to the environment, it could injure animals and plants, but there are actions that you can take to prevent this.

Set an example to your friends and family by not littering yourself. This will show others how they should be acting and could make them want to do more to help the environment.

If your school doesn’t have a trash can outside for breaks, ask your teacher if it would be possible to get one!

Remind the people you drive with to always tie down their loads.

Debris from peoples cars can be seen all over the sides of roads. This could be avoided by simply making sure that anything that is on top or in the back or your car/truck, is tied down securely. This will stop anything from being able to escape and end up lying by the side of the road. This would also be seen as littering as you would most likely, not be able to stop to pick up the item, and therefore it would be left. This would pose the same threat to animals and the environment as any other form of litter.

Use a litter bag in your car

Bring a grocery bag on journeys with you to act as a trash can. This will allow any trash to be collected in one place. This would them make it easy to dispose of all your trash after any kind of road trip. You should also make sure to keep hold of any trash you create wherever you are. This way, once you come across a trash can, you can put it all in there instead of leaving it lying around.

Help get the banana peel into the trash can!