DOVER - The Children's Museum of New Hampshire in Dover has decided to cancel in-person summer camps this year.
"We surveyed our visitors and looked over the state's summer camp guidelines and came to the difficult decision early this week," shared CMNH President Jane Bard. "However, based on the feedback we received from the survey, we know that many parents are looking for at-home activities for the summer months, which is why we're now offering new Stay and Play Summer Camp Kits."
Parents can choose from two kits, a Mini Camper Kit for ages 4-5 and a Discovery Camper Kit for ages 6-10. Each kit contains 25 hands-on activities with printed instructions and a calendar with additional activity ideas, along with most of the materials needed to complete each project, minus the basics like scissors.
All the activities are screen free. "Parents have been telling us that they are a little tired of all the online activities, which is why all the projects will include printed instructions, and any video content is totally optional," shared Bard. All the kits will include things that are unique to the Children's Museum of New Hampshire, and are activities that are "tried-and-true" favorites selected by museum educators. Most activities can be done independently, or with limited help from an adult.
While the kits are screen-free, there will be occasional chances for educator-led virtual check-ins where kids can share what they have made and see a quick experiment or art project idea.
"All projects can be done at your own pace," said Bard. "You can spread them throughout the summer, work on them at the same time as a friend, or split the activities in each kit between siblings."
Each kit is meant for one child, and while they are available for preorder now online, they won't be ready for contactless pickup at the Children's Museum of NH until the end of June. "Right now we are only offering pick-up of these kits and will not be shipping them," said Bard.
Each kit costs $100 for Non-members and $85 for Members. In addition to the Mini Camper Kit and the Discovery Camper Kit, there is a third option called the Community Builder, which costs $160. For this price, people can receive a kit of their choice, and a kit is also given to a family who would not otherwise be able to participate due to financial hardship. "We have great connections with local partner organizations who help us select families who may greatly benefit from an activity kit this summer, similar to how we offer camp scholarships," said Bard. "And of course some museum supporters might not want a kit for their own family, so they can choose to donate both kits and gift two kits to two families."
To learn more about the Children's Museum of New Hampshire's Summer Camp Kits or to pre-order them, visit www.childrens-museum.org.
About the Children's Museum of New Hampshire
The not-for-profit Children's Museum of New Hampshire is located at 6 Washington Street in Dover and offers two levels of hands-on, interactive exhibits for children from newborn to middle school. Children can explore a wide range of subjects, from dinosaurs, music and aeronautics to world cultures, art and natural history. Normally open year-round (but currently closed due to COVID19), the Silver LEED-certified museum specializes in creating memorable family learning experiences and works closely with schools, social service agencies and educators. The museum also hosts a variety of live performances, workshops, classes and special events for families. For more information, please call the museum at (603) 742-2002 or visit www.childrens-museum.org