June 27, 2008

Museum offers free summer programs for kids

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has an answer to that perennial summertime complaint, “I’m bored” that might just be more popular than the equally perennial answer, “So clean your room.” And the answer is Completely Free Programs.

Completely Free Programs are, well, they are free. And fun. And any mess stays at the museum while the nifty art projects go home with the child.

The programs are from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the University Museum. They all tie into an exhibit at the museum, and combine arts education with arts and crafts. Recommended ages are 7 to 14. Pre-registration is a requirement up to two days before the program. Register by calling the museum at 618/453-5388.

Here is the schedule:

July 2 -- The Big, Big Mural

Bob DeHoet, education director for the museum, noted, “We don’t know how exactly long it will be, but it will be a big, big mural and everyone will take a piece home.” That sounds like an intriguing way to kick off some of the hottest days of summer, doesn’t it?

July 9 -- Kites

This is a project and an activity all in one (weather permitting). Participants make and decorate kites and kite tails, then try to fly them -- a lesson in form and function, and probably also in “how much glitter glue can make it into the air?”

July 16 -- DIY (Do It Yourself) Toys

Inspired by the Timeless Toys exhibit, participants learn that the ultimate toys are the ones they make themselves. Who knows -- there could be some classics in the making here.

July 23 -- Comicus Collagicus -- Cartoon Collages

What kind of story do you want to tell? Funny, dramatic, zany? Participants cut out images, piece them together according to the dictates of imagination, and add captions.

July 30 -- Pop-up Art

Flat art goes 3D in this art project. Unfold the mystery of pop-up art at the University Museum.