Story Museum for toddlers and preschoolers is a weekly program. Children and caregivers join together to explore a world filled with the magic of stories, crafts, music, dancing and singing, all within the colorful and comfortable setting of the Museum at Historic Richmond Town.Historic Richmond Town's educators introduce participants to the sights and sounds of America, past and present, with plenty of hands-on fun. Intended for preschool children up to age five, this program is a friendly introduction to the museum as a place where children are welcomed and encouraged, and where their cultures are valued.
A small admission fee may be required for the cost of materials.
On a recent summer Thursday, Story Museum's topic was drawn from the day's forecast for afternoon thunderstorms. "Miss Helen" greeted each of the children and caregivers by name, welcomed everyone, introduced the topic—clouds and storms—and showed them the materials (such as cotton balls) for a craft project. Two teenage helpers also participated in the program.
The program hour was segmented into portions, with time for the children to relax or play in between. They read two picture books, Stormy Weather by Debi Gliori and Little Cloud by Eric Carle. Each child made his or her own mixed-media weather picture. Five-year-old Abby was the first to finish, so she helped Miss Helen by gathering supplies to be put away. After singing "The Cleanup Song," each child showed his or her creation, pointing out details or telling something about the topic in their own words.
After completion of craft time, the group participated in a read-and -respond rendition of an original poem, "Clouds," written by Miss Helen to enhance the program. Gestures and expressive movement were added as the children repeated the short poem. After congratulating the children on a job well done, Heather (age 14) led a beach-ball game, and Alex (age 14) presented the children with paper airplanes which he made as gifts for them, folded and decorated with weather symbols in honor of the theme.
After a closing song, families stayed to explore the nearby TOYS! exhibition at their own pace. With its intergenerational nature and balance of structured and unstructured activities, Story Museum meets the needs of a truly diverse audience.