at-home activities

Explore & More’s team of educators bring you a monthly resource of knowledge, games, fun and more!

Every “Body” Can Play: Caring & Sharing

December is the ideal month to teach children about generosity and sharing! It is helpful to remember that teaching social skills will vary by age and cognitive development. Expecting your toddler to share willingly or a 3-year-old to wrap presents for others without wanting to keep something for themselves, is not always realistic. Still, parents can teach sharing and encourage generosity by flipping the focus from receiving to giving this holiday season. Here are some tips!

Will’s Culture Corner: December 2022 Edition

For many in our Explore & More community, December means it’s time for the holiday season. However, no matter which holiday is being celebrated, everyone not only in our community but across the globe has their own unique traditions that bring a sense of joy and nostalgia. This month, the ‘Culture Corner’ write-up sheds some light on some fun international holiday customs, to showcase the variety of cultural practices, and perhaps lead your family to start a new holiday tradition! 

Explore Even More: Holiday Scented Playdough

Playdough is an invaluable tool for creative, open-ended play. Children can engage in sensory play with playdough, building nerve connections in the brain, developing language and fine motor skills during the process. You and your child can make December themed playdough together with this special no bake playdough recipe. What makes this recipe special? For extra sensory play, we’ll be adding cinnamon, peppermint extract, or cocoa powder for a winter-scent sensory experience.

A Letter from Lisa: December Edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so take time to PLAY! Research shows that play helps relieve stress for both kids and adults, which is why making time to play together as a family is so important. In addition to spending quality time together, family play helps to reduce stress, strengthen relationships, and encourage creativity and imagination. If you’re not sure how to get started, here are some easy ways that you can incorporate play into the time your family spends together and eliminate your kids using that dreaded ‘b’ word – I’m bored!

Annie’s STEM Lab: Outreach Programs

Happy November to all! Did you know Explore and More offers educational Outreach Programs? This month I will explain what our Outreach Programs are and highlight a new STEM opportunity in the program I have planned and am particularly excited about!

Did You Know? School Age Camps

Holidays are right around the corner which means students have some upcoming breaks from school. Did you know that Explore & More has just the solution for families balancing work and break schedules for their kiddos?

Explore Even More: All the Leaves are Falling Down

I Love the colors of Fall- red, orange, yellow and brown! In our “Explore even More” class we discuss the changing leaves, and how they fall from the trees. One activity we all love is to pull out our parachute and place leaves on it (felt, plastic, or real!) When we move the parachute up and down, the leaves follow. You can do the same thing at home, even if you don’t have a parachute. You can have a lot of fun with a simple bed sheet. We like to name the colors of the leaves, count them, then watch them fall up and down as we play and sing. Here’s a fun song to include in your activity if you’d like:

Every “Body” Can Play: Gathering and Gratitude

November is the start to a busy season of celebrations and gatherings for many. Holidays with extended family or participating in community events can be joyful as well as stressful. Planning and being flexible can go a long way to help ease the stress, for everyone! Families with children with special needs may find it even more challenging if their children struggle with changes in routine, sensory issues or becoming overstimulated in large groups.

Will’s Culture Corner: November 2022 Edition

As we near closer and closer to winter, and colder temperatures and shorter days become the norm. Few activities feel as perfect in the late fall as cozying up to a good book. The same can be said to those visiting here at Explore & More. A central focus of our organization is to highlight and emphasize the importance of literacy. Walking through our museum space you will notice that there are books accompanying nearly every exhibit. These have been curated to match the theme of the exhibit they have been placed within.

A Letter from Lisa: November Edition

The holiday season is upon us, and most parents and caregivers find themselves dreaming of family gatherings filled with warmth and generosity, surrounded by children who are well behaved, polite and most of all, happy.

A Letter from Lisa: October Edition

With Halloween approaching, thoughts turn toward costumes, trick-or-treating, and other holiday-related activities. For some children, however, Halloween becomes more than just an opportunity to dress up and get candy. Something deeper may be going on.

Meet the Team: Our Education Team Works!

You can feel it when you walk into the museum. The building buzzes with the energy of eager children and adults playing and having fun. That buzz is an indicator that there’s a whole lot of learning going on.

Every “Body” Can Play

Explore & More recognizes the important role people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce, this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.”

Will’s Culture Corner: October 2022 Edition

As summer turns to fall, and October begins it is important to remember that October is not just a time for changing leaves and costumes, but another month that important histories and lessons can be learned.

