Dynamic Duos

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PCThe award-winning duo Peg + Cat visited the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire yesterday. Curious Peg & her hilarious best friend Cat get into math-related hi-jinx each day on their PBS program. While they are ably assisted in their adventures by characters such as Ramone, The Pirates, Richard the Space Alien, and even George Washington & Cleopatra, Peg & Cat and their delightful wordplay and songs are the reason families keep tuning in.

With the news that Saturday Morning Cartoons are now officially a thing of the past, let’s take this opportunity to look at some famous dynamic duos from the world of children’s television shows.

CnD

Chip ‘N’ Dale made their debut in 1943 in a series of animated shorts that pitted them against either Pluto the Dog or Donald Duck. While often taking background roles in many Disney shorts and specials, a new audience met Chip ‘N’ Dale in 1989 when they anchored their own cartoon with “Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers” as part of the Disney Afternoon block of programming.

beanie-and-cecilBeany & Cecil began as a Puppet Show in 1949 created by famed Warner Brothers animator Bob Clampett. Beany had the ability to fly using his patented beanycopter while the childlike Cecil the Sea Serpent often stayed in water and was so large that his tail was rarely seen as it would continue “off screen”. It relaunched as an animated show in 1959 and then was relaunched again in 1988 as the “The New Adventures of Beany & Cecil” cartoon.

rocky-and-bullwinkle

Rocky & Bullwinkle were the stars of their own variety show that ran from 1959-1964. Created by Jay Ward, the show was responsible for introducing not only the legendary title characters, but Dudley Do-Right, Boris Badenov, Natasha Fatale, Mr. Peadbody & Sherman. Many of the characters were given life by voiceover legends June Foray, Paul Frees, Bill Scott and Daws Butler. The show was popular with children as well as adults due to its clever wordplay and intelligent writing.

Bert_and_ErnieBert and Ernie debuted on Sesame Street in the summer of 1969. They were the first of Jim Henson’s creations to appear on the show – a part of it from the very first episode, pre-dating Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird. Best friends Bert and Ernie are meant to represent the curiosity and behaviors of 6-7 year olds. Ernie, famed for his dedication to his rubber ducky, loves pulling tricks on the pigeon-loving Bert, the most popular (and absurd) of which is pulling off Bert’s nose for comic effect.

Screenshot 2014-09-26 16.09.43Scooby Doo & Shaggy premiered in the Saturday morning cartoon, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” in the fall of 1969. The two perpetually frightened – and hungry – best friends have starred in a large variety of tv shows, comic books and movies since their debut. Each generation seems to rediscover Scoob, Shag, Velma, Daphne and Fred solving supernatural capers in their Mystery Machine.

Dangermouse

Danger Mouse & Penfold first premiered in the United Kingdom in 1981, but saw their popularity reach even greater heights when US markets (most notably Nickelodeon) imported “Danger Mouse” – a cheeky take on James Bond – in 1984. Danger Mouse occupied the role of the heroic British spy while Ernest Penfold is his consistently nervous hamster sidekick prone to yell out, “Crumbs, D.M.!” or, ‘Oh, carrots!” before falling to pieces in the face of danger.

TickThe Tick & Arthur are two lovable – if not often highly ridiculous superheroes – who live in The City. Originally created by Ben Edlund in 1986 for New England Comics, The Tick & Arthur were exposed to a much larger audience when their 1994 Saturday morning cartoon debuted on Fox. Fox was the home of the next incarnation of The Tick as well when a live-action version debuted in 2001. The Tick embodies several of the most popular mainstream superheroes in his origin, powers and behaviors (a healthy mix of Superman, Batman & Spider-Man) though his catchphrase (“Spoooooooooon!”) is wholly his own. The much more responsible and down-to-Earth Arthur is often getting him out of jams – some caused by supervillains, some caused by The Tick.

W_G

Wallace & Grommit, the brainchild of Nick Park from Aardman Animations, made their debut in 1989 in the Oscar-nomniated short film, “A Grand Day Out”. Their next two shorts – “The Wrong Trousers” & “A Close Shave” – and their first full-length feature, “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” all won Academy Awards. Though Wallace is an inventor – specializing in Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions – most would agree that the silent Grommit is the smarter of the two, getting Wallace out of trouble or helping his inventions go more smoothly when he’s not busy knitting, playing chess or drinking tea. Though their adventures and occupations change with each outing, one thing that never changes is Wallace & Grommit being the best of friends.

