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We have been pleasantly surprised with the Toddler Thyme program at the Manassas Museum this summer.  The title is a bit misleading as the classes are for children ages 3-5 years old (they said they are looking to change it for next time), but Love Bug (who is a little over 2 years old) was allowed to join since Sweet Girl was signed up for the classes.  The classes cost $10 per child. 

The classes are being held every Monday during the summer and there's something for everyone!  Themes range from railroads to life on the farm to pirates to police.  Classes are offered at two different times and last one hour.  One class is at 10:00 am and the other begins at 11:15 am.

The class is run by two young ladies who work for the museum.  Each class usually starts off with a book about the week's theme.  Then, we sing songs and/or do fingerplays.  Next, the children are invited to a table set up with supplies to do a craft.  Sometimes, we have done two crafts in one sitting if they are "small" crafts.  Other times, we have taken a break to play games or do something more active.  The class typically ends with one more story and then children are given a special take-home surprise before the class ends.

The children are throughly engaged for the entire hour.  They are learning new things about the theme of the week, practicing their good listening skills, taking turns, standing in line and using both fine and gross motor skills with the art projects and games.

I have to admit that I wasn't too sure about paying $10 per class for each child, but it is well worth it in my opinion.  The young ladies that run the class remember my girls' names and they are so friendly.  They work very well together and do a good job of keeping the children engaged for the full hour.  I like how parts (or all) of the classes are held outside--if the weather permits it.  The girls have loved the activities and proudly display their crafts at home.  The girls also look forward to the special take-home surprise at the end of each class.  We always leave class happy and excited about the theme of the week.

There is still time to try out this wonderful program, but there are only four more classes left this summer.  If you are interested in joining a class, check out the Manassas Museum website.  They do recommend that you register in advance.

Side note:  There is a wonderful playground and picnic area that is open to the public behind the museum.  It's a great place to run around if you get to class a bit early or to have a picnic after class.

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You'll walk past the beautiful Butterfly Garden on your way to the playground.
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The playground and picnic area.
Check out the fun we've had at Toddler Tyme!
CIRCUS
Craft:  Circus collage with stickers, paper and stamping
Games/Activities:  Circus songs, Pin the Tail on the Lion, Three-ring Beanbag Toss and Tight-rope Walking
Take-home surprise:  Circus animal tatoos
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Everyone got to hold a circus animal puppet during story. Of course Sweet Girl chose the elephant!
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Everyone took a turn on the "tight rope" to practice their balance.
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Ready for craft time!
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A 3-ring circus! The children got to throw bean bags into the circles.
LIFE ON THE FARM (held at Liberia Plantation)
Craft:  Fuzzy Lamb 
Games/Activities:  Frog Fingerplay with frog finger puppets, Trying out a butter churn, Making real butter and Milking a pretend cow 
Take-home surprise:  Real lamb's wool

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My girls "milking" the pretend cow.
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Making fuzzy lambs. Cotton balls + glue = sticky fun
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Sweet Girl and a friend learning about the butter churn.
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Sweet Girl got to pretend to churn butter.
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Butter we made by shaking heavy whipping cream in a jar.
UNDER THE SEA
Craft:  Ocean sticker collage and Paper Plate Rainbow Fish 
Games/Activities:  Fish Fingerplay with finger puppets, Parachute fun with Blow-up Sea Animals and Magnetic Fishing 
Take-home surprise:  Fish tatoo and a fish or toad squeaky toy
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My girls loved the parachute!
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Love Bug liked grabbing the fish with her bare hands!
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Sweet Girl working on her Rainbow Fish craft.
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Sweet Girl fishing with a friend.
PIRATES
Craft:  Pirate Hats, Paper Parrots and Pirate Coloring Page 
Games/Activities:  Fingerplay, How to talk like a pirate and a Treasure Hunt with real "treasure" at the end!

Take-home surprise:  A "treasure chest" filled with loot:  play money, eye patch, necklace, tatoo, Manassas Bull Run Civil War patch
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At the craft table.
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Sweet Girl working on a pirate hat for Shaba Girl since she just gave us her hat (the one Sweet Girl is wearing).
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Pirate hats!
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Pirate Sweet Girl checking out her treasure.
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Sweet Girl chose to make her parrot all blue.
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Everyone running to the next clue on the treasure hunt.
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