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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Thirty years ago, Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, published “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” The book, which celebrates the many journeys life can take us on, is now a staple of most high school graduations as teenagers prepare to make the first steps to a life of their own. Today, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the message falls a bit flat. With a world practically shut down, the only place many of us are going to is the grocery store.
Families are especially feeling the effects of a quarantined and socially distant life. With schools closed, parents are needing to find ways to keep their kids not only entertained, but engaged every day. In Springfield, Massachusetts, the home of Dr. Seuss, museums are stepping up to help.
“It’s true that a museum is not just the walls that enclose the collections, but way beyond that,” said Jenny Powers, the family engagement coordinator with the Springfield Museums. “We have a special section of our website, set up with activities created by curators and educators.”
The museum offers a collection of Seuss-related resources available to families online through its Seuss in Springfield website, as well as science and art activities families can do from home. The site includes step-by-step instructions for crafts, like a paper tube fox inspired by Seuss’ “Fox in Socks,” and science experiments like its shaving cream marbled eggs to decorate using supplies most families would have at home.
The Springfield Museum is not alone in offering online tools for families interested in exploring children’s authors and illustrators. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, is trying to inspire the next generation of artists and storytellers.
Sara Ottomano, one of the museum’s art educators, is running a “Making Art Together” blog with activities families can try at home.“We wanted to start from scratch. We wanted to ask, ‘How can you go around your house finding every-day objects and think about how you can make art projects out of them?’”
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