DoraDora & Boots have been inseparable since their introduction in 2000 with the premiere of “Dora the Explorer”. Boots, who’s always sporting his trademark red boots, assists Dora during her adventures as they solve riddles and and figure out puzzles while often focusing on a strong bilingual component. Dora & Boots’ adventures proved so popular that they not only spun off their own books, video games and stage shows, but a brand new show as well: 2005’s “Go, Diego, Go!” which focused on animal rescue and environmental concerns with Dora’s cousin Diego.

Screenshot 2014-09-26 16.31.50

Peg & Cat from Peg + Cat have only been entertaining families since 2013, but they’ve made such a favorable impression that the show won three Emmy Awards for its first season! Created by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson, based on the book “The Chicken Problem”, the math-focused adventures of Peg & Cat bring them in contact with an incredibly large array of characters and showcases some of the best songwriting ever created in the history of children’s programming. Peg & Cat are deeply loyal, deeply hilarious and deeply curious. These qualities make the show an absolute joy for children and parents alike. Thank you again to New Hampshire Public Television and PBS Kids for making it possible for Peg + Cat to be a part of CMNH’s big day!

Were you familiar with most of these dynamic duos? Do your children know any of them? Who did we forget? Let us know your favorite duo in the comments!

Dover Mini Maker Faire: Putting a spotlight on NH ingenuity

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Dover_MMF_logo_squareNew Hampshire is known for its “Yankee ingenuity, ” a place where generations have worked the land, manufactured goods and come up with creative solutions for reusing and repurposing materials. That spirit of making is alive today, and the Dover Mini Maker Faire is the place to find it. A hands-on festival for all ages, Maker Faire celebrates the thriving resourcefulness, innovation, creativity and forward-thinking technology that can be found in New Hampshire today.

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 4.16.56 PMOn Saturday, August 23, the Dover Mini Maker Faire will take over downtown Dover, with four locations: upper and lower Henry Law Park, The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, and One Washington Mill. Maker Faire attendees will be able to experience everything from quad-copter launches to spinning yarn from wool … 3-D printing to vertical gardening … driving an underwater submersible to learning how to tie flies … making a paper circuit pin to finding out how to make Star Wars costumes, and much more.

Over 50 makers and groups of makers will be on-hand hosting interactive demos, hands-on projects, small talks and workshops designed to inspire and educate attendees between the ages of 3 and 93 as to a sampling of “making” that is happening in New Hampshire businesses, schools & universities, organizations, and garage workbenches throughout the state and beyond. From engineering and product design, to arts, crafts, technology and homesteading, Maker Faire is the place to be inspired and connect with your inner maker!

MF13_StraightOnView2014 marks the 2nd annual Dover Mini Maker Faire. The first Maker Faire was hosted in the Bay Area of California in 2006 as a place for makers to show what they made and share what they learned. In 2013, 100 independently-produced Mini (one day events) and Featured (2 or more day events) occurred around the World. In fact, this year’s Dover Mini Maker Faire is scheduled on the weekend between Sydney, Australia’s and Trondheim, Norway’s Faires. A licensed event through Maker Media, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is the host and coordinator of the Granite State’s only Maker Faire at this time.

In early 2012, the Museum began the process of becoming licensed to plan and host what would become the Dover Mini Maker Faire. “The Maker Faire concept was a perfect fit with the Museum’s focus on developing creative problem-solving skills and building a strong community focused on learning and collaboration,” says Jane Bard, Museum President. “What better way to shine a light on the innovation and creativity happening in NH but through the people, businesses, organizations and schools that are making that happen.”

MF13_3Dprinter_LaurenVioletteIn our increasingly complex world, the objects and technology that surround us can be intimidating and hard to understand. “There’s a growing distance between us and the world,” says Chris O’Brien from the LA Times. “We don’t know where our food comes from, how the energy we use gets made, and how to take apart our computer and fix it…The Maker Faire dares us to reverse that trend. And it inspires us to do that by gathering together thousands of people who embody that simple joy of creating things every day.”

Here is a sampling of the 55+ makers and maker activities scheduled to happen at this year’s August 23rd Faire in Dover:

MF13_TOOOLTableTOOOL – The Open Organization of Lockpickers - Teaching people to pick locks and understand how they work and why.

TDB Monsters - Focused around making creatures and characters out of discarded items and junk laying around. They create all sorts of other items, from a slithering bicycle, to jewelry made from almost nothing. Recycling objects is a major factor in what they do.

PortCityMakerspaceWeldingPort City MakerSpace and Manchester Makers – Projects and demonstrations by both organization’s members

AppleIReproduction Retro Computers – Reproductions of Apple 1 and the SCELBI 8H computers. The Apple 1 is the first product of Apple. The SCELBI is the first personal computer, released in 1974, a full 2 years before the Apple 1.   There were around 200 of each system originally built. There are around 70 original Apple 1’s remaining. Original SCELBI computers are even scarcer, as there are only about a dozen original SCELBI’s known to exist. Both will running vintage computer software games from the 1970s. Users will be able to operate both computers.

