There are so many neat things to do at LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) that sometimes when we visit we don’t even step inside any of the galleries to see the art. Here are just a few of the free things we love to do there with good friends like Lou in the photos below.
ONE Explore the tar pits. Nowadays you can even see tar bubbling up around the park in unexpected places and some days you can watch archaeologists and scientists extract and clean fossils.
Sometimes you can watch archaeologists removing fossils from the tar!
TWO Interact with the outdoor exhibits, like the ones below!
“Penetrable”, an art installation by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.
“Urban Light” installation by artist Chris Burden is made up of 202 vintage street lamps
FOUR Craft. Sunday Family Art Days. Volunteer artists teach neat cultural crafts related to the museum art collection. They have crafts for toddlers and older kids.
FIVE Paint. The Boone Kids Gallery in the museum has a free Water Color Studio. This is a quiet room where the museum staff provides water colors, brushes and paper and some “inspirational piece of the day”. You and your friends can paint away. It is super relaxing!
SIX Listen to music. Most of the year there are free jazz concerts on Friday nights, Latin music on Saturday and classical on Sunday. For the Friday concerts, we picnic on the lawn with friends. Sometimes it gets very busy so plan ahead!
SEVEN And, so much more! Climbing trees and rolling down the grassy hillside in the park are always fun activities.
It’s nice to just stroll around with a friend
If you actually go into the museum itself you’ll find some amazing artwork and kids can apply on the spot to get a free NexGen pass which gets them and an adult in for free. Or, you can visit the second Tuesday of every month and on Federal holidays for free. Make sure you check the museum calendar before you visit at www.Lacma.com (the museum is always closed Wednesdays). Do you have a favorite museum in your city? We’d love to hear about it. And, don’t forget to follow us on facebook for fun giveaways, sneak peeks and exclusive content.
It’s amazing what kids, big or small, can accomplish. Annie B. is a perfect example of this. I was introduced to Annie by my friends Jess & Sean, fellow animal lovers and co-founders of Kind Traveler. In 2012, after rescuing her dog Teddy from a kill shelter and discovering he suffered from Heartworm disease, Annie (then age 13) was inspired to create her own nonprofit, Wags 4 Hope. Since then she has raised almost $40,000 for animal shelters across the country to help fight Heartworm disease, which is spread through mosquito bites and can be fatal. One of the ways she raises money is to paint portraits of dogs for people. Scroll down to see some great examples.
Recently, Annie was featured on ABC News & Good Morning America because she is fighting to pass HB-5422, a bill addressing awareness of heartworm disease, including trying to add that dogs receive Heartworm prevention medication with their dog licenses. READ MORE…
Q & A WITH THE AUTHOR OF ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER & IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT
My friends Archer (3rd grader) and Fable (kindergartener) and I interviewed Andrea Beaty, one of our favorite kid book authors. Below, you’ll find our interview plus a fun bonus—she shares some hidden secrets about the illustrations in the book Rosie Revere, Engineer.
My friend Parker and I love horses so we were very excited to spend a couple hours at Sunset Ranch in the Hollywood hills. All the animals were amazing. We even saw a few peacocks when we arrived! READ MORE…
I love when kids (or moms, dads, or teachers) send in questions.Here are some we recently received.Feel free to send me a question any time you feel like it. Hope you have a great day. Your Friend, Gray
How long does it take you to write a post? (Sarah, age 9, Dallas, Texas)It depends. I usually take about 10-15 minutes, but when I am writing a travel article it takes around 1 hour or so because I do a lot of research! I write the posts from home or a coffee shop near our house (see photo), then one of my parents adds any directions and edits and types them into the computer for me. Unless it’s summer break and I have more time to do more of that myself.
What’s been your favorite Wondermint episode to shoot or write about? And, can you tell me why? (Derrick, age 7, Santa Cruz)I love so many of the episodes but I really enjoy writing and creating the travel ones the most. That’s probably because I like researching (I always include fun facts about the places I visited) and I’ve always loved to travel. Click on the photo to the left to see a post and video of my visit to the Leo Carrillo Peacock Ranch in Carlsbad, California.
