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M is for Museum & Poppets Playdate – At Home Content


JANUARY PROGRAM: Colors and Shapes with Quilts!

Poppets Playdates, 18 mos. +
M is for Museum, 2.9 years +

Available on:
Friday, January 14 at 9:30 a.m.


Program Content

This month, we’ll explore the museum’s current quilt exhibition, Starstuff: Star Quilts of the Wenham Museum. We will look at the quilts and see what colors and shapes we can find.

Our Poppets friends will read The Perfect Square by Michael Hall. In this book, Michael Hall illustrates how a happy square transforms itself after facing one challenge after another. Cut into pieces and poked full of holes? Time to become a burbling fountain! Torn into scraps? Grow into a garden! Day after day, the square reinvents itself, from simple and perfect to complex and perfect . . . and always happy.

Our M is for Museum friends will read The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. In the story, long ago a young girl named Abigail put her beloved patchwork quilt in the attic. Generations later, another young girl discovers the quilt and makes it her own, relying on its warmth to help her feel secure in a new home.

Quilt Exhibition – Starstuff

If we were together inside the Wenham Museum, we’d visit some quilts that we have hanging up in the museum. Some of these quilts are very, very old and some are not.  All of the quilts are made of small pieces of fabric (which is another word for cloth).  The fabric is cut into shapes and sewn together when the quilts are made.

Below, we have put some close-up pictures of different quilts in the museum.  Look with a grown-up and talk about what colors you see.  What shapes do you see?


Some quilts contain images of baskets or stars.  Each of these quilt blocks are creating using many tiny shapes arranged to make a picture.  Do you see all the triangles that make a basket?  Do you see the green squares and rectangles arranged into another design?  There are more rectangles, squares, and trapezoids arranged to make the houses.  The red stars are many, many diamonds arranged to make a star.


Here are some more fun quilt blocks that are not made of shapes.  What do you see?  What colors can you find?


Here is a picture of a very special quilt that is just like the quilt in one of our stories today, The Quilt Story.  Take a close look at this picture before you read The Quilt Story.


Make Your Own Quilt from Paper

You can make your own quilt at home using paper!  Gather some construction paper (or other scrap paper, like wrapping paper or magazines), scissors, and a glue stick.  Cut out colored shapes and arrange them on another sheet of paper to make a quilt.

If you do not have any colored paper, scissors, or glue, use crayons, markers, or colored pencils to draw and color your shapes on your paper quilt.



Poppets Playdates, 18 mos. +
M is for Museum, 2.9 years +

Available on:
Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.


Program Content


Join in this month’s M is for Museum and Poppets Playdates VIRTUAL at-home program! You can participate in the program on your own time and at your own schedule.

In March, winter starts to fade and signs of spring begin to appear. One sign of spring is that sap starts to run inside maple trees. You can gather this sap in buckets and boil it for a long time until it becomes maple syrup!

Maple syrup is delicious on pancakes! Our Poppets friends will read Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle. In this story, Jack wakes up and is hungry for pancakes. His mother sends him around their farm to gather the ingredients. He wonders if his pancake will ever be ready!

Our M is for Museum friends will read Almost Time by Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney. In this story, a little boy named Ethan is waiting and waiting to tap maple trees with his father to make maple syrup. He is also waiting for a loose tooth to fall out! Waiting can be hard when you are really looking forward to something. Something like maple syrup is worth the wait!


Make Real Pancakes!
You can make your own, homemade pancakes from scratch with this recipe.

2 cups all purpose plain flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar or sweetener
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg


  1. Combine together the flour, sugar (or sweetener), baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large-sized bowl.  Make a well in the middle and add the milk, slightly cooled melted butter, vanilla and egg.
  2. Use a wire whisk to whisk the wet ingredients together first before slowly folding them into the dry ingredients. Mix together until smooth (there may be a couple of lumps but that’s OK).  (If the batter is too thick, i.e., it doesn’t pour off the ladle or out of the measuring cup smoothly, fold a couple tablespoons of extra milk into the batter at a time until reaching desired consistency).
  3. Set the batter aside and allow to rest while heating up your pan or griddle.
    Heat a nonstick pan or griddle over medium-low heat and wipe the pan with a little butter to lightly grease it.
  4. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan and spread out gently into a round shape with the back of your ladle or measuring cup.
  5. When the underside is golden and bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip with a spatula and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.
  6. Serve with lots of syrup!


