at-home activities

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

Did You Know? Free Admission for 3rd Grade Graduates on Select Dates this Summer

Did you know that 3rd grade graduates and their families can visit Explore & More for free this summer? 

Make-your-own Seahorse!

By Jacalyn Modrzynski, Lead Educator I always look forward to May’s Newsletter because I have a chance to share about National Water Safety Month! For more information on National Water Safety Month Click Here. You can find water safety tips, swim lessons, learn what to do in an emergency, and more. A fun way to play in the water is Read more about Make-your-own Seahorse! »

Understanding how Screentime Affects Children’s Mental and Emotional State

By Mara Gordon, Play to Learn Facilitator Did you know that starting the groundwork early by creating boundaries can help both children & parents avoid letting screen time take over our lives? With how important technology is for nearly all aspects of life nowadays, it can be easy to let screen time take up most of the day. Digital media Read more about Understanding how Screentime Affects Children’s Mental and Emotional State »

Mental Health Awareness Month

By Alexis Turan, Access & Inclusion Intern Over the past 20 years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and others within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and across the Federal Government, the public health community, and the general public have made efforts to increase the importance of understanding both prevention and treatment of mental health Read more about Mental Health Awareness Month »

Annie’s STEM Lab: Plant Edition!

By Annie Savinon, STEM Educator As we get ready to embrace the warmer weather, many families will be headed outside to enjoy the sunshine! While the list of outdoor activities may include some items such as chalk and bubbles, perhaps consider adding some watering cans and shovels to your child’s outdoor supply list this year! Gardening can be a wonderful Read more about Annie’s STEM Lab: Plant Edition! »

We remember.

By Will Kawalec, Cultural Program Educator  As with last years May Newsletter, I am again using the platform to remember the tragedy of the Tops shooting that occurred two years ago this May 14th. This dark day in our city’s history directly targeted Black members of our Buffalo community and brought sadness to not only Buffalonians but people across the Read more about We remember. »

Autism Acceptance Month

By Alexis Turan, Access & Inclusion Intern Did you know that Autism Awareness Month was founded in April 1970 by Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., a psychologist and autism researcher. He chose the month of April to coincide with his son’s birthday and the start of spring! The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) has called April “Autism Acceptance Month” since 2011, stating, “Acceptance Read more about Autism Acceptance Month »

Play Ball!

By Will Kawalec, Cultural Program Educator  Along with the promise of warmer weather, blooming flowers, and more sunshine, the month of April brings with it the start to the great American pastime, of baseball! For millions of Americans, the start of the new baseball season is a holiday in itself. Opening Day brings with it nostalgia of watching, and playing Read more about Play Ball! »

What does “April” mean?

By Mara Gordon, Play to Learn Facilitator Did you know that April takes its name from the Latin word aperire, meaning ‘to open’, just like the daffodils do during this month all around us! April 1st used to be the start of the new year in the Janus calendar, but that was changed to January 1st when the Gregorian calendar Read more about What does “April” mean? »

Feeling Crafty this Spring?

By Jacalyn Modrzynski, Lead Educator Who is feeling crafty this spring? Let’s have fun making a unique craft using construction paper in an unusual way! When we use paper we often use it as a flat canvas for the rest of our artwork, but paper can be more than just flat. Paper can be springy, curly, and it can even Read more about Feeling Crafty this Spring? »

Rainbows: The bridge between the natural and super natural

By Mara Gordon, Play to Learn Facilitator Did you know that rainbows are an optical illusion? That means that rainbows don’t have a physical form or have a specific location in the sky. Rainbows happen when light hits water droplets at a 42 angle. This causes the light to experience refraction (also known as redirection) and reflection. As the light Read more about Rainbows: The bridge between the natural and super natural »

The Science of Rainbows

By Annie Savinon, STEM Educator Annie’s STEM Lab: Happy March to all! If you are like me, March reminds you of green shamrocks and vibrant rainbows! But have you ever wondered how rainbows happen in the sky?! Read along and share with your little one, the science of rainbows! To get an outcome of a rainbow in the sky, there Read more about The Science of Rainbows »

Community & Inclusion

By Alexis Turan, Access & Inclusion Intern March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Every year, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), highlights the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities. Their campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets Read more about Community & Inclusion »

Introducing: The Broadway Market Exhibit at Explore & More!

By Will Kawalec, Cultural Program Educator  I am taking this months Culture Corner as an opportunity to discuss an exciting change to Explore & More. Some may have heard the news that the Being Good Neighbors exhibit, (made up of the Hispanic Heritage House, Puppet Theater, and West Side Bazaar), is undergoing a major makeover. This transformation will change this Read more about Introducing: The Broadway Market Exhibit at Explore & More! »

Don’t miss Explore & More’s Eclipse Readiness Days

By Annie Savinon, STEM Educator Hello to all! I hope you are staying warm and enjoying the new year. This month, I am highlighting a wonderful event that is currently being held at the museum monthly and is free with guest admission. Any guesses what this event is?! Hint: There is a natural phenomenon happening in April, and Buffalo happens Read more about Don’t miss Explore & More’s Eclipse Readiness Days »

The 8 Play Personalities and how grown ups can have fun, too

By Mara Gordon, Play to Learn Facilitator Did you know that play is beneficial for all ages, not just for young learners? You are never too old to have fun and play! Often, it is easy to get caught up in the daily routine & responsibilities of life and to stop having fun. Many adults struggle to find ways to Read more about The 8 Play Personalities and how grown ups can have fun, too »

Why Black history should be studied and celebrated all-year long

By Will Kawalec, Cultural Program Educator  This February marks the 48th year of Black History Month here in the United States. The monthly celebration was the brainchild of historian Carter G. Woodson, who lobbied for the creation of a Black history celebration more than 50 years before its official adoption, in the 1920s! February marks a time to pay homage Read more about Why Black history should be studied and celebrated all-year long »

The Importance of Reading, No Matter What Your Age

As parents, it can be challenging to find the time to fit in household responsibilities along with things we would like to do with our children. However, taking at least a short time out of your day to read to your children should be a priority. Reading to your child at an early age sets them up for success.

Have you heard the “Au-Some” News???

Once a month, Explore & More’s special Au-Some Evenings give children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, as well as their friends and family, the chance to play and learn together in an understanding and supportive environment.

Annie’s STEM Lab: Sink or Float

We all know that objects either sink or float. But your little one might ask, what does make an object sink or float?

Did You Know? Gregorian Calendar

Did you know that the calendar we use in the United States is named Gregory?

A Letter from Lisa: January 2024 Edition

Like many traditions that have endured over the years, making New Year’s resolutions serves a valuable purpose for me. It creates room for reflection and for refocusing myself on living with intention. My youngest child is 14 years old, however in the whirlwind of raising small children, this was especially hard to do—and especially needed (then and now). 

Will’s Culture Corner: January 2024 Edition

For January’s newsletter, we will turn back the clock to December!  I was lucky enough to attend, and present at the National Conference for Social Studies, in Nashville, Tennessee.  This annual conference is a gathering for thousands of professionals from various disciplines who hail from across the United States and the globe.

Every “Body” Can Play: Why Your Kid’s Social Skills Matter Now More Than Ever

You already know social skills are necessary for children’s social-emotional learning and development. But how do you effortlessly teach them in a way that introduces them into your kid’s daily routine? 

Annie’s STEM Lab: The Benefits of Cold Weather

As we say hello to the winter weather here in Buffalo, there are many mixed emotions we feel with the extreme temperatures that are headed our way! For my article this month, I wanted to share some science-backed facts that shed light on the BENEFITS of cold weather! As you are bundling up and dusting off that shovel this month, keep these facts in mind to help stay positive during our chilly season ahead of us! 

Did You Know? The Winter Solstice

Season’s Greetings, E&M friends! Did you know that every year, there is a winter solstice, the shortest
day of the year? On December 21st, 2023, the planet will be tilted as far away from the Sun as possible,
with the fewest hours of daylight. After the winter solstice, days become longer and nights shorter as
spring approaches.

Will’s Culture Corner: December 2023 Edition

This December’s Culture Corner will give a brief background on the history of the gingerbread house, and work to illuminate one of the holiday season’s most unique traditions. 

Explore Even More: Design Your Own Holiday Sweater

December is the time to cuddle indoors with cozy winter sweaters! If you could design your sweater, what would it look like? Print out this PDF of a sweater and add whatever you’d like to it! 

A Letter from Lisa: December 2023 Edition

Family and cultural traditions can have a magical way of connecting our lives and generations. Have you ever prepared one of your grandmother’s holiday recipes with your kids, for example, or played her favorite game with them? Did you find yourself sharing stories about her and parts of her personality you see shining through in them?

A Letter from Lisa: November 2023 Edition

November is National Parent Involvement Month. Research shows that when communities, schools, and families support each other, children of all backgrounds and various abilities achieve at higher levels.

Annie’s STEM Lab: What is a Partial Solar Eclipse?

What is a partial eclipse?

Did You Know? World Children’s Day

Did you know that each November UNICEF’s annual World Children’s Day is celebrated?  This holiday is an annual day of action for children, and one that marks the Convention on the Rights of the Child being adopted. 

Explore Even More: Feed the Turkey

This month, we will “feed the turkey” as a two-for-one craft and sensory bin!

Will’s Culture Corner: November 2023 Edition

This November I will be diving into the event most synonymous with the month, Thanksgiving. 

Explore Even More: Cauldron Art

Let’s pretend to be witches, wizards, or ghouls and paint a spooky cauldron work of art.

October’s STEM Lab: World Space Week

October has so many fun holidays to celebrate, though as an educator I wanted to highlight World Space Week (WSW), which goes from October 4th- 10th. This international celebration of the cosmos has been around since 1999 and this year, WSW is about “Space and Entrepreneurship” recognizing all the potential opportunities that space has to offer.

A Letter from Lisa: October 2023 Edition

Fall is in the air here in Buffalo and Western New York, and it feels so refreshing! The trees, the weather, the football– all just make you want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors! Fall is a great time to talk with young children about concepts that are important for them to learn. One is the idea of “change”—about leaves changing color and dropping from trees, mornings becoming cooler, and night arriving earlier. Children see changes but may not have a sense of the four seasons or that the seasons cycle every year. Another concept is before and after, which changes in the day can help define.

Will’s Culture Corner: October 2023 Edition

Dressing up, scaring people, begging for candy, and thinking of witchcraft, ghouls, and goblins, seem like rather strange activities for a holiday.  So how did Halloween come about?

Did You Know? Festive Fun

Fall is in full swing here in WNY, and we’re excited to welcome guests back to Explore & More to share some new and exciting things to play into possibilities!

Every “Body” Can Play: There is room on the broom.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

A Letter from Lisa: September 2023 Edition

As parents and caregivers, we long to have a deep connection with our children, but it’s difficult when most of their answers to questions about their day are simply, “Fine.” I’ve learned that we can’t let their short responses keep us from creating a meaningful bond with them—deep down, our kids want to connect with us, too.

Will’s Culture Corner: September 2023 Edition

Across Western New York, September means back to school, getting ready to head back into a classroom. This time is often filled with excitement and enthusiasm, but these emotions also frequently come with anxiety and uncertainty.  Understanding and addressing these emotions can go a long way in helping ease the transition into the school year, and ultimately lead to a better experience at school.

Explore Even More: Fall Leaf Crafts

September is here and you may notice the signs of fall! Now is a wonderful time for a walk in a park, Canalside, or your own neighborhood. While you’re on your walk, collect some leaves and twigs! There are some cute crafts you can make using recycled and found materials. 

Did You Know? Grandparents Day

Did you know that Grandparents Day is celebrated on September 10th, 2023? Grandparents are wonderful caregivers that we often get to see at Explore & More, when they bring in their grandkids to experience the power of play!

Every “Body” Can Play: Disability Rights-50th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act

Celebrating 50 Years of the Rehabilitation Act

Explore Even More: Let’s Snack!

Are you ready for an engaging snack? Let’s go fishing for something yummy in our kitchen. 

Every “Body” Can Play: Back to School

Although back to school ads are everywhere, most kids are not ready to think about school just yet. Parents on the other hand, can definitely use this time to start planning for the transition.

Did You Know? National Left Handers Day

Did you know that August 13, 2023, is National Left Handers Day? Lefties across the globe celebrate the annual event, which was launched in 1992 by the UK-based Left-Handers Club to increase awareness about the left-handed lifestyle.

Will’s Culture Corner: August 2023 Edition

It’s time to talk about books!  With school around the corner, the month of August is a fantastic time to discuss reading and children’s books. 

A Letter from Lisa: August 2023 Edition

Summer is the perfect time for students of all ages to relax, but it’s also a time when summer learning loss can occur.

Explore Even More: Create Your Own Truck

July is here and I am so excited for Touch a Truck 2023! To get into the things-that-go spirit, I wanted to bring back a fun activity using markers, crayons, tape, recycled materials, and your own toy cars you probably have around the house. 

Every “Body” Can Play: Planning Summer Fun

ummer is here! Whether your family enjoys going on new outdoor adventures or spending time at a familiar neighborhood playground, WNY has many options to consider. Planning ahead when venturing somewhere new is key if your child will need accommodations or has accessibility needs.

Will’s Culture Corner: July 2023 Edition

Now that school is out, and summer is in full swing, Explore & More families have a fantastic opportunity to encourage play and learning for the summer months.  Continued summer development is vital to fostering growth physically, socially, and cognitively.  All of this can be done with simple engagement by parents and caregivers and will do wonders for childhood development.