EmilyDrouinCharacEPLIS Comics – An all ages sci-fi action adventure comic book series. We’ll have a vendor table for our comics, and we’ll be doing two workshops: learn to draw cartoon characters, and how to create your own comics

3-D Printed Coins – Come make a fun maker crab coin or pin. You will be able to create a fun DIY project with a few materials.

rocketglidercompositeAir Rocket Glider – Featured in MAKE issue #39. With its wings folded back, it launches on a blast of compressed air, on our new v2.0 Compressed Air Rocket launcher (CAR v2.0). When the ARG reaches apogee, the wings pop out for a gentle glide back to the ground.

VerticalGardenVertical Gardening by KinneBotanicals - Using long-lasting and environmentally friendly materials, they will demonstrate how to grow plants on walls instead of the floor, be they edible or ornamental. This method drastically reduces space requirements. It also adds an interesting aesthetic to any indoor or outdoor space.

Darkhill Cemetery Haunted House – 14 year old George Farrow’s passion for the past six years has been creating the Darkhill Cemetery Haunted House. This small attraction held in his parents’ garage every year focuses on using high quality detailed sets/scenics as well as computer controlled animatronics and spectacular sound and lighting. George will share some of the methods used to make his event come alive, such as foam carving/sculpting, carpentry, lighting/sound design, casting, molding, and more!

NEMOTentInMountainsNEMO Equipment – This Dover-based company designs and manufactures outdoor equipment, tents, and shelters. Founded in 2002 NEMO Equipment has won numerous awards for its designs. Sold nationally around the US and in numerous other countries around the world, NEMO is recognized as a leader in outdoor equipment.

Automotive Technology – See how modern vehicles work! There will be demonstrations on the anatomy of an automotive wheel bearing, how Tire Pressure Monitoring systems work, and how modern computer systems measure air flow into the engine. Look inside the operating system of a modern vehicle to see what all the electronics do!

Advance tickets are now on sale for $10 and tickets at the gate will be $12. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at www.makerfairedover.com. For more information on the Dover Mini Maker Faire, please call 603-742-2002 or visit www.makerfairedover.com

MF13_MadSciShow

Six on the Sixth

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We hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! July is a very special month in the history of the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. It’s always been a month of beginnings and, because of that, cherished anniversaries.

In July of 1983, the Children’s Museum of Portsmouth opened its doors at 280 Marcy Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the old South Meeting House.

Children eagerly cut the ribbon(s) to open the Children's Museum of Portsmouth

Children eagerly cut the ribbon(s) to open the Children’s Museum of Portsmouth

Twenty-five years later on July 23, 2008, CMOP transformed into CMNH, as the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire opened its doors in an old Armory Building – and former Butterfield Gym – in Henry Law Park at 6 Washington Street in Dover, New Hampshire.

The colorful ribbons come out again for a brand new chapter!

The colorful ribbons come out again for a brand new chapter!

To celebrate six years of being CMNH, our move to Dover, and becoming an even bigger, vital part of the New Hampshire community, we’ve interviewed six staff members who were part of the process of moving, designing, creating and launching the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.

Help us dive into the future! Our fundraising effort for the next phase of the famous Yellow Submarine is in full swing!

Independence

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Happy 4th of July from the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire!

We hope you have a fun and safe holiday with friends and family.

Below, you will find a selection of patriotic drawings made by some of our museum visitors.

[Reminder: CMNH is closed on the 4th in observance of the holiday but will be open from 10-5 on Saturday the 5th and 12-5 on Sunday the 6th. The fireworks in Dover, NH have been rescheduled to Sunday night, July 6th.]

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Around the World in 93 Days

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At the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, we’re lucky enough to have both a gallery and a studio. Sometimes those words are interchangeable. However, at CMNH, their purposes often and intentionally overlap.

Gallery 6 features four to six installations a year curated by Tess Feltes. For the last few years, every spring, Gallery 6 focuses on a theme we’ve named, “Mosaic: Our Multicultural Neighborhood”. Spotlighting art and culture from around the world, last year the focus was on clothing, toys, photographs and stories from many different countries. This year’s Mosaic installation tightened the focus to just photography from over a dozen different countries.

The Muse Studio is a place where children and their families can create take-home art projects, play games, conduct experiments, among myriad fun activities. Our Studio projects can change daily, weekly or monthly. However, written into the mission statement of Gallery 6 is the following: The Gallery space is designed to blend into the museum’s Studio space . . . connecting the playful creativity of children to the serious investigations of artists.

