BRISTOL - Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center will be open for Presidents Day, offering holiday-themed activities and educating children about the role of the president.
The museum and early learning center, at 1 Pleasant St., will be open from 9:30 to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17. Several workshops and all-day activities will be offered.
The following workshops will be offered:
n 10:30 a.m. - Presidential pets: Children can match a presidential pet to the president and draw pets of their own.
n 11:30 a.m. - Fireside chat: Children can listen to a stories about America’s presidents in the multicultural room. This program is being offered for the first time this year.
n 1:30 p.m. -Mount Rushmore: Children can build their own Mount Rushmore out of clay in the art studio and learn about the monument.
All day activities include matching a president’s name to their photo and putting them in order and a presidential dress-up where children can don hats, wigs, ties, etc. and take a photo with a big American flag.
“Children may have some notion of who the president is, depending on what their parents say at home and their opinions,” said Karen Pac, museum studio manager and atelierista. “But what we try to reach is that the president has a lot of responsibility. We explain that it takes a team with a lot of different people to help them.”
Rachel Szostek, outreach coordinator said many children say that they want to be the president. By getting to dress-up, they get to imagine themselves in that role. They also get to learn about how clothing has changed over time.
“Children know that they have their own responsibilities - like brushing their teeth or going to school,” she said. “What we explain is that the president is responsible for taking care of a lot of other people.”
Pac said that the Presidents Day program tends to attract older students, up to third grade, as well as many parents who have the day off. She said that in past years she has seen a lot of parents test their knowledge with the presidential matching activity.
Szistek said that museum staff will teach children little bits of trivia as they participate in craft activities.
“It gives them some facts to latch onto that they find cool,” she said. “That way they can say that this president had an unusual pet or this president liked to paint. It encourages them to want to learn.”
Szostek added that it may be a unique opportunity for many children to work with clay and take their project home after, since not all schools have access to art classes.
In addition, Heather Grance, marketing director, said that the Imagine Café will be open for the day, offering broccoli and cheddar soup and two Rich Farm ice cream flavors exclusive to Imagine Nation - the Pinwheel Swirl made with cake batter and another named after the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol which is chocolate ice cream with chocolate and pretzel chunks.
Activities are included with museum admission of $10 per person. Admission is free for members and children under 1.
For more information, call 860-314-1400 or visit imaginenation.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .