Thursday, December 29, 2011

Staff Profile: Mike Garries

Name: Mike Garries
Position: Maintenance Technician
Hometown: Memphis, TN
How long have you been at CMOM: 5 years
Favorite exhibit: International Paper Treehouse
Favorite book as a child: The Nancy Drew series. Mysteries intrigue me, and I like figuring things out.
First museum ever visited? The Ramses exhibit at the Cook Convention Center
Hobbies: Drawing, painting, playing video games, Parkour/free running
Fun Fact: I was a Boy Scout until I was 14 and achieved the rank of First Class Scout.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Each year schools declare a holiday for students and businesses close in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King and his stand for peace and equality for all people. This year will make 25 years since the first official celebration of the King Holiday which was first observed in 1986 in New Hampshire. King's fight for justice was a fight which also included justice for all children.

So how do children today relate to the concept of equality and unity 44 years after King's death? The Children's Museum of Memphis would like to present the Dear Dr. King - Kid' s Dream project to allow children the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas of peace, unity and equality. Children of all ages are asked to write letters to Dr. King, draw pictures, and record videos to express their visions and dreams of what peace and unity looks like today through the eyes of a child.

At least 100 entries will be displayed in the Dear Dr. King - Kid's Dream exhibition at The Children's Museum during the Ignite the Dream Celebration on January 16, 2012. The public is invited to attend. Each participant will receive an official Keeper of the Dream Award which will be presented during an invitation only award ceremony at a later date.

Letters may be mailed to CMOM or dropped off at the admissions desk. All entries must be received by the close of business on January 6, 2012.

Please mail letters to :
The Children's Museum of Memphis
Attn: Programs Department
2525 Central Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

For more information, please call 901-458-2678, ext. 221, or visit CMOM.COM.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Staff Profile: Ivy Taylor

Name: Ivy Taylor
Position: Visitor Services Coordinator
Hometown: Memphis, TN
How long have you been at CMOM: 16 and a half years
Favorite exhibit: Sir-Dance-A-Lot
Favorite book as a child: The Cat in the Hat
First museum ever visited? The Pink Palace
Hobbies: Sewing, cooking, reading, and getting to know new people
Fun Fact: In October, I dressed up as a pirate for CMOM's Halloween event!

P.S. Ivy is often the first face guests see when they enter the doors of the Children's Museum. Her sense of humor is contagious!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Staff Profile: Cliff Drake

Name: Cliff Drake
Position: Director of Operations
Hometown: Covington, TN
How long have you been at CMOM?: 7 years
Favorite exhibit: Going Places
Favorite book as a child: Tom Sawyer
First museum ever visited: Casey Jones Museum in Jackson, TN
Hobbies: model cars, gardening
Fun fact: I love to water ski. I still have my favorite ski and vest.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lunch & Monsters

Yesterday, I went to an Education That Works mentor luncheon at Memphis Catholic High School (they gave us coozies, hence the above picture!). Dear readers, I don’t know if you all knew this, but we have four interns from Memphis Catholic. The school’s Education That Works program, which is in its sixth year, is designed to prepare students for their futures in the professional community (aka, “the real world” that teachers have referred to since the beginning of time). As part of this program, Memphis Catholic students intern at over 80 organizations in the Memphis area and are able to experience hands-on learning about the work world.

At the luncheon, Ted Schreck, the director of work/study for Education That Works, Jim Pohlman, the principal of Memphis Catholic, and Mimi Uhlmann, the director of corporate recruiting for the program, spoke to the mentors about the importance of Education That Works. Students/interns also spoke about the importance of the program to their high school experiences. Our interns here at CMOM do a little bit of everything, from helping prepare materials for crafts to assisting gallery staff. And they do it very well! By the way, the food at the luncheon was good (see below)!

If you know of a business that would benefit from participating in the Education That Works program, please contact Mimi Uhlmann at 901-569-1206.

In other news, CMOM’s 2nd annual Monster Bash is this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.! We’re super excited about it. There will be fun crafts, goopy science experiments, a staff costume contest, a drawing for free membership…and some fun surprises! Be there!