One of my favorite craft episodes is the ‘Tea Cup Makeover’. It was fun and easy to design, and it makes a great Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift. Click on the photo to the left to see the post and video for this cool project. And, don’t forget to send us pics of anything you do! You can email us at WondermintStudio@gmail.com
There are so many great recipes we’ve made it is hard to choose one. One of my favorite cooking episodes is one I did with my friend, Parker, called ‘How To Make Your Own Pizza Bar’. It’s a great cooking idea for when a friend visits or you are throwing a party. It’s also very easy to make your pizzas gluten-free or vegetarian if you want.
My favorite food episode for non-humans is ‘How To Make Homemade Dog Biscuits’. My dog, Baxter, loves them – they’re healthy and tasty (at least that’s what Baxter says!). To see the post, get the recipe and see the video (it was one of my first) just click on Baxter’s cute face.
Do your friends help write or film episodes that they are in? (Ella, 11, Santa Monica)
Yes, they do. My friend Kiera, 8, co-directed the ‘How To Make A Holiday Wreath’ episode and the ‘Fruit Kabobs’ episode. She’s a great director – maybe even better than my father! Just click on the photo to the left to see what I mean. Some of my friends like to write, so they will help create the script if they are going to be on an episode.
What place will the next travel articles be about? (Barbara, 10, Florida)
I recently visited Colorado, so you will see that episode soon. Friends of mine (Jack & Clarissa) visited the Grand Canyon, so you will see a post about that very soon, too. And, I’m super excited to learn about my friends’ travel to India for a traditional Indian wedding. I’m a little behind with interviewing friends because I’ve been super busy with school projects! In September I may be going back to France and will shoot a video this time. You can see my last written post about Paris by clicking on the photo to the left.
I really like the post on ‘Sandwich Bag Art’. I made a few of my own bags. Would you like to see them? (Tom, age 9, Phoenix, AZ)
Of course! Email us a photo at WondermintStudio@gmail.com and we will consider posting it on our facebook page or sharing it in a newsletter. Just make sure to provide us your first name, the city you live in, and your grade in school.If you missed this post, check it out by clicking on the photo on the left.
A friend of mine named Josy (age 7) went to Kenya, Africa, during summer break. She had an amazing time going on safari and doing some really great volunteer work. In our Q & A, she shares her experience! To see more photos, make sure you check out the slide show at the end of this post. (Remember: if you see a word in our Wondermint color it means you can click on that word to learn more about it.)
GRAY: Who went to Kenya with you?
JOSY: I went with my whole family: my mom, my dad, & my older brother Sean. We were part of a group of travelers organized by the company Me to We, which sets up volunteering trips for the charity Free the Children.
GRAY: Where did you go in Kenya?
JOSY: We went to Nairobi first, then we went to two places in the Maasai Mara: Bogani, where we visited the charity Free the Children and helped out, and Richard’s Camp, where we went on Safari. Then we went to the coastal town of Kilifi and swam in the Indian Ocean!
In Swahili the word “SAFARI” means “long journey”
GRAY: What was the weather like when you were there?
JOSY: Basically, it would switch back and forth from being sunny to cloudy, but not too rainy.
GRAY: What kind of animals did you find most interesting?
Level: Easy WE LOVE THESE MUSICAL LANGUAGE CD’S
Do you want to learn Spanish? Or, do you speak Spanish already and want to learn English? Our friend Amy has gotten some great singers and musicians together, including boys and girls my age, to make really fun language teaching CD’s using music. When I was 2, I used to take a Habla Blah Blah Spanish class so that I could learn Spanish and my friend Remy and Poppy and I would dance around and stomp to the songs. One of my favorite songs was Los Grandes Elefantes. If you want to hear it, you can watch the animated MUSIC VIDEO from Habla Blah Blah. I am eight now, but I still love this music and I am using their new CD sets to practice my Spanish so that I can speak Spanish to my friends: Ana from El Salvador and Romina from Argentina. READ MORE…
Mia & her little sister Ayla at the Katsuoji Temple
My friend Mia (age 8) is half Japanese and half African-American and every summer she visits her relatives in Japan for one whole month. She also gets to practice speaking Japanese when she is there, which is super cool. Read my interview with her below to learn some of the Japanese words she taught me and some other interesting facts about her trip and about Japan.