Annie’s STEM Lab: What is STEM?

What is STEM in education exactly? STEM is the new advanced way Educators are looking at “science class.”

Explore Even More: Eye Spy Signs of Fall

Have you and your kiddos noticed the chill in the air? What other things have you been noticing this time of year? Pumpkins? Scarecrows? In my classes this time of year we do a scavenger hunt around the museum looking for the signs of fall. Maybe you and your family can do a nature walk around your neighborhood and look for falling leaves, acorns, and crows!

Did You Know? Toddler Time

Is your little one aged 18 months up to 3 years? Try out our new Toddler Time class on October 29th at 9 am for some “Not So Spooky” Halloween fun including story time, spider craft making, and even trick or treating!

Explore Even More: Back to School Photo Frame

This DIY back-to-school photo frame is a perfect way to bring some back-to-school cheer into your home. Display those beautiful first day of school photos in a creative way, letting the memories last a little longer.

Will’s Culture Corner: September 2022 Edition

For the majority of our Explore & More families, September is synonymous with change. Change in weather, change in routine, change in grade for our kiddos, change in season; this September is bringing change for myself as well, as I will be transitioning to a new position here at Explore & More, Cultural Program Educator.

A Letter from Lisa: September Edition

Summer is over and it’s time to add back to school routines to the household schedule.

Explore Even More: Create Your Own Ramp

The goal for this activity for our kids 4 and up is to create a working ramp.

A Letter from Lisa: August Edition

Summer is the best time to make a family bucket list of things that you don’t want to miss doing together. Making a summer bucket list will help you avoid looking back in August and wondering where the time went!

Meet the Team: ABLE Summer Learning AmeriCorps

Meet the team with ABLE Summer Learning AmeriCorps

Will’s Culture Corner: August 2022 Edition

Summer is a perfect time to get active in one’s community, as there is a plethora of events and festivals that celebrate, diversity and community.

Dan’s STEM Corner

We are sad to say that June saw Dan Walsh’s last day with us at the museum! Dan has been the brains and fun behind all of our STEM-tastic events and experiments and we wish him nothing but the best in his next endeavor. Take a peep at some of the fun we’ve had behind the scenes.

Will’s Culture Corner: July Edition

Summer is a perfect time to get active in one’s community, as there is a plethora of events and festivals that celebrate, diversity and community.

Explore Even More: Make Your Own Ice cream

What’s your favorite way to cool off in a hot month like July? My favorite way is with an ice cream cone.

A Letter from Lisa: July Edition

Summer is the best time to make a family bucket list of things that you don’t want to miss doing together. Making a summer bucket list will help you avoid looking back in August and wondering where the time went!

Will’s Culture Desk: June Edition

This June our Culture Corner will be focusing on the Juneteenth holiday; the reasons behind celebrating it, and what Explore & More, will be doing to join in the celebration.

Dan’s STEM Corner: LGBTQ+ in STEM

Happy Pride Month! This month we will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, especially by taking a look at the STEM field.

Meet the Team: Laura Barcomb

Meet the team with Laura Barcomb!

Explore Even More: Rainbow Paper Chain

Explore Even More: Rainbow Paper Chain

A Letter from Lisa: June Edition

Summer break is right around the corner. As parents, you are likely thinking about season passes to the pool or water park, much-anticipated family vacations and a more relaxed schedule. What you might not be thinking about is how the summer months affect your child’s learning. Often referred to as “summer slide,” there is a real danger in the loss of educational ground your children might experience during the summer months.

Dan’s STEM Corner: Pan American Exposition

May 1st marked the opening day of the Pan American Exposition, which opened in Buffalo, NY in 1901. The exposition was a world’s fair that highlighted advancements in science. There are a few really cool scientific advancements that stick out.

Will’s Culture Desk: May Edition

With Spring in full swing in Western New York, the Education Team at Explore & More is excited to offer a multitude of programming centered around both our home region and the world as a whole! Aside from our typical playful and fun-centered art, science, and history projects and lessons, our education team will be focusing on recognizing the cultures of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Explore Even More: Water Safety Month

Let’s make a splash with this month’s activity because May is national water safety month!

A Letter from Lisa: May Edition

Play encourages your child to push the limits of the world they know. Unstructured play, like interacting with exhibits and environments at Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr Children’s Museum, where there is no prescribed way to play, is particularly important in helping children foster essential skills for making their way through life: emotional coping, problem-solving, and planning.

