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Maggie Keneen column: Children's Museum to celebrate Wild Wisconsin Month in April

12:09 PM, Mar. 17, 2014  |  Comments
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We're all itching to get outside and soak in the warmer weather. I'm excited to take my 6-year-old son outdoors without the 20-minute winter weather gear prep. Exploring the outdoors can be an extraordinarily educational experience for children as well as a sensory one.

Our focus here at the Central Wisconsin Children's Museum in March and April is all about Mother Nature. Before you head out on your outdoor adventures, stop in and learn as a family about our local environment through our Wild Wisconsin art projects, explore the native landscape by visiting our special grasslands exhibits (including a visit with a buffalo), or hear some stories by local pioneers in the conservation movement during our Once Upon a Time program when we'll be featuring the book "Walk When the Moon is Full" by Frances Hamerstrom.

Also, on April 1, we are delighted to be introducing the newest addition to the museum floor: a puppet theater! Another great way to learn about the natural world around us, families can act out (using our new and expanded selection of puppets) just exactly what happens when a beaver meets a northern leopard frog.

Here are some other activities and events planned this spring at CWCM.

? Community Nights: Thursday nights at CWCM are Community Nights and feature a special program or presentation free to the public. Pop in for a healthy dinner provided by our partner Ministry Health Care, take an interactive trip to visit a new culture or learn some games during Family Game Night. For a full schedule, visit www.cwchildrensmuseum.org.

? Infant Music: Our newest program, Infant Music, is designed to enhance the parent/caregiver and child bond through exploration of music and movement. Other benefits include early pattern recognition and motor activity. Beyond the educational, this is a magical time for families with children up to 18 months old to laugh, sing and dance together. It is offered at 10 a.m. Wednesdays.

? Grassland Gala: This year, CWCM will be the site of Golden Sands RC&D's Grassland Gala from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 5. The event features arts, crafts, games, sing-a-longs, movies, popcorn and many other family activities. You also can stop by in advance as we are participating in the Prairie Chicken Poster contest. These events are all a part of our celebration of grasslands and our very own Wild Wisconsin.

? Hmong Culture Month: During the month of May, CWCM will be steeped in the traditions, colors, music and tastes of Hmong culture. Visitors to the museum will be able to shop in a Hmong grocery store, learn the basics of Hmong fiber arts, visit a traditional Hmong farmhouse, try on traditional dress and hear the music, learn the language and taste the cuisine of a people who we are happy to call our neighbors and our friends. For a full schedule of exhibits and programs, visit www.cwchildrensmuseum.org.

The Central Wisconsin Children's Museum, located at 1100 Main St. in downtown Stevens Point, is a nonprofit family-based discovery place where children and adults play and explore life together to strengthen confidence, capabilities and creativity through hands-on investigation. To learn more, call 715-344-2003 or visit www.cwChildrensMuseum.org.

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