Staff Profile: Keosha Williams

Name: Keosha Williams
Position: Administrative Assistant
Hometown: Memphis, TN
How long at CMOM: I began at the museum in 2000 as a gallery assistant and 2004 became the receptionist
Favorite exhibit: Art Smart Studio
Favorite book as a child: This Is the House that Jack Built
First museum ever visited: the Pink Palace
Hobbies: Party and event planning
Fun fact: In 1987, I was one of the spokespeople for Smucker’s Jelly and traveled within the City of Memphis giving an opening speech for the head associates of Smuckers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn Leaves

For this weeks Tot Art we created these fun and colorful leaves. The kids had a lot of fun AND it was virtually mess-free!

Here’s what you need:

Tempera paint-we used red, yellow and orange

White school glue

Wax paper


First, take a large sheet of wax paper and fold it in half. Mix the tempera paint with the glue. I used a 2:1 paint/glue ratio. Once you’ve got your mixture, open the wax paper, like a book and put a dollop of each color in the center. Fold the other side of the wax paper onto the paint.

Using your fingers, squish the paint between the wax paper. Experiment with textures and come up with some great paterns!

When finished, let dry for 45 minutes to an hour. When it’s dry, have your toddler cut out different leaf shapes. This is also an opportunity to explore your back yard or local park. Find different types of leaves and try to recreate them! Have fun and HAPPY FALL!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fire Safety

The Children's Museum of Memphis is coming to the Memphis Zoo! On Saturday, October 22, CMOM’s director of education Felicia Peat, our maintenance technician Mike Garries, and I will implement several fire safety programs, from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. We are thrilled to display and demonstrate our new Surrey Fire Safety House. We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Staff Profile: Jim Hyde

Name: Jim Hyde
Position: Exhibits Manager
Hometown: Grew up in Little Rock, but I moved around quite a bit
How long at CMOM: 14 years
Favorite exhibit: CMOM-TV--I love watching the young performers.
Favorite book as a child: Are You My Mother?; my mom would read it to me while my soup cooled off.
First museum ever visited: Ripley's Believe It Or Not in St. Augustine, FL. The magic faucet left quite an impression!
Hobbies: Writing, playing and recording my own music
Fun fact: In 1997, I was hired by CMOM for a week's worth of work. They just kept finding more things for me to do!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ballet on Wheels!

Ballet on Wheels will perform at the Children's Museum of Memphis this Saturday, October 15, at noon. Come see graceful dancers and learn more about Ballet on Wheels!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Faith Ringgold!

Happy birthday to artist and author Faith Ringgold, who was born October 8, 1930. We’ve read one of Ringgold’s books, the wonderful Tar Beach, during Storytime on several occasions. In addition to being a great story, Tar Beach has amazing illustrations (and was once featured on an episode of Reading Rainbow!) Ringgold’s other books include Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky, If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, and The Invisible Princess.
Also, she was the subject of Fabulous Fine Art last month. See our replica of one of her paintings below:

Here’s information Ringgold’s 9/11 Story Quilt, which is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Do something fun for your birthday, Ms. Ringgold!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloweeen! The extra E is for Expanding Matter!

I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. --Dr. Ray Stantz

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is getting ready for Halloween. We’re prepping crafts and gooey experiments for our October 29th Monster Bash celebration! You’ll be able to make a creepy witches hand, slime and hunt for candy!

Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of purchasing copious amounts of marshmallows...I felt like a 'shelf clearer' on that coupon show, except I paid full price and I'm nice. In addition, I received our edible markers for our Frankenstein craft--marshmallow Frankensteins. (or as Tamara correctly calls him “Frankenstein’s Monster”). Having never used edible markers, I had to try those out. I learn by doing—that’s good considering I work at an awesome hands-on museum! The marker went on smooth as I drew a primitive smiley face and then without any warning, popped him in my mouth—mmmmm sugar!

As the ladies in my office watched me devour one marshmallow man (or woman) after another, I had an idea—more like a flashback, a sugar induced flashback.

It was Easter, 1985. Exhausted from spending the better part of my morning searching for hard boiled eggs, I dug into my Easter basket and pulled out a Peep…and then I ate him. Later that day, my family gathered around our microwave and watched the Peep expand and change shape. In my short 4 years of life, it was literally the coolest thing I had ever seen.

“Again” I shouted!



