Today was jeans-day for me rather than my usual mod tights and corporate office wear. For me a ride on a vintage Northern California carousel never goes out of style.
It was a fortunate turn of events that the ticket-seller explained that tickets for the ride, purchased by credit card, are sold inside the Children’s Creativity Museum.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol at Children’s Creativity Museum SF for Kids|
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol San Francisco Tourist Spots Children’s Creativity Museum iPad Toadstools|
A dazzling display of cloud mobiles, red and white toadstools outfitted with iPads and dream catcher workshops tantalized me from the lobby. How did the museum facilitate interactive DIY studio workshops in this riveting playland of spellbinding sight, sound, and touch? My painted carousel camel would have to be patient for its rider.
Rani, the Youth Program Director, greeted me. His black ponytail swished happily as he answered my questions about the Dreamcatcher Station. The Dreamcatchers here were reed hoops, neon pink license plate frames, and paper plates webbed with red and pink yarn. Parents in black-zippered knee boots and black berets sat on low bright pine tables with their preschoolers winding yarn.
Then my guide, led me to the music station where two sisters stood in front of a green screen while holding microphones. The volunteer sat at the sound and video editing board to record the sweetest rendition of Old Macdonald’s Farm. Proud papas wearing baby slings while holding their toddlers’ hands strolled by happily.
Photo Credit: The Children’s Creativity Museum Amy photographed me in front of the Music Room Green Screen
Rani introduced me to Fatimah Guienze and Leila, a mother-daughter team, presenting a special workshop for Black History Month’s African American Innovations inspired by Madam C.J. Walker. Madam C.J. Walker was one of the first successful business women to create haircare and skincare products out of natural ingredients for African Americans. She was also the first American woman self-made millionaire. No doubt, a SmartyGirlLeader!
|Photo Credit: LEAP Architecture Teaching Artists Fatimah Guienza|
Fatimah teaches architecture twice a week elsewhere but she loves to volunteer here at the Children’s Creativity Museum because she likes to share what she has learned from her mother. Fatimah and Leila were teaching adults and children how to make their own natural skincare products with castor oil, superfine sea salt, dried French lavendar, essential oil of bergamot, and fresh lemon zest, and shea butter. Fatimah hosted the station to blend ingredients and her mother hosted another station to decorate the jars of the finished product: either a reusable flip top plastic jar or a half-sized mason jar.
Homemade Sea Salt Scrub with Lemon Zest and Bergamot Oil
1/3 cup Extra-fine sea salt
1/3 cup Castor oil or more
Fresh lemon zest (a sprinkle)
6 drops of essential Bergamot oil
First pour the sea salt into the container such as a clean mason jar. Second pour the castor oil. Third stir these together in with a wooden tongue depressor (i.e. clean popsicle stick). Make sure you stir well so that all the salt joins the castor oil party. You may use a 1:1 ratio of castor oil and sea salt if using the scrub on your body.
|Photo Credit: The Children’s Creativity Museum Mother and Child Painting by a junior artist|
Use more oil for a more gentle exfoliation if you plan on using the homemade scrub on your face. To use: wash your face and body with your usual natural soap. Rinse. Apply the salt scrub onto your skin. Use tiny gentle circling motions to scrub. Rinse with lukewarm water. You’ll feel moisturized and your soul will feel nourished!
Leila spoke about her success as a working mother and what she teaches her children. I listened while I decorated my jar of homemade sea salt scrub with bergamot (like Earl Grey Tea) with lemon zest. Leila’s welcoming voice and attractive station drew many participants. labels,
scrapbooking paper cut with pinking shears, puffy decals such as green alligators and purple petals. My favorites were the inspiring stickers that included “You are my sunshine”.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Salt Srub for my Associate Editor Erica for “Friendship Day”|
Carrying the mason jar of salt scrub I made for my Associate Editor, Erica, I head off to the Animation Studio. Parents and kids are provided with all the tech help, colored clay, workstations and bendy-wire they want by the attentive Creative Inspiration Through Youth C.I.T.Y. Teen volunteers. The software makes it easy for you to record stop motion frame-by-frame without technical training. The camera captures the still clay form, then you are free to change the clay shape. The software creates a shadow where the clay figure was. This way you have a point of reference. Then the frames are played together so you can see animation! Fast-results make the experience feel magical. The volunteers will email you the video file when you are done.
Another station was the perfect height for parents to create a secret animated message for their children. The monitors for the finished 2D animation were kid-height. One dad animated the spelling of his daughter’s name. A mom created a poem for her kid.
I shook hands with the wonderful staff at The Children’s Museum. I walked next door to the glass topped carousel and handed the operator my sunshine yellow ticket. As I rode my carousel camel, I listened to the soft calliope music at the San Francisco tourist spot and felt pure joy. Imagine the fun you’ll have when you visit!