Creative Kids and Recycled Robots

What do trash robots, snake sculptures and shaving cream paper marbling all have in common? Besides being super fun, they are all educational (and messy) projects from last week’s camp, Creative Kids!

We delved into art making on Monday and didn’t stop! Friday marked the conclusion, in which our camp room turned into an art gallery. We invited all our friends and families to show off our impressive work.

What were we so busy doing, anyway? Between silly games such as acting like a certain color and trips to our neighbors, the Portland Museum of Art, campers learned about different styles of lines through the theme of ‘snakes.’ We tried sculpture, printmaking and drawing to explore straight, zigzag and curvy lines that real snakes would be shaped like or how they’d move. Our most involved piece of the week was the snake sculpture we worked on a little bit EVERY day. We first made the shape with tinfoil, and then covered it with plaster strips (the same kind used when you get a cast for a broken bone at the hospital!). Once they were dry we used masking tape to tape off lines so our stripes would be  nice and neat. We gessoed them as a final touch, so now they are super shiny like real snakes.

Another project we’re proud of is named Auto. He’s our giant trash robot! Take a look in the SmartArt exhibit and you’ll notice this friendly creature created all out of trash. It’s amazing what a little silver paint can do! Be on the look out this fall for my “Recycled Robots” program, where you’ll have a chance to make your own version and add it to our exhibit.

The campers are gone but the art lives on. If you enjoyed camp this summer, or haven’t had a chance to yet, there are still a few openings for Amazing Animal Journeys camp with Hannah. Check in at the front desk!


Recommended reading and inspiration for our colorful snakes: Verdi, by Janell Cannon (creator of Stellaluna).
Our favorite way of learning about lines: The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson

Meet you at the Old Port Festival!

The Old Port Festival is this Sunday, June 13 from 11am-5pm. We’re going to be there (rain or shine!) in Post Office Park with fun family activities! You can make your own Nigerian mask, have your face painted, play some fun games and help create our enormous butterfly chalk drawing.

We’ll be making two different kinds of Nigerian masks: an Acali mask, of the Igbo people: a theatrical mask used in performances worn by children; and a Yoruba Gelede mask, which is worn in ceremonies honoring the value of older women in society. Why Nigerian masks you might ask? Well, we’re installing Nigeria in our We Are Maine exhibit, which will feature authentic Nigerian masks and drums. Oscar Mokeme, Founder/Director of the Museum of African Culture, is featured in a We Are Maine video with his family and consults with us to develop activities.

We’ve also got butterflies on the brain! Our huge chalk drawing will hopefully get festival-goers to visit the Museum to see our butterfly garden. We’re watching them transform as part of our SmartArt exhibit.

We’ll be playing 3 very fun games, two of which you might not recognize! Hop scotch (an old favorite), La Gallinita Ciega (similar to “blind man’s bluff”) and Moonshine Baby. Moonshine baby is a game Nigerian kids enjoy playing and you’ll have to visit us (or listen to our Q97.9 old port interview ) to learn how it works!

Check the festival website before you go (we’re number 5!). And, while supplies last, Kathryn will be giving away $2 off admission coupons. Hope for good weather and we’ll see you this weekend!

Summer Camps Update

Last call for early bird registration. Register for Summer Camp by May 1st to receive half off a second camp of equal or lesser value. Now’s the time to plan for great summer fun at an amazing price! Here is a sampling of what we are offering this summer. Visit our website for the complete list.

In our July 12-30 The Play’s the Thing! Camp for ages 8-10, children will enjoy a three week theatrical immersion with ourTheatre’s Artistic Director Reba Short, becoming supporting cast members for Pinocchio!

In our July 26-30 Around the World camp for ages 4-5, children will have the opportunity to create a passport to the continents, experiencing cultures across the globe through cooking, crafts, stories, and visits by special guests.

In our August 9-13 Creative Kids camp for ages 4-5, children can express their imaginative side using a variety of techniques with our art educator Louisa Donelson. This crazy art camp was the first to fill last year!

Museum & Theatre campers get to explore and discover!

In our August 23-27 Amazing Animal Journeys camp for ages 4-5, led by Hannah Wilhelm our science educator, children will explore the planet through the eyes of many wild creatures who use migration to journey as a way of life. This camp is for animal lovers!

Our Museum & Theatre educators have many wonderful activities and adventures in the works and are anticipating an incredible summer here! Click here to sign up before the early bird special ends!

Snacks + healthy = Yum!

I am a bit over-excited about the NEW Good on the Go vending machine in our lower level café. Have you ever tried chocolate cookies with green tea cream filling? I have, and let me tell you they are delicious with organic milk! I’ve never been much of a soda fan, and so the healthy options in this new vending machine really strike my fancy.

From tasty chips and Starbucks Frappacinos to cheddar bunnies and juice boxes, the new Good on the Go vending machine provides affordable snack options for all ages, so visitors can have more energy to stay and play longer (and staff can too!)

I am a big fan of food, and so I’m really excited to have an easy snack option in addition to the great selection of local eateries in the neighborhood – and this one doesn’t even require crossing the street.

Oh, and did I mention the machine takes credit cards?! Salt and malt vinegar chips…here I come!

Updated February Vacation Schedule

February vacation starts at the end of today! If you’re using the Kitetails Newsletter we sent in January to plan your February vacation week visits to the Museum & Theatre, there is a slight change in our schedule. We’ve added more programs throughout the week so you and your family can have the best experience possible. Here is our full planned schedule for February 13-21.

Custard the Dragon and his friends Blink, Ink and Mustard!

Saturday, February 13
11am: Valentine’s Day Card Making ♥
11:30am: Smart Shopping
1pm: Sowing Seeds: Planning and Plotting
2pm: Chinese New Year: Ribbon Dancing!
3pm: The Story of Istar
3:30pm: Pine Cone Bird Feeders


Sunday, February 14
12:30pm: The Story of Istar
2pm: Big Messy Art: Valentine’s Day Cards ♥


Monday, February 15
Open to Members: 9-10am Open to Public: 10am-5pm
10am: Soapy Snowmen
11:30am: Custard the Dragon Puppet Show ($5/members, $13/non-members*)
1:30pm: Tip-top hats!
3:30pm: This Little Piggy Saves Continue reading “Updated February Vacation Schedule”