Learn About Maple Sugaring

In this video from Highlights Kids, you can visit a real maple sugar farm and learn how maple syrup is made.

Watch the video >>






FEBRUARY PROGRAM:  Share the Love!

Poppets Playdates, 18 mos. +
M is for Museum, 2.9 years +

Available on:
Friday, February 12, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.


Program Content

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this month is all about love and kindness!  After we read our stories, we have suggested some Valentine’s Day-related activities.  We also encourage you to do an act of kindness for someone in your family, a friend, or a neighbor this weekend.

Our Poppets friends will read The I Love You Book by Todd Parr. This story explores the meaning of unconditional love in a heartfelt, playful way for children and caregivers.

Our M is for Museum friends will read Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light by Apryl Stott. In this story, Bear is sad. All the other animals think he’s mean because he’s so big. But his human friend, Coco, offers to help him. Coco shares her grandmother’s advice: “When life gets dark as winter’s night, share some kindness, bring some light.”


Make Aquafaba in Valentine’s Day Colors

Aquafaba (also known as chickpea foam) is a great sensory play material for young children.  It’s also safe to eat – although it may not taste very good!

Supplies Needed
2 Cans of Chickpeas
Cream of Tartar
Few Drops of Red and/or Blue Food Coloring


  1. Drain the liquid from 2 cans of chickpeas into a large bowl.
  2. Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to the bowl.
  3. Whip ingredients with mixer on high until soft peaks form (about 4 minutes).
  4. Add food coloring to color the chickpea foam. Use more red for red, less red for pink, or red and blue together to make purple!
  5. Briefly whip the color in to incorporate.  It’s best to make the chickpea foam right before use.
  6. Pour the chickpea foam into a dish pan or brownie pan or other low dish and play!


Make Some Valentines! 

Making Valentines is a great way for preschool-aged children to practice cutting skills and writing letters or their names.

Supplies Needed
Glue Sticks
Markers, crayons (optional)


  1. Learn how to cut out a heart shape!  Fold a piece of paper in half.  Draw a half-heart shape along the fold.  Cut along the line.  Unfold and you have a heart!
  2. Make many hearts and glue them together or on a larger piece of paper.  You could also decorate them some more with makers or crayons.
  3. Talk about who you would like to give these Valentines TO, and who they will be FROM (you!).  Practice writing some of the letters in these makes or try writing your name with a pencil.




Poppets Playdates, 18 mos. +
M is for Museum, 2.9 years +

Available on:
Friday, January 8, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.


Program Content

This month is all about owls. Our Poppets friends will read “Owl Babies” by Martin Waddell. In this story, three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, and they can’t help but wonder where she is. What is she doing? When will she be back? When the mother owl returns, the owl babies joyously flap their wings and dance and bounce. Beautiful illustrations capture the story of little ones who miss their mother and are overjoyed at her return.

Our M is for Museum friends will read “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen. In this classic, award-winning story, a little girl and her father go owling on a late winter night. They keep quiet, as they listen for owls and hope to find one during a beautiful moonlit night.

Make A Snowy Owl

Supplies Needed

      • Black, blue or purple construction paper for a night sky (or, color a white piece of paper to be the night sky);
      • Black construction paper (or black crayons or markers) for the owl’s feet, beak, and pupils;
      • Brown construction paper (or brown crayons or markers) to make a branch for the owl to sit on;
      • Yellow construction paper (or crayons or markers) to make the owl’s yellow eyes;
      • Something white for the owl’s body.  You could use white paint, cut paper, cotton balls, or anything else you have on hand that is white.  (If you are starting with a while piece of paper, you could also just draw an outline for the owl body and leave it un-colored in.)
      • Glue stick (or glue, tape, or a stapler).