It is a tradition that has lived on. I can’t wait to teach my nephew how to microwave a Peep. Until that time, this is an activity that you can do at home while learning about how microwaves work! Ohhhh ahhhhh. I would be remiss if I didn’t display a bit of Caution

Yay, you!

What you need:


Microwavable Plate


What to do:

Before doing anything, ask your child a few questions. What do you think is going to happen?Why? This helps them form a hypothesis (an important part of the scientific method).

Once you have some idea’s as to what is going to
happen, place one or two marshmallows on a plate. Place inside the microwave for 30 seconds. Watch and document what happens. Some great questions to ask are: why do you think it’s getting bigger? What do you think is inside?

This is also a great time to experiment further. What do you think will happen if we put the marshmallow in for 45 seconds? A minute? Test these theories until your house smells like a toasted marshmallow!

Now Here Comes the Science:

So what exactly is happening? Microwave ovens are a unique appliance. Inside, microwaves swing back and forth at a frequency of about 2 billion cycles per second. While they are doing this, they are making the water molecules dance! Well not so much dance as move. As they move faster, the molecules get hot and then hotter. The heat from the molecules causes the food to heat up. Now when things heat up, they expand. As the marshmallow heats up, it too expands.

Take your hands and rub them together. As your hands move faster and faster, you can feel the heat. This is like what is happening inside your food. As the molecules move faster and faster, they are creating heat. Yay Microwave ovens!

MARSHMALLOWS **jazzhands**

Staff Profile: Jana Smith

This post marks our inaugural staff profile. This is a great way to get to know our spectacular CMOM staff. So, without further ado...

Name: Jana Smith
Position: Visitor Services Coordinator
Hometown: West Memphis, AR
How long have you been at CMOM? Since July 2010
Favorite exhibit: The Skyscraper
Favorite book as child: Harold and the Purple Crayon
First museum ever visited: The Pink Palace
Fun fact: I was born in Texas and was adopted, then moved to Arkansas.
Hobbies: Camping, biking, spending time outside, and collecting books and pens
P.S. Jana is also a HUGE Arkansas Razorbacks fan. Woo Pig Sooie!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jasper Johns

Here's our version of the Jasper Johns painting mentioned in yesterday's post. Remember, Fabulous Fine Art is every Friday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Art & Info

Jasper Johns (born on May 15, 1930) was the subject of today’s Fabulous Fine Art. Johns is an American artist who has painted flags, maps, targets, letters, and numbers. We created replicas of his painting Numbers in Color, 1958–59 using number stencils and dot markers (images coming soon!). Fun fact: On February 15, 2011, Jasper Johns received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

In other news…
On Saturday, October 1, the Memphis chapter of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month Committee will sponsor a Communication and Learning Fair at the Children’s Museum of Memphis from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Come to discover many resources focusing on speech language, hearing, communication, learning, development, health and well-being. Learn about and experience:
• Speech-language milestones
• Developmental milestones
• Hearing screenings
• Augmentative communication demonstrations
• Using iPads and iPods for learning and communication
Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Berthe Morisot!

Berthe Morisot (1841 – 1895) was the subject of today’s Fabulous Fine Art. We created replicas of her painting Peasant Girl Among Tulips, which is on display at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

Morisot was a French Impressionist painter whose work is also on display at Musée d’Orsay in Paris. With this activity, we used construction paper, watercolors, and dot markers, and this project was one where each participant’s individual creativity could shine. We’ll be doing this activity again tomorrow at 2 p.m. See you there!

Here is the actual painting!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fun Project!

Have you ever wondered what to do with children’s books that have been “loved” a lot (i.e., some of the pages are torn out)? Well, you can actually make your own notebook or sketchbook. This is what we did. If you have a book with torn pages but, say, a beautiful cover, this project is perfect.

First, take out all the pages of the book (we like to cut these up to use for collages and other art projects).

Then, grab paper (either notebook paper or computer paper) and trim it to fit, if necessary.

Next, apply glue to the spine (we used Tacky Glue) and attach paper to the it, making sure the paper is collated as neatly as possible.

Close the book, and secure with binder clips.

We let the book dry overnight. The next day, we had our custom-made notebook!

It’s very unique, environmentally friendly and great for kids and adults alike!

Friday, September 16, 2011


The focus of today’s Fabulous Fine Art was Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919). Renoir loved to paint flowers, and that’s what we did. Check them out! Also, we’ll do this activity again tomorrow at 2 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello September!