Meet the Team: Dylan Urshel

Meet the team with Dylan Urshel!

Will’s Culture Desk: April Edition

Although Spring may officially start in March, Spring in Buffalo does not really get rolling until April. This change in season is a perfect time to take a closer look at our environment and the role we play in it. In April, holidays such as Earth Day, and Arbor Day, are observed (on a yearly basis), in order to inform, educate, and encourage positive change to our environment, both locally and globally.

Explore Even More: Biodegradable Planting Craft

Explore Even More: Biodegradable Planting Craft

Did You Know? Earth Day

Did you know that Earth Day began in 1970, as Senator Gaylord Nelson hoped to raise public awareness of air and water pollution? 

A Letter from Lisa: April Edition

Play encourages your child to push the limits of the world they know. Unstructured play, like interacting with exhibits and environments at Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr Children’s Museum, where there is no prescribed way to play, is particularly important in helping children foster essential skills for making their way through life: emotional coping, problem-solving, and planning.

A Letter from Lisa: March Edition

Is there any happier sound in the world than a child’s giggle? Nothing entertains me more than hearing children playing in the museum, let out a good laugh (especially if I’m the reason for it). Playing a little “peek-a-boo”—occasionally hiding a simple object, instead of my face—is always good for a laugh or two.

Will’s Culture Desk: March Edition

As the new year continues to roll on, February brings with it events such as Groundhog Day, Presidents Day, Valentine’s Day, and Super Bowl Sunday; all of which will be celebrated here at Explore & More. It is also, of course, the month-long celebration of Black History Month.

Explore Even More: Spring Walking Adventure

Did you know that Explore & More has a dedicated free event each month to serve children with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorders along with family and friends?

Dan’s STEM Corner: Artemis Moon Mission

Get ready for the winter solstice by making a paper lantern!

Will’s Culture Desk: February Edition

As the new year continues to roll on, February brings with it events such as Groundhog Day, Presidents Day, Valentine’s Day, and Super Bowl Sunday; all of which will be celebrated here at Explore & More. It is also, of course, the month-long celebration of Black History Month.

Meet the Team: Linsey Daniels

Meet the team with Linsey Daniels!

Explore Even More: Fun with Shaving Cream

Did you know that Explore & More has a dedicated free event each month to serve children with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorders along with family and friends?

Did You Know? Au-Some Evening

Did you know that Explore & More has a dedicated free event each month to serve children with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorders along with family and friends?

A Letter from Lisa: February Edition

Is there any happier sound in the world than a child’s giggle? Nothing entertains me more than hearing children playing in the museum, let out a good laugh (especially if I’m the reason for it). Playing a little “peek-a-boo”—occasionally hiding a simple object, instead of my face—is always good for a laugh or two.

Will’s Culture Desk: January Edition

With the start of January comes a new year, and new opportunities to advance our minds, bodies, and brains. For many, January can be a time that brings renewed hope, as many create resolutions hoping to positively impact themselves and those around them. This optimism is shared by the Education Team here at Explore & More, as we are cautiously optimistic that 2022 will be the best year yet for our organization.

A Letter from Lisa: January Edition

Is there any happier sound in the world than a child’s giggle? Nothing entertains me more than hearing children playing in the museum, let out a good laugh (especially if I’m the reason for it). Playing a little “peek-a-boo”—occasionally hiding a simple object, instead of my face—is always good for a laugh or two.

Did You Know? Different Learning Types

Did you know there are four different types of learning in Education?  Every child has a learning style that suits them the best and can help them blossom as they discover all educational subject areas. 

Meet the Team: Anna Kelly

Meet the team with Anna Kelly!

Dan’s STEM Corner: Winter Solstice Paper Lanterns

Get ready for the winter solstice by making a paper lantern!

Will’s Culture Corner: December Edition

With the holiday season officially kicked off, the Explore & More Education Team has worked to put together exciting and intellectual programming to share with our WNY community.

Meet the Team: Catherine Gesel

Catherine is thrilled to join the team at Explore & More and share her love of play with the children of Buffalo.

Did You Know? Winter Break Camp

Did you know that camps at Explore & More aren’t just for the summer break? 

