BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Community organizations recently gathered at
the Bristol Historical Society, offering a variety of educational
activities, games and entertainment for local children.
families moved from table to table at the building at 98 Summer St.,
checking out tables dedicated to science, nature, arts and crafts and
much more. Meanwhile, Tom Vaughn entertained with seasonal songs on
violin. Several curious children stopped by to see the instrument up
close, and Vaughn was happy to oblige.
"When I was growing up, I
always wanted to play violin, but violin people never let me handle
their instruments because they were extremely valuable," he said. "I
want to help children understand."
Tim Callanan, fire inspector
with the Bristol Fire Department, played a modified game of Tic-Tac-Toe
in which children were quizzed on fire safety. He made sure that
children knew to stop, drop and roll if their clothes were on fire, to
stay low to the ground if smoke is in the house, and to regularly check
their smoke alarms. He also gave away a children's book on fire safety
and a plastic fire hat for those who won.
"We like to start young
so that kids catch on by the time they grow up they know what to do," he
said. "Most adults are at least aware of smoke detectors. We also
stress that smoke moves quicker than fire and that the first thing you
should do is get out of the house and call 911."
Craig O'Neil, of
the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, introduced children
to Bindi the bearded dragon, a wood frog and a tree frog and Mr. Yoda
the Eastern box turtle.
"We just reopened for the season," said
O'Neil. "This event is a great way to let kids know where we are and
we're passing out some literature if they want to sign-up for our summer
camp. We hope that by getting hooked on animals, children will come to
appreciate nature and that it hopefully leads to them making
Nancy Wasielewski stopped by the museum with her 7-year-old daughter, Serenity, who attends school in New Britain.
"It's nice for her to have something to do during her week off," said Wasielewski.
The family participated in carnival games and science experiments and later visited with the animals.
Gabe Finkenstein showcased the carousel restoration work done by his
father, Bill Finkenstein, as well as puppets created for his company,
"I have photos that show carousels my dad
designed for an endangered species-themed carousel," he said. "I also
have a carousel horse head sculpture in progress to show the process by
which a block of wood was transformed into an animal. Later on,
Cortlandt Hull will show some of my Animal Behaviors kid's show, which
includes my puppets."
Betty Christophy offered a game with quiz
cards where children touched wires to tin foil. If they got the right
answer, a circuit would be completed, lighting up a light bulb. Magician
The Great Leone also entertained with illusions, making sponge balls
disappear after seemingly rubbing them into his hands and then reappear
in a previously empty bag.
Patti Philippon, executive director of
the American Clock & Watch Museum, led children in a craft activity
to make party hats or wristwatches.
"We're had children making a
couple of each," she said around noon. "We've had everything from
SpongeBob to more traditional clocks. It is fun seeing what kids decide
Artist Cortlandt Hull drew and colorized the scene
where The Grinch met Cindy Lou Who from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
as children looked on.
Haley McDonald, a sixth-grader who said
she was born in Bristol but now lives in Canton, said she enjoyed
playing the carnival games at the event, which included a ring toss and a
game where children knocked down duck pins with bean bags.
She later watched Hull as he worked on his drawing.
has been really fun," she said. "I'm not really that good at art; I'm
more into fashion design." ''You'll get there, you just have to keep at
it," said Hull encouragingly.