A Letter from Lisa: July 2023 Edition

For many, summer means fun in the sun, beach outings, swimming pools, and outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, bicycling, and skateboarding. No matter what summer means to you, what also comes is an increased risk of injuries.  Check out this list of helpful guidelines to ensure that you and your family have an enjoyable and safe summer. 

Will’s Culture Corner: June 2023 Edition

With school wrapping up this month, and summer vacation drawing near, there is a tremendous opportunity to stimulate learning, while summer fun is being had! An uncomplicated pathway to this is cultural education, as there is literally a world of opportunities that can be examined and investigated by your little ones.  Cultural education can be as simple as introducing new cuisines, or new music.

Explore Even More: Summer Bucket List

What will be on your summer bucket list?

Annie’s STEM Lab: Women in Engineering Day

A noteworthy holiday in June is celebrated on June 23rd, called Women in Engineering Day! This holiday is to recognize all the women who have contributed their efforts in engineering and invention! This holiday also has the intention to raise awareness and hope to attract more females to this amazing career field! Let’s look at some amazing women who deserve a round of applause!

A Letter from Lisa: June 2023 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.

Every “Body” Can Play: Volunteer Intern Briona

This month I want to highlight one of Explore & More’s wonderful volunteer interns, Briona. She has been a familiar face at the museum since September, the beginning of her senior year at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf.

Every “Body” Can Play: Children’s Mental Health Awareness /Mental Health Awareness Month

Children’s mental health and social-emotional well-being are an important part of their development. Anxiety has risen among children over the past ten years and parents are often left wondering how to help their children cope.

Will’s Culture Corner: May 2023 Edition

This month’s Culture Corner will be addressing the one-year anniversary of the Tops Shooting that occurred on May 14th, 2022. While we cannot change the past, we can use this as a catalyst for good.

Explore Even More: Water Safety Month

Ahoy, Maties! May is water safety month and we have a fun craft in store for you that fits in this theme perfectly.

Did You Know? Take Your Parents to the Playground Day

Did you know that May 2st is “Take Your Parents to the Playground” Day?

Annie’s STEM Lab presents… Countdown to the Solar Eclipse

Although it might just be May of 2023… We are already preparing for a very important event happening April 8th, 2024! We are now less than a year away from the next solar eclipse!

A Letter from Lisa: May 2023 Edition

As Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I’d like to share some personal reflections about this celebration.

Explore Even More: Recreating Rain

I hope you’ve been wearing your rainboots and jumping in puddles this April! What kind of spring would it be without wet puddles and oozy mud? I’m so thankful for the rain because it means we will see flowers soon. In this activity we’ll think a little more about rain with an easy do-it-at-home science experiment.

Will’s Culture Corner: April 2023 Edition

For most Buffalonians April marks the end of winter (although we occasionally get some surprise snow) and brings with it the optimism of spring. Longer days, warmer temperatures and a more hospitable climate draws locals out of their homes and into nature. 

Every “Body” Can Play: Autism Acceptance Month

The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) has called April “Autism Acceptance Month” since 2011, stating, “Acceptance of autism as a natural condition in the human experience is necessary for real dialogue to occur.” Autism acceptance highlights autism as a unique part of who an individual is, not something to be treated or fixed. Acceptance emphasizes the importance of society valuing individual differences and not expecting people to change, to fit into a world designed for the non-disabled. Increasingly autistic adults are taking the lead in advocacy, with the motto “Nothing about us, without us.” This changes the conversation, and the goal is for autistic voices to take the lead in shaping policy and change.

Did You Know? Classes

Did you know that a visit to Explore & More is not just for elementary school students? The museum has several classes and fun opportunities for even our youngest visitors! We have a Toddler Time class that caters to children ages 18 months through 3 years old, and a PreK class called Explore Even More that is the perfect fit for 3- and 4-year-olds alike.

Annie’s STEM Lab: Earth Day

Did you know that the month of April celebrates National Garden Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, and Earth Day?! These are all wonderful additional reasons why we should look around when we are outdoors and appreciate the natural beauty the world has to offer us!

A Letter from Lisa: April 2023 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. Through creative play and chances to direct their own actions, children learn to solve problems, make decisions, express ideas, and recognize boundaries.

Will’s Culture Corner: March 2023 Edition

With March here it finally feels like there is some reprieve from the grasp of winter, as warmer temperatures inch ever so close.  This change brings a newfound optimism and draws the people of Western New York out of their homes.  Perhaps the biggest reflection of this is the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations across our community.