A Letter from Lisa: December Edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so take time to PLAY! Research shows that play helps relieve stress for both kids and adults, which is why making time to play together as a family is so important. In addition to spending quality time together, family play helps to reduce stress, strengthen relationships and encourage creativity and imagination.

Meet the Team: Robin Sanecki

Robin is excited to join the Explore & More team after 15 years in outreach education at the Buffalo Zoo, where she taught audiences all over WNY about wildlife and conservation.

Did You Know? Diwali

Did you know that September 6th is National Read A Book Day? Have you ever wondered the impact reading to a child has at an early age? From the time your child is born, reading out loud to them has a positive influence in beginning their language development.

A Letter from Lisa: November Edition

Here we go! Summer is over and it’s time to add back to school routines to the household schedule.

Will’s Culture Corner: November Edition

October will also celebrate and highlight Indigenous People as we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, October 11th.

Meet the Team: Craig Donatelli

Craig Donatelli started his role at Explore & More one year ago as a Play to Learn Facilitator. He always arrives with a smile on his face and a coffee in hand.

STEM Saturday: Relay Technicians

This Super STEM Saturday video is powered by National Grid! Join us as we explore what life is like for a relay technician, followed by a super cool activity where Mr. Dan reads us Oscar and the Bird by Geoff Waring!

Will’s Culture Corner: October Edition

October will also celebrate and highlight Indigenous People as we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, October 11th.

Did You Know? September Edition

Did you know that September 6th is National Read A Book Day? Have you ever wondered the impact reading to a child has at an early age? From the time your child is born, reading out loud to them has a positive influence in beginning their language development.

Will’s Culture Corner: September Edition

Beginning in mid-September our cultural focus will be focused on National Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs two weeks into October). Visitors can expect to participate in lessons that emphasize Hispanic heritage, from creating colorful luchador masks, to painting portraits like Frida Kahlo did, these lessons will immerse participants in Hispanic culture.

A Letter from Lisa: September Edition

Here we go! Summer is over and it’s time to add back to school routines to the household schedule.

STEM Saturday: Fleet Technicians

This Super STEM Saturday video is powered by National Grid! Join us as we explore what life is like for a fleet technician, followed by a super cool activity where Mr. Dan teaches us how to build our very own flashlight!

Dan’s STEM Corner: Voyager 1

September 5th, 1977 marks the launch date for the space probe Voyager 1. This space probe has been exploring space for over 40 years.

Meet the Team: Dan Walsh

STEM Educator Dan Walsh started his role at Explore & More back in the East Aurora days as the membership and bookings coordinator. Watching the museum grow from a one floor museum in East Aurora to a four-floor museum at Canalside was an amazing experience! During this time, Dan would fill in to teach Explore Even More, Culture Days at schools and libraries, and Read more about Meet the Team: Dan Walsh »

Membership Reimbursement

Attention Self-Directed Care Providers! Did you know, New York State will reimburse you for your Explore & More membership?

Dan’s STEM Corner: August 2021

Join us August 21st for STEM Saturday for our very special guests Penn Dixie Fossil Park. I’m a huge fan of Penn Dixie and I love to go fossil hunting there. Imagine stepping into the past to search for fossils from an ancient undersea environment that existed 380 million years ago. Located just south of Buffalo, the Penn Dixie Fossil Park Read more about Dan’s STEM Corner: August 2021 »

Will’s Culture Desk: August 2021

Believe it, or not it’s already August, and Explore & More is continuing our plethora of summer programming.

Meet the Team: Wall Kawalec

Lead Play to Learn Facilitator Will has been a member of the Explore & More team since the museum opened on Canalside. As an educator, Will has many roles throughout the museum working both with guests on the floor and behind the scenes creating lessons and activities for visitors. Will often leads outreach efforts, visiting schools, libraries, summer camps, and Read more about Meet the Team: Wall Kawalec »

STEM Saturday: Communications Testers

This Super STEM Saturday video is powered by National Grid! Join us as we explore the exciting world of Communications Testers, followed by storytime where Mr. Dan reads us When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins & Mike Lester.

Did You Know? National Friendship Day

Did you know that the first Sunday in August is National Friendship Day?

A Letter from Lisa: August Edition

It’s almost school time again! Starting a new school year is always full of emotions, especially during a pandemic. You’re probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad that summer is winding down. Some kids (and parents) feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school because of all the new things: new teachers, new friends, and maybe even a new school. Luckily, these “new” worries only stick around for a little while.