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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Museum Musts for This Week

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Since we have a tendency to procrastinate in our house, I figured last weekend would be a great opportunity to get a jump on the summer homework, a.k.a. the Flat Stanley Journal. For those of you unfamilar with the exploits of this snappy little character, let me fill you in. Kids take the paper boy with them on vacations and outings during the summer and write about their adventures with Stanley in a journal. A photo with Stan the Man usually accompanies each entry. I’m a big fan of the project because it’s a great way to improve literacy and prevent the summer slide. Now if I could only get Rose on board.

Even with his jaunty appearance and devil-may-care attitude, Rose is not buying what Flat Stanley selling. All she sees when she looks at the cute little cut-out is 20 long journal entries staring her in the face. So deep is her disdain for Stanley that I usually have to keep a close eye on the little guy so that he doesn’t have an unfortunate “accident” before the end of summer.

flat stanley

Flat Stanley and his peeps pose for a photo opp at the top of the escalator at the Perot Museum. Photo: Brooke Robb

But, even Rose will admit life with Stanley isn’t all bad. When I pull him out, it usually means an excursion of some sort. Such was the case last week, when Stanley got to go along with Rose and her homies to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. As it turns out, he’s the perfect museum companion. He’s quiet,  small enough to fit in a purse, and you don’t have to remind him not to get too close to the exhibits.

Of course, it goes without saying that whether you’ve got Flat Stanley in tow or not, summer is the perfect time to introduce the tinies to the world class museums in our area.

Like Flat Stanley, the Perot Museum is a great place to start kids on their museum quest. Currently on display is Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran made of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles. Plastiki made headlines when it sailed 8,000 nautical miles from San Francisco to Sydney. KERA’s Lauren Silverman even wrote about it. The goal of the project is to draw attention to the 73.9 million pounds of plastic waste that has been dumped into oceans, while inspiring people to pledge to reduce their plastic footprint. You can view it for free in the outdoor plaza. .

Inside the Perot, children can see what it’s like to create an exhibit from the ground up. In ”Recycle Reef“, kids help build an underwater-themed exhibit using recyclable materials. They’ll learn about the importance and impact of recycling while creating their own recyclable masterpieces to take home. Or they can leave them at the Museum to become part of the exhibit’s reef.

Stop by the Amon Carter this Thursday, where you can get a little culture and pop culture in one trip. First, take the kiddos inside to see “A Black Odyssey.” It’s a unique series of collages and watercolors by African-American artist Romare Bearden based on Homer’s The Odyssey. If you’d like to know more, check out what Jerome Weeks had to say about the exhibition.

 After a tour of the museum, head outside for a movie on the lawn. They’ll be screening the ’80s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at 8 p.m. Finally the kids will see what’s so funny about the line you quote all the time, “Bueller….Bueller….Bueller….Anyone? Anyone?”

This is the last weekend to view “Monument of Good Deeds” at the Dallas Holocaust Museum. The exhibit is made up of photographs, paintings and illustrations taken, painted and drawn by young people during the Holocaust. Afterwards, take the trolley to nearby Klyde Warren Park, get an ice cream and talk about what you just saw.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org.