And what better way to blend, to complement, to unify the many pieces of the Mosaic gallery installation than to actually expose our visitors to art they can make and culture they can study right in our Muse Studio!

Starting in early March, we spotlit a different county each week. Not only did our visiting families learn about art and culture from all over the world, but so did our staff.

In the following twelve weeks, we explored the art, language, geography, folklore, and clothing of Mexico, Japan, Ireland, India, Sweden, Greece, Indonesia, Morocco, Native America, & Australia.

As we welcome our next Gallery opening and Muse Studio theme of “Enchanting Gardens” for the summer, I’ve asked our Museum Educators – those tireless people that you see engaging families with these projects while simultaneously refilling gallons of glue and boxes of popsicle sticks – what their favorite activity has been these last few months. Please enjoy a look back at the 2014 edition of, “Mosaic: Our Multicultural Neighborhood”.

Meghan

BandolierAs much as I liked making and wearing the laurels with our visitors during our week of Greek art and culture, I’m Screen shot 2014-06-06 at 10.27.42 AMgoing to have to pick the bandolier bag making as my absolute favorite activity! When we were setting up the projects for the Native American week in the Muse Studio, I realized I hadn’t even seen bandolier bags before and I certainly didn’t know that were connected to Native American tribes. We used a lot of textiles and fabrics that kids had already made at CMNH with our weaving looms. So the project also had a great sustainability and green angle to it. Plus, the bags were very fashionable which the kids and I very much appreciated!

Crystal

DotsTwo projects I enjoyed immensely were during the time we devoted to Australia and Ireland. Teaching the kids how to write their names using the Ogham alphabet was using a subject – linguistics – that we don’t touchScreen shot 2014-06-04 at 2.39.46 PM upon too often in the Muse Studio. Of course, my Irish heritage may make me a bit bias here! That said, I have to give the #1 spot to the Aboriginal Dot Art that we did while focusing on Australia. It was something accessible to all ages and it was a unique way of creating a picture, using guidelines, precision, and focus, but also allowing for imagination. No two were alike!

Meredith

Screen shot 2014-06-04 at 2.39.17 PMI was definitely partial to the Viking Helmets we created while exploring Sweden! They were easy to make for a wide range of ages and even though the instructions were pretty clear cut, they left open room for interpretation that let the children expand their design if they felt inspired. Plus, I think it was one of the most popular projects with parents and grandparents during the entirety of the Mosaic theme. I saw quite a few adults walking the around the museum as vikings during Sweden week!

Emily

Screen shot 2014-06-04 at 2.36.08 PMI really liked the dreamcatcher project from the week we spent learning about Native American art and culture. First, it was easy to make at home with simple materials (paper plates, yarn or string, beads, etc.) but the end product was three dimensional and could be continued to a much bigger and detailed level for older kids. Plus, it tied in the folklore of many Native American tribes so we were educating a lot of our younger visitors on this subject for the first time.

Jenaya

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I was excited when we selected Morocco as one of our countries to spotlight this year, but was also a little nervous because I wasn’t very familiar with a lot of Moroccan art and culture. Which makes me even happier to say that my favorite project came from the week we spent creating Moroccan art! I LOVED the sand art projects. Were they messy? Sure. But when you’re working in a art studio inside of a children’s museum, it comes with the territory. The sand art consisted of us picking some bright paper as a background, placing down some fun designs or patterns in glue and then shaking brightly colored sand on the glue. Then we let it dry. Simple! But our visitors made so many different kinds of creations through the sand art activity. Toddlers to grandparents seemed to enjoy this activity and I can’t wait until we do it again.

Riley

I had a hard time deciding which craft project was my favorite and then I finally realized it wasn’t an active project that stayed with me the longest, but two of the displays that we made for the Studio during the Mosaic theme. The map of New Hampshire that Meghan made during the week we focused on Native American culture was really informative for kids and adults and showed them how many places throughout all of New Hampshire – towns, lakes, river, mountains – have their origins in the different Native American languages. I was also a big fan of the “Greek Gods in Pop Culture” poster that Crystal created during our Greek week. It helped take mythology, which might seem boring and uninteresting for some kids, and show them how much they likely already knew from movies, television, and advertising. It was an interesting angle to take and I saw quite a lot of families pointing at it and discussing it.

We’re so happy that the Mosaic gallery and studio pieces were such a big hit with our staff and our visiting families! The educators are already brainstorming what countries we’ll be focusing on next year.

We now look ahead to our summer theme in Gallery 6 / the Muse Studio: Enchanting Gardens. The studio has undergone quite a transformation from top-to-bottom to embrace this new wild theme and the Gallery 6 art pieces are so incredible for this installation that we did something that we’ve never done for any of our past installations. I’ve . . . said too much. Stay tuned to the blog to find out the magic we have in store for you this summer!

Make Your Own Watercolor Paint

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Over the years, you’ve likely accumulated some less than stellar magic markers. Caps are missing, colors have run dry, and you don’t even know where that random Zayres brand green marker came from!

So what to do? Instead of just chucking all those old markers, why not teach your family about sustainability and recycling by converting those old markers to brand new vibrant watercolor paint!

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 9.44.14 AM

CMNH Educator Meredith teaches us how in this short how-to video!

CMNH 5K + 1

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A few weeks ago, I ran the 29th Annual Children’s Museum of New Hampshire 5K Race & Fun Run. Full disclosure: I didn’t run the Fun Run. I’ve aged out of that bracket.

This was my sixth CMNH 5K and, unlike the first five that I ran, I approached the sixth much, much differently.

My preparation for my first five museum races broke down something like this:

2009-2013 Race Prep

- Don’t eat or drink something stupid the night before

- Go to bed early and get plenty of sleep the eve of the race

- Eat some dry toast and maybe a few bites of banana for breakfast

- Load up my ipod or cell phone with a good race tracklist for the run (usually heavy on songs with strong, steady beats, like Daft Punk and Talking Heads) – something I find essential to a good running experience

- Walk down to Henry Law Park early enough to get in plenty of stretching time (say, 30 minutes or so) pre-race

- Find a place among the racers that keeps me as far away from the parents with strollers as possible. It’s great that they’re running with their kids, but they’ll just get in my way

- Get ready for the starting gun and focus on the goal of beating my time from the previous year

Simple enough, no?

This year’s list was going to need a little tweaking – some voluntary, some involuntary. Why? Well . . . I wasn’t racing alone this year.

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2014 Race Prep

- Go to bed after I finally eat dinner which won’t happen until we finally get the 5 1/2 month old baby – who happens to be teething – down for the night

IMAG0166- Wake up every few hours and trade-off with my wife to see who can try to calm said teething baby down and get him back to sleep

- Wake up at 5:30 AM because that’s what time the baby has decided he’s going to be awake

- Stand at the stove half-asleep and make eggs for breakfast because the baby has decided that he wants Daddy and he to race in matching Captain America shirts and that we should use our Captain America spatula while making breakfast. Therefore, eggs

IMAG0168- Let the baby talk to himself in a baby mirror to psyche himself up for his first 5K

- Pose with the baby to show off our matching outfitsIMAG0195

- Decorate our racing bibs in special Captain America stickers that the baby insisted Daddy buy for the race

- Walk down to Henry Law Park the long way so Mommy can get a coffee at Adelle’s and Daddy can stress out about potentially not getting to the race on time

- Meet up with the baby’s Nana, Memere, two cousins, Aunt, and Grandfather at Henry Law Park – all of whom are either running, walking or volunteering at the event

- Give everyone time to pose for pictures with the baby on his first race dayIMAG0207

IMAG0206- Devote a grand total of 2-4 minutes to stretching before you realize they’re making the final announcement for racers to assemble

- Rush, with the baby in the stroller, to get in line

- Try to avoid the looks of some runners as you elbow your way in with your cumbersome strollerIMAG0203

- Check on the baby to make sure he’s ok for the 47th time in the last half hour

- Forgo any headphones or music because I’ll obviously need to be listening for every sigh, gasp, squeak and titter that the baby makes

IMAG0211- 1 minute before the start of the race, realize that they’re – obviously – going to be a shooting a gun off and start to panic that the baby will freak out

- 30 seconds before the gun goes off, have a mother with a stroller next to me ask me if I’m going to buckle the stroller strap into my running beltIMAG0208

- 25 seconds before the gun goes off, realize I have no idea what a running belt is, that I have nothing on my person to strap my son’s stroller belt into, that this is all some sort of horrible mistake and will likely end with me on the side of the road with a sprained ankle, two full diapers, and lots of crying

- 20 seconds before the gun goes off, panic. A lot

- 15 seconds before the gun goes off, remember that your race time doesn’t matter and that you’re just in this for you and the baby to have a good time

- 10 seconds before the gun goes off, hear your baby start laughing at the fact that he just stuck his whole fist in his mouth

- 5 seconds before the gun goes off, smile and remember that this is the last time you’ll be able to take your baby on his first race

The Race

It wasn’t my easiest race. But, my goodness, it was the most fun race I’ve ever run. Our volunteer staff is always awesome when it comes to cheering the racers on and this year was no different – but, for me, it felt different. The cheers seemed louder. The adrenaline seemed stronger.  In addition to the volunteers, you also have many citizens of Dover who come out to watch the race. Yes, it stops traffic for a bit. Yes, there’s detours. Yes, it can be a brief inconvenience. But all the bystanders have huge smiles on their faces and – especially in the last mile – they’re yelling out encouragement, they’re telling you it’s not that much longer and they’re yelling at the top of their lungs that you – yes, YOU – are going to make it! They’re having fun and whether we runners and walkers look like it, I promise you, we’re having fun too! But this year? This year was different.

The biggest difference? The talking. Oh, the talking. Listen, I was voted Most Talkative so many years in a row in middle and high school that they retired my jersey. And my baby and I? We talk. A lot. All the time. Heck, I even talk to pictures of my baby when he’s at daycare. Is that normal? I don’t know. Maybe. Despite working with children for over a decade, this is my first time at the Dad Rodeo.*  But the talking! The talking! I’m not referring to the baby. I’m referring to me! It’s one thing to regulate your breathing during a race. But it’s another thing to try to regulate your breathing while you’re talking to your tiny little son for 3.1 miles. Despite my verbose nature, I’m not used to uttering one word during a race. Maybe a cough or a vocalized wince, but certainly not sentences. Certainly not elaborate conversations.

* – (At the Dad Rodeo, you win if you can change a diaper in the dark without waking up the baby in under 8 seconds. But you’re still likely going to be a clown.)

Things I verbalize to Cap Jr. during the CMNH 5K

- How we doin’ down there?Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 11.19.53 AM

- Believe it or not, we haven’t even officially gone over the Starting Line yet.

- We don’t have to wait for the walk sign this time. Just trust me.

- Say hi to the ladies at Harvey’s!IMAG0218

- Whoa. Pal, look at that guy over there. I think he’s still out from last night. No. Don’t stare.

- Yeah. It’s slow moving at first. But we’ll break away once we get to Portland Ave.

- Hmmmm . . . maybe Dad should have investigated sun screen?

- But seriously, you’re fine? Because I can’t really see you that well.

- Yup, he’s mine! What? Oh. Yeah – the one from all the pictures.IMAG0214

- He actually prefers Cap Jr. or Lil’ Cap! (in response to someone yelling, “Go Baby Cap!”)

- Whew. That first mile gets longer and longer each year.IMAG0219

- Stu! Don’t throw water at my baby! (in response to the water station volunteers’ exuberance)

- Daddy’s going to say a bad word. The other side of this cul-de-sac is &%#$@!

- If you want to yell, “Wheeeeee!” as we go down the hill, Dad totally signs off on that.

- WheeeeIMAG0224eeeeeeee! (in response to Cap Jr’s failure to do so as we go down the Cocheco St. hill to hit Mile Marker 2)

- I think that’s your cousin Garrett up ahead. No . . . we’re not catching up to him. Because Daddy’s more than 20 years older than your cousin, that’s why.

- Yup. That’s what horses do sometimes, pal. Yup. Sometimes right in the street.

- Don’t yell “on your left” to Nana! It’s rude!

- Yes, those guys are running in the opposite direction. Because . . . they  . . . already finished and . . . are circling back to run . . . a 10K.IMAG0223

- Stop asking so many questions. Daddy can’t see in color anymore.IMAG0230

- There’s Grampa! Wave to Grampa!

- No, Grampa! We can’t stop for a picture! Meet us at the finish line!

IMAG0231- We know it’s blurry, Grampa! That’s because we’re running while you’re walking next to us trying to take a picture!Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 11.22.05 AM

- Yes, that volunteer is on a unicycle.

- No, I don’t know why that volunteer is on a unicycle.

- Aarrrrgh! (Translated: “I can’t believe your Aunt Kate just snaked by us in the last 2 seconds of the race!”)

Post-Race 

The first thing I used to do after a race (once my vision came back, my inhaler patched my lungs over, and I wrung the sweat out of my eyebrows) was to stretch. And I made sure to stretch this time too. Once I checked on the baby and finally looked in his eyes for the first time in over a half hour and made sure he was fine. He was actually exhausted and pretty much out cold. Wouldn’t you be after flying all around Dover and listening to your Dad endlessly spout at you? And if you woke up and watched your mom cross the finish line and then she brought you to meet a giant alligator named Albert, wouldn’t that just be the best day ever?

IMAG0240One of the most magical things that happens at the CMNH 5K & Fun Run each year is the sense of community. Former and current employees and board members and long time volunteers return to help or participate in the event. Families run together. Elementary school classes run together. Scout groups run together. Co-workers, trivia teams, running groups – they’re all represented.

