Many of our kids are back in school after the holiday break now, new toys and gadgets now just a few more items in their self-entertainment repertoire. The young stars are once again with their friends and teachers, safe within the walls of wisdom. But, if you work nine to five, your children still might be on their own or with your sitter for a couple of hours before you get home. You may be worried. You may not. Either way, as a parent, an opportunity to expose your geniuses to fun kinds of learning and stimulation will probably be welcome, if you can schedule it in.
Get ready to make a call or go online, and make a few entries in your planner. Starting this week, it’s time for a new program at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine: the Afterschool Imagination Series, three different weekly, month-long after-school classes (for ages 6-9), engineered to keep kids’ minds on fire.
The first, Artistic Imagination: Wizardry Arts, has already started as of press time, but in case you are an early bird reader, Wizardry Arts is a specifically messy, hands-on class where kids will create a broomstick or a magic carpet for flight, potions will be mixed, and the class will delve into making soap and candles from scratch. It starts on Wednesday the 11th at 3:30 p.m. and repeats on 1/18, 1/25, and 2/1, at a price of $60 for Museum members and $80.00 for the general public for the 4-week session.
Next, and this one will be easier to catch, is Dramatic Imagination: The Littlest Mermaid. In this course, students will work with Museum play-makers to learn about the classic Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale and adapt the characters in each section to an original, collaborative story of their own. The student play will be presented for friends and family on the last day of class. Experts agree that dramatic education can help children adapt to the real-life roles they must be prepared to play, so get them involved. Dramatic Imagination: The Littlest Mermaid starts on Thursday the 12th at 3:30 p.m. and runs every Thursday through February 2nd, for the same price as the Wizardry course.
On Friday the 13th (watch out!) at 3:30 p.m., the third class, Scientific Imagination: Electric Wonders, begins. Students will be amazed to learn how to make simple circuits out of LED, conductive paints and tape. Using basic principles of electricity and electronics, they will build things like glowing artwork and mini-robots to send zooming around the room. Electric Wonders runs Fridays through February 3rd, for the standard Afterschool Imagination Series price.
Kyle Devaul of the Children’s Museum said, “The thing that excites us most about this program is the variety. Whether you’ve got a little engineer or a future superstar, there’s something for everyone.” She said that Museum staff are excited to try all the things they have planned for the kids who sign up, and reminded us that the Dramatic Imagination course is a great intro to the theater arts, and that in most cases, kids will have something to take home each week. Don’t let the chance pass your family by!
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine: 207-828-1234 and http://www.kitetails.org/