      • Start with the background for the night sky, either with construction paper or coloring.
      • Then, add a branch for the owl to sit on.  Cut one out of brown paper and glue it on, or draw a brown branch. If you are using cut paper, you can make it all crinkly or a little wrinkled to add some texture to your branch!
      • Next, make the owl’s body.  If you are painting, you could use a shower poof, cotton balls, or a sponge as a paintbrush to make an interesting texture for the feathers.  You could also cut out pieces of white paper in ovals and circles to glue on for feathers.
      • Then, make the owl’s yellow eyes but cutting out yellow circles and gluing them on.  (Or, color two yellow circles.)
      • Last, cut out black feet, a black triangle for a beak, and two small black circles for pupils.  (Or, color these things with black crayons or markers.
      • Looking for more to do?  Add two tiny white circles to the eyes as little glints of reflected light.  Or, add a moon or stars to the sky.

See Real Owls
You and a grown-up can drive to Plum Island in Newburyport, Mass. to look for snowy owls.  Snowy owls are one of the largest owls in North America.  They have many white feathers on their body, but also some feathers that are brown, black and grey.  They have yellow eyes.  Snowy owls have many small, fine feathers on their face, beak, feet, and legs to help keep them warm.  Snowy owls are predators.  This means they eat other animals (like small rodents and small birds) for their food.  They like to live in open, grassy areas like tundras and marshlands.

Our friends at the Massachusetts Audubon Society are experts in knowing about snowy owls!  On their website, you can learn more about snowy owls and the work that they do to keep snowy owls happy and safe:

Live Web Cam – Owl Nest
You can also see a real snowy owl nest in the wild!  This snowy owl family lives in Alaska.  In this time of year in the Alaska, the sun never goes down so the owls are easy to see all of the time.  You can watch the grown-up owls come and go with food for the babies, just like in the book Owl Babies.  For Grown-Ups – Warning!  While the owls in this nest spend a lot of time sleeping, they also eat a fair number of lemmings.  This may be interesting or it could be worrisome for some younger viewers.  You may also see other wild animals, like arctic fox.


DECEMBER PROGRAM:  All About Gingerbread!

Poppets Playdates, 18 mos. +
M is for Museum, 2.9 years +

Available on:
Friday, December 11, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.


Program Content

Gingerbread is a traditional food that many people enjoy at holiday time.  It’s full of delicious spices that tickle your nose and your taste buds!  The ginger flavor in gingerbread comes from the ginger root, which originated in the country of China.  You can make gingerbread cookies or bread, and many people make small decorative houses out of big pieces of gingerbread, frosting, and candy.

Our Poppets friends will read The Gingerbread Mouse by Katie Bratun.  Our M is for Museum friends will read Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup and illustrated by Matt Tavares.

Gingerbread Play-Dough
Now that we’ve read some gingerbread stories, have a grown-up help you make some gingerbread play-dough!  When your dough is ready, you can roll it, mash it, smoosh it, and make impressions in it using your fingers or other things at home, like forks.  If you have cookie cutters (or even plastic cups), you can cut out shapes and circles of pretend cookies.


      • 1 cup Flour
      • 1/4 cup Salt
      • 2 tsp Cream of Tartar
      • 1 cup Water
      • 1 1/2  to 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
      • 1 – 2 tsp ground Cinnamon
      • 1- 2 tsp ground Ginger
      • 1 tsp ground Nutmeg
      • 1 tsp ground Cloves


      • Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan ~ I like to mix the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients separately.
      • Stir until your mixture resembles cake batter.  It may still have a few lumps in it at this point.
      • Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly.
      • It shouldn’t take too long for the mixture to thicken…continue stirring.
      • Once the mixture forms one large ball, it is done.
      • Remove from the pan and let cool before handling.  It will be very hot at this point.
      • Knead by hand until smooth.
      • This recipe makes about 2 cups of Gingerbread Play-Dough.




Poppets Playdates, 18 mos. +
M is for Museum, 2.9 years +

Available on:
Friday, November 13, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.



Program Content

First, let’s read some stories as we get excited to learn more about getting ready for winter!  As fall turns to winter, all of the leaves will fall from the trees.  The sun will set earlier and it will be dark before dinner time.  The air outside is getting colder.  There is a lot for people and animals to do to get ready for winter!

Our Poppets friends will read The Hat by Jan Brett. In The Hat, a child named Lisa is hanging up her winter clothes outdoors to air out. They have been stored all spring and summer, and she is getting ready to wear them in winter. A little hedgehog named Hedgie comes along, and puts on one of Lisa’s socks as a hat! Do you have different clothes that you wear in winter time?

Our M is for Museum friends will read Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows. In this story, many animals are riding a make-believe train that takes them to hibernation. Hibernation is a fascinating way that some animals survive in winter when food is scarce. Hibernation is like being asleep for a long time. To get ready for hibernation, some animals store food to eat from time to time when they wake up. Other animals build up body fat all spring, summer, and fall so that they can sleep all winter. What kinds of things do you do to get ready for winter?


Paint a Hedgehog

Supplies in bag:  Hedgehog outline, plastic fork, brown and black paint 
Supplies from home:  Marker/crayons

In your supplies bag, find a white piece of paper with a black outline of the shape of a hedgehog on it.  Put in flat on your work surface.  Then, find the plastic fork, brown paint, and black paint in your bag.  Use the fork as a “paintbrush” to paint quills on your hedgehog in brown and black.  Use a marker or crayon that you have at home to draw and eye and a mouth on your hedgehog.

Click to download a printable hedgehog template >>



Make a Bear Cave


Supplies in bag:  Paper grocery bag, cotton balls, glue, construction paper
Supplies from home:  Scissors, stapler; stuffed or toy animal

A grow-up may need to help you get started on your cave.  To make your cave, cut the handles off of the paper bag.  Fold over the top edge of the bag and staple.  Then, cut an opening in the paper bag for the animals to go in and out.

The cotton balls are going to be make believe snow.  Dunk a cotton ball in a *little* bit of glue, and stick it to the outside of the cave.  Then, cut leaves out of the construction paper to put inside the cave.  The animals can use these to make a nice cozy bed.  Find your favorite stuffed animal or other toy animal, and put it in the cave for hibernation!  Tip:  if you need another cave, you could make a second one using the paper bag that all your supplies came in.

Museum Hours for Supplies Pick-Up
Each registered child in a household will have his/her own bag of supplies.
Friday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, 12 – 4 p.m.
Monday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Museum Galleries closed today; staff is in.)
Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.




Poppets Playdates, 18 mos. +
M is for Museum, 2.9 years +

Available on:
Friday, October 9, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

Program Content

First, let’s read some stories as we get excited to learn more about leaves!  Right now, we are in a season called fall.  In fall time, the leaves on the trees change color and eventually fall to the ground.  Trees that lose their leaves are called deciduous trees.  They are different from other kinds of trees, like pine trees, that keep their green pine needles all year.

Make Your Own Leaf Book
Now, it’s time to make your very own leaf book!  Go outside with a grown-up and look on the trees and on the ground for different shapes and colors of leaves.  Each different kind of tree makes its own special leaf.  You can bring these leaves home and glue or tape them into your leaf book.  Be sure to work with a grown-up to write your name on your leaf book and to label all the different kinds of leaves that you found.

Make Leaf Prints

As a registrant, you may also pick-up leaf printing materials and instructions at the Wenham Museum during normal business hours from Friday, October 9, 2020 – Sunday, October 11, 2020.

Museum Hours for Painting Supplies Pick-Up
Each child in a household will have his/her own bag of supplies.
Friday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, 12 – 4 p.m.



Sponsored by:  Early Childhood Partners