September is here! This month will bring some wonderful things to the Children’s Museum of Memphis. There is a new traveling exhibit, Balancing Act, which will arrive on September 17. The interactive exhibit focuses on the physical nature of balance and the body systems that work together to achieve that balance. Through a variety of challenge activities, such as balance beams, bridges and balance boards, you can get into the act and test your sense of balance in a fun, playful environment. Balancing Act will be here until January 15.
Also, on September 30, we will host the first CMOM Children’s Ball. Special guests Cinderella (Valerie Calhoun) and her Prince Charming (Joey Sulipeck) will delight young and old while bringing the fairy tale to life. The Children’s Ball is from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Also, autumn begins on September 23. It’s the season of changing leaves, football games, and beautiful weather (full disclosure: autumn is my favorite season). Come visit us this month!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Say “Hello” to Your Friends…

Happy birthday to Ann M. Martin, author of The Baby-Sitters Club series! Many girls grew up reading this series, including yours truly. In a way, The Baby-Sitters Club series is similar to the goal of the Children’s Museum of Memphis—the books were fun and enjoyable, but definitely offered opportunities to learn. Personally, I learned about diabetes, various tourist attractions in New York City, and Newberry-award-winning books from reading the series. Ann M. Martin’s books brought joy to many young lives, and we salute her!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Celebrity Block Party

Back-to-School Celebrity Block Party
Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

CMOM is rolling out the red carpet for a back-to-school Celebrity Block Party! Spongebob, Dora & Diego, Spiderman, Dorothy, Toto, Tinman, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and others all come together for a party to remember. Pose with your favorite characters for pictures and collect autographs. Cast your vote for best character in the Kids Choice Awards. We will also have games, face painting and balloon art. Admission is free for museum members and $15 for non-members - museum admission is included! Don’t forget your camera!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

25 Things!

25 Things to Do!

Back by popular demand! Please find a list of 25 things to do at CMOM this summer.

1. Stick your hand in the tornado.
2. Build a building and make it fall down at the earthquake table.
3. Withdraw money from the ATM at the bank.
4. Play chess with a giant chess board in Playing Together: Games (which will be at CMOM until the end of July).
5. Challenge your mom or dad in a game of Checkers.
6. Put on a puppet show for your friends in the Bookatarium.
7. Watch the train (and the knights standing guard) above Sir Dance-A-Lot.
8. Listen to thunder in The Perfect Storm.
9. Play Rangoli in the Art Smart Studio.
10. Create a masterpiece out of recycled materials in the Art Smart studio.
11. Swivel your hips and sing along to Elvis’ Hound Dog in CMOM-TV.
12. Greet a CMOM staff member at the CMOM castle (also known as the Admissions Desk).
13. Make the hot-air balloon go up in the air.
14. Tinker with a bunch of lights, doorknobs, and doorbells in Your House, My House.
15. Play Human Bingo on Sunday at 3 p.m.
16. Count the number of slides in the museum—then slide down them!
17. Play a Guessing Game with Grandma Willow in the Treehouse.
18. Explore gravity and motion with Totally Tubular.
19. Take your picture with our very own Lady Liberty statue.
20. Learn about the history of the Mississippi River.
21. See a gigantic pen, pencil, and paintbrush.
22. Fly a plane in the Wind Tunnel.
23. Learn (and sing along to) the Booster Seat song.
24. Count the number of cows in Andy Warhol’s Cow (located in the Art Smart Studio).
25. Crack the code in the Bank’s safe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Patricia Polacco

Yesterday was the birthday of Patricia Polacco, the wonderful and prolific children’s book author. Her works include Mr. Lincoln’s Way, The Keeping Quilt, Chicken Sunday, and Mrs. Katz and Tush. Mrs. Katz and Tush in particular is a Storytime favorite here at CMOM. It’s the story of the bond between an elderly Jewish woman, a young African-American boy, and a cat who’s “such a person.” The last time I read this book at Storytime, I got a little choked up as I read the last page (don’t judge). Happy belated birthday Ms. Polacco. You’re “such a person!”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Friday and Saturday Summer FUN Hours.

We decided to scale back our Summer of Fun hours.