There was a runner there that told me that morning that this was his 100th race. Cap Jr. still has a bit more mileage to hit before he enters the triple digits. But I won’t care what his race times are. Or if he ate the right protein bar beforehand. Or what music he listens to when he runs. As long as he has fun.

At 32 minutes and 44 seconds, it was my worst 5K time ever. But who cares? I wouldn’t change a thing. (Well, maybe next year, we’ll aim for a bit more sleep the night before. I’m going to assume Cap Jr.’s teeth will finally be in by then.)

 

 

Dover Mini Maker Faire returns on August 23, 2014

Dover Mini Maker FaireThe Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is hosting the second annual Dover Mini Maker Faire in Dover, NH on Saturday, August 24, 2014. Last year’s event — the first-ever Maker Faire in New Hampshire — featured more than 50 makers and attracted over 1,200 attendees.

This year, the museum is working with community members and local organizations to develop an even more amazing day of invention and creativity! Makers and interested visitors can follow updates from Dover Mini Maker Faire on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Maker applications are available now and event tickets will be available later this spring. All details are available at http://www.makerfairedover.com.

ABOUT MAKER FAIRE:

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2014 celebrated its ninth annual show with hundreds of makers and more than 100,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in five years to 500+ makers and 55,000 attendees. Detroit, Kansas City, Newcastle (UK), and Tokyo are the home of “featured” Maker Faires (200+ makers), and community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world. Dover Mini Maker Faire is independently organized and operated under license from Maker Media, Inc.

About MAKE Magazine

MAKE is the first magazine devoted entirely to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology projects. MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. MAKE celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your will.

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BESIDES THE MAGAZINE AND THE FAIRE, MAKE IS:

- a vital online stream of news and projects, blog.makezine.com;
– a retail outlet for kits and books, the Maker Shed;
– a steady stream of fun and instruction via our YouTube channel;- Make: Projects, a library of projects with step-by-step instructions
– a book publishing imprint with best-in-category titles on introductions to electronics, Raspberry Pi, Arduino and more.

Save the date for Dover Mini Maker Faire: Saturday, August 23, 2014 – we look forward to seeing you there!

A Silly Scavenger Hunt

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Tuesday was April Fools’ Day. While this whimsical “holiday” can be celebrated anywhere, a children’s museum is perfectly suited for foolish fun!

First, Educators Crystal and Meredith decided to fashion a Giant Yellow Mustache for our friend the Giant Blue Crab!

These three jokers, "mustache you a question"!

These three jokers, “mustache you a question”!

 

Our horse friend C.J. from the Dover Mounted Patrol even joined in on the fun!

Even police horses join in on April Fools' tomfoolery!

Even police horses join in on April Fools’ tomfoolery!

Our exhibits even got in on the act!

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And that’s when we unveiled our V̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶S̶i̶l̶l̶y̶ Extremely Serious Scavenger Hunt!

The Granite State is very proud of these wild animals that are native to our state! Our visitors – big & small – had quite a lot of fun hunting down all the wild subjects!

We were also kind enough to share some AMAZING TRUE FACTS with our visitors about the First Day of April!

Shhhh! Kanagaroo is learning how to stay calm in Mindball!

Shhhh! Kanagaroo is learning how to stay calm in Mindball!

Ah, yes - a royal rhino inside Pattern Palace.

Ah, yes – a royal rhino inside Pattern Palace.

Dodo Bird takes this high perch in our Mexican Cafe.

Dodo Bird takes this high perch in our Mexican Cafe.

Snow Leopards and Submarines are a perfect mix.

Snow Leopards and Submarines are a perfect mix.

Abraham Lincoln was hoping to relax inside this cozy tree.

Abraham Lincoln was hoping to relax inside this cozy tree.

Chameleon learned all about Air Mail in our Post Office.

Chameleon learned all about Air Mail in our Post Office.

Just your normal everyday hammerhead shark checking out the Dino Detective exhibit.

Just your normal everyday hammerhead shark checking out the Dino Detective exhibit.

Toucans love the vehicle construction in Thinkering Lab.

Toucans love the vehicle construction in Thinkering Lab.

Armadillo was curious about the River Model.

Armadillo was curious about the River Model.

Ring Tailed Lemur was curious about the children who used to work in the mills.

Ring Tailed Lemur was curious about the children who used to work in the mills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon was hanging out at the top of our Cocheco River Map!

Dragon was hanging out at the top of our Cocheco River Map!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“I Watched It a Million Times!” – CMNH Staff Picks Their Favorite Childhood Movies

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The film “Muppets Most Wanted” opens nationwide in theaters this weekend.