GRAY: Where are you in the above photo?
MIA: I am on the stairs in front of the Katsuoji Temple with my little sister. At the temple there is a bell you can ring and incense, too. [According to Mia’s mom, after ringing the bell, you are supposed to go to the main temple to pay your respects and then wave the incense over your body to purify yourself.] READ MORE…
Whenever I visit my grandma in Carlsbad, California, I love to spend time at the Leo Carrillo Ranch exploring the surroundings, picnicking with my family, and taking photos of the peacocks. I think they are such amazing and beautiful birds! We first heard about this magical place from our friend & mom blogger Rebecca Woolf of GirlsGoneChild & HGTV’s Childstyle. Here are a few things I learned from my first few visits:
First, the actual name for “peacocks” is ‘peafowl.’ The males are called ‘peacocks,’ the females are called ‘peahens’ and babies are called ‘pea chicks.’
One of the dozens of peacocks that live on the ranch
WHY ARE PEACOCKS SO COLORFUL AND PEAHENS A LITTLE MORE PLAIN? The male needs his bright feathers to attract a mate, and the female needs to be able to blend in with the bushes and her surroundings to protect her eggs. READ MORE…
Author: Marion Deuchars Publisher: Chronicle Books
Book Dimensions (aka Book Size): Oversize. Height: 11 1/4 inches x 8 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches
Page Count: 224 pages
Summary:Let’s Make Some Great Art is a workbook full of art & ideas. On every page you get to draw or paint something with directions by the author. Sometimes she has started the art for you and you just need to finish it. For an example, you can see the butterfly page I did above. You can do the exercises on your own or with a friend or parent, at your own pace & level. It also makes a great birthday gift for your friends. Let your creativity guide you!
Why I love this book: This book is super fun & artsy. I think it is very useful for curious & imaginative children! READ MORE…
The Love Locks bridge is one of the places you don’t hear about a lot when the subject of Paris comes up. However, it was one of my favorite places I discovered on my first trip to France. I got to go to Paris because my mom and our friend, Becca, had to go for a work fashion show. And, it just so happens that Becca’s daughter, Remy, is my age and one of my best and oldest friends, so we both got to go to Paris with them and our fathers!
With my good friend, Remy, on the Pont Des Art bridge, Paris
The real name of the Love Locks bridge is Pont des Arts. The interesting thing about this bridge is that couples and families place locks on the bridge with their names written on the locks with a sharpie. Sometimes, there will be quick sketches on the locks, too. And, every now and then you will see a custom designed lock that is engraved (like the brass heart above). Lots of couples on their honeymoon bring the engraved locks.
It’s fun to read the messages on the colorful locks
The locks come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and styles. It was interesting to walk by the locks and imagine all the stories of the people who left them. The locks represent their love for each other and their special relationship.
Taking photos with my Lomograph camera
The really fun part is that once you’ve locked your love lock to the bridge, you take your key and throw it into the Seine river! You can even make a wish if you’d like. Once your key sinks to the bottom, it means no one can break your love or friendship. My family and I put a lock on the bridge, too, and one day we will go back to see it.
MORE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE LOVE LOCKS BRIDGE IN PARIS:
1. One night, city officials cut off all the locks. But the next day, the citizens of Paris put more locks on and even started another Love Locks bridge!
2. There are other bridges like this around the world.
3. The original Pont Des Arts Bridge was built between 1802 and 1804, under the reign of Napoleon (Want to know more about Napoleon? Just click on his name to read more about him). Later, in 1979, the bridge collapsed because of damage from boats, World War 1, and World War 2. The bridge that now stands in Paris is a rebuilt replica of the original bridge.
Watch this SHORT FILM by Islands & Rivers to see what the Love Locks looked like on a 2000 year old bridge in Italy.
Have you seen love locks on a bridge? Or do you have a question about Paris? If so, share your experience or ask a question in the comments section below.