Every “Body” Can Play

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! Every year, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), highlights the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities. Their campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still often face.

Explore Even More: Rainbow Snacks

A fun way to bond during the muddy month of March is to prepare a rainbow snack platter together. When kids take part in preparing food, they’re more likely to sample the foods! Our kiddos can be part of every process in this preparation. Let’s start!

Did You Know? Pi Day

Did you know March 14th is celebrated as Pi Day because 3.14 are the first few numerals of the mathematical constant π?  That is a math concept some of our younger friends will learn way down the road that you may remember from your time in school! 

Annie’s STEM Lab: Encouraging STEM Skills at Home

By now, I am sure you have at least heard of the acronym, STEM. Which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics! I have grown to love this subject content, and truly admire the style of learning it brings to children, no matter their age. Here are some fun ways to adapt this way of learning within your own home with your little one! 

A Letter from Lisa: March 2023 Edition

How many things do you read in one day? It goes without saying that smartphones have given us access to a wealth of information at our fingertips. You have most likely read a news article on social media within the last day or so. But when did you last read a book… for fun?

Annie’s STEM Lab: Snowy STEM

This February, it might be a fun idea to bring the snow indoors! Here are some age-appropriate activities to do with your littles during this chilly, chilly month! And of course, we are adding some fundamental STEM learning moments into these experiences! 

Every “Body” Can Play: Teaching Children about Friendship

Play dates, birthday parties and laughter-there is no better feeling than knowing your child has friends. Making friends isn’t always easy though. It can be especially difficult for children who may be shy or have difficulty with communication or social skills. Parents are often at a loss to know what to do.

Will’s Culture Corner: February 2023 Edition

As the month of February kicks off hopefully everyone’s new year resolutions are still going strong. If anyone had the goal to become more culturally proficient, the month of February is a great time to do so. February is Black History Month and this month’s ‘Culture Corner’ will dive into its background and explain the history behind the founding of one of the most important culturally relevant celebrations.

Did You Know? Celebrating African American History Month

It’s only early January and we’ve already had a lot of snow here in WNY haven’t we? That means many kids have suited up in their snow pants, boots and jackets to head outside for some winter play!

Did you know that snow play is not just a fun way to beat the winter blues, but it’s also a great way to practice gross motor skill development? Get your little ones moving by trying these different snow play activities.

Explore Even More: Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are a great way to play with your child! Why are sensory bins so wonderful? They help develop fine motor skill improvement, social skills, emotional skills and cognitive development!

A Letter from Lisa: February 2023 Edition

How many things do you read in one day? It goes without saying that smartphones have given us access to a wealth of information at our fingertips. You have most likely read a news article on social media within the last day or so. But when did you last read a book… for fun?

Will’s Culture Corner: January 2023 Edition

As 2022 has come and gone, the promise and hope of the new year are fresh in our minds. New Year’s resolutions are being crafted and attempts to create new positive habits are plentiful. The same is here at Explore & More, for 2023 it is the goal of the staff here, to create the best possible experience for guests of our space (in any capacity). This new year we will continue to elevate our museum space, programming, and events continuing our quest towards best in class.

Every “Body” Can Play: Explore Diversity in Learning

January is the month of New Year’s resolutions, making changes and trying new things. I love to read and one of my resolutions is to read more books this year. Diversity in education and learning is of special interest to me, so I was excited to read about Louis Braille in honor of National World Braille Day and Braille Literacy Month.

Explore Even More: Pre-K Snowy Day

I have exciting news: I’ll be hosting a pre-K class on January 28th and the theme will be “Pre-K Snowy Day”.

Did You Know? Winter Play

It’s only early January and we’ve already had a lot of snow here in WNY haven’t we? That means many kids have suited up in their snow pants, boots and jackets to head outside for some winter play!

Did you know that snow play is not just a fun way to beat the winter blues, but it’s also a great way to practice gross motor skill development? Get your little ones moving by trying these different snow play activities.

Annie’s STEM Lab: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Edition

Happy New Year to all! Bringing in the New Year, the Education team has some exciting new camps for 2023 we are in preparation for. The second school-age day camp of the year is Monday, January 16th, Martin Luther King Day, and in honor of this important holiday, I have decided to share some insights about this special day!  

A Letter from Lisa: January 2023 Edition

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were full of friends and family, joy, and laughter. Is there any happier sound in the world than a child’s giggle?

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.

Upcoming Hours - OPEN: 7/17-22 | CLOSED: 7/23, 7/30