I’ve had this weekend circled on my calendar for a long time. I am a Muppet lover. A Muppet freak. A Muppophile. Not that I need to prove my Muppet cred, but let me share with you a few incontrovertible facts:

#1. I use Muppet band-aids exclusively.

#2. The vows I spoke to my wife on the day of our wedding were the lyrics from “Movin’ Right Along“.

#3. Kermit the Frog and The Muppets are the theme of my infant son’s nursery.

#4. I’m currently listening to Muppet songs while I write this blog.

I won’t bore you with numbers 5-100.

But how does such an o̶b̶s̶e̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶ appreciation of all things Muppets begin? Quite easily. 1979’s “The Muppet Movie” was my favorite movie as a small child. And as an older child. And as a teenager. And as a young adult. And as an adult. I didn’t know who the majority of the humans were in Jim Henson and company’s debut film, but I knew what I loved: Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo – heck, everyone from Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker to each member of The Electric Mayhem, house band of “The Muppet Show” (1976-1981). I already knew and loved these characters from the television show and seeing my felted best friends get in to bigger budgeted adventures (Frogs and Bears don’t drive studebakers on the cheap, you know) only sweetened the pot.

Was it the first movie I ever saw in a theater?* No. I was only 10 months old for the original release of the film. I likely saw it either on a film projector at the local community center, on VHS or on television. Once the technology made it possible, my parents recorded the movie – commercials and all – off of WLVI 56 (Channel 10 where I grew up). One day, the tape stopped working. I brought it to my mother. She explained to me that the tape had become rundown and asked me if I had any idea how that might have happened.

“I watched it a million times,” was my matter-of-fact answer.**

At five months old, my son is too young for me to bring him to see the Muppets eighth cinematic foray while it’s playing at theaters. (No matter what I might say to convince my wife otherwise.) But I’m confident he’ll fall in love with it in time. But it might not be his favorite childhood film. That honor may likely go to a movie that hasn’t even been dreamed up yet. And who knows? Maybe his love of that future film will end up being the theme of my grandchild’s nursery.

* – The honor for first movie I ever saw at the theater goes to “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” at the Colonial Theater in Laconia, NH when I was 4-years-old.

** – The only other movie I came close to watching as many times as “The Muppet Movie” was 1987’s “The Chipmunk Adventure”.

We polled the staff at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire to find out what their favorites were when they were kids. Do any of their picks match yours?

(1939) - Doug's pick / Caitlynne's 2nd pick

(1939) – Doug & Caitlynne’s pick

(1942) - Carol's pick

(1942) – Carol’s pick

(1960) - Katie's second pick

(1960) – Katie’s pick

(1964) - Heidi's pick

(1964) – Heidi’s pick

(1965) - Sarah & Meredith's pick

(1965) – Sarah & Meredith’s pick

(1967) - Heidi's second pick

(1967) – Heidi’s second pick

(1972) - Katie's second pick

(1972) – Katie’s second pick

(1977) - Jane's pick

(1977) – Jane’s pick

(1979) - Zach's pick

(1979) – Zach’s pick

(1982) - Jenaya's pick

(1982) – Jenaya’s pick

(1984) - Mark's pick

(1984) – Mark’s pick

(1984) - Crystal's pick

(1984) – Crystal’s pick

(1985) - Riley's pick

(1985) – Riley’s pick

(1985) - Crystal's second pick

(1985) – Crystal’s second pick

(1986) - Meghan's pick

(1986) – Meghan’s pick

(1986) - Caitlynne's second pick

(1986) – Caitlynne’s second pick

(1989) - Beth's pick

(1989) – Beth’s pick

(1989) - Sam's pick

(1989) – Sam’s pick

(1995) - Riley's second pick

(1995) – Riley’s second pick

(1999) - Annie's pick

(1999) – Annie’s pick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some quick observations about the Staff Picks:

- Nine of the twenty films were based on children’s books or fables.

- The Walt Disney Company is responsible for six films on the list.

- Steven Spielberg is associated with three of the films. (Spielberg directed “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, contributed the story for, “The Goonies” and produced, “An American Tail”.)

- George Lucas is associated with two of the films. (Lucas wrote and directed “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” and wrote “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”)

- Jim Henson is associated with two of the films. (Henson produced and starred in “The Muppet Movie” and produced, co-directed and wrote the original story of “The Dark Crystal”)

- The most popular years for favorite childhood films of the CMNH staff were 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1989 – each year boasting two films.

What film did you watch a million times? What were some of the oft-watched family favorites growing up in your home? Brag about the movie that had the honor of being the favorite of your childhood in the comments section below!

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