Until July 31, CMOM will be open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. We will be open from 9 am. until 5 p.m. Sunday - Thursday. Come to CMOM and beat the heat!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Andy Warhol!

At Friday's Fabulous Fine Art, we created replicas of Andy Warhol's (1928 - 1987) U.S. Dollar Sign, 1982. Fun fact: Andy Warhol's nephew, James Warhola (Andy dropped the "a" from his last name), has written children's books about his famous uncle: Uncle Andy's and Uncle Andy's Cats.

Fabulous Fine Art is every Friday at 10 a.m. Next week's artist is Georges Seurat. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Last week we opened an old favorite here at CMOM, The Games: Playing together exhibit! This exhibit is all about different games from around the world and through time. Some of these games are favorites that everyone knows how to play like checkers, and then new games like Pig-in-a-pen and Mancala. As visitors play together they learn about cooperation, build skills, gain knowledge and share memories. Games of strategy, math, luck and physical coordination are all featured. These games show how fun it is to play with others and also to learn about games you never knew existed! There is definitely a game for everyone! We hope that you will join us for this fabulous fun exhibit that will be here till July 31st!

The featured games include: Nine Men's Morris, Checkers, Chess, Tic-Tac-Toe, Pig-in-a-Pen, Sequence, Boc-Tin, Dominoes, Mancala, Skittles, Dutch Shuffleboard, Table Ice Hockey, Hopscotch and Senet.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer of Fun Hours

We decided to scale back our Summer of Fun hours. Until July 31, CMOM will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. We will be open from 9 am. until 5 p.m. Sunday - Wednesday. Come to CMOM and beat the heat!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goodbye to Oz!

Why is the Cowardly Lion looking so glum? It’s because the Welcome to Oz exhibit closes on June 2. Come experience this exhibit again (or for the first time) before it leaves this week. Dress up as the characters from the book, test your wits like the Scarecrow, and click your heels in the giant silver shoes to return home. We hope everyone who has seen this exhibit has enjoyed it as much as we have!

SUMMER CAMP at The Children's Museum of Memphis!

What will you say when you teacher asks, “What did you do this summer?” Your answer could be. “I played with bugs and found buried treasures at The Children’s Museum of Memphis!” What better way to spend the summer?

Backyard Bugs and Butterflies Summer Camp:
June 27 – July 1
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

There’s no need to be afraid of the fascinating small wonders found in the world around us. Campers will discover what is cool about creepy, crawling, intriguing little critters and the roles they play in nature when they sign up for our Backyard Bugs and Butterflies Summer Camp. Girls and boys will become entomologist for a week as they study and observe bugs found right in our own backyard. Each child will photograph, identify and record their findings as they investigate bug behaviors. They will also witness the complete life cycle of the butterfly and make their own butterfly inspired wall hangings. Who can sit still while cheering for their favorite insect in the Olympic Bug Races and planting flowers and foliage to attract beautiful butterflies?

Cherished Treasures Adventure Camp:
July 11 – 15
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Follow the map that leads to Cherished Treasures Adventure Camp where girls and boys will travel around the globe and explore 7 of the world’s most famous treasure islands. Buried chests full of handmade personalized jewelry, uniquely designed fancy belt buckles, and priceless tie-dyed t-shirts await explorers as they learn about the ambush of Nombre de Dios in the Caribbean Islands and the hidden treasures in the Tusket Islands that belonged to the d’Entremont family. Campers will listen to lost tales of sunken ships as they create their very own message in a bottle, replicate lost art from famous artists like Van Gogh and maybe even walk the plank if they dare.

Camp sessions are designed for ages 6 years old and up
$130.00 per session. Snacks provided.
Sign up today as space is limited.
Call 901-458-2678 for more information

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Look Whoo's Counting!

Today for Bookworms we read Look Whoo’s Counting, and we made owl collages with numbers! This craft helped show how shapes and numbers when collaged can work together to create an object. I had one 3 year old participant who helped me count all through the book. She made this lovely owl (with a mustache)!

Join us next week when we read Yertle The Turtle at 3pm Thursday @CMOM!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fabulous Feather Painting

These paintings were made using feather quills and tempera paint. Some kids mixed using the pointed tip of the feather, and the actual feather. This technique created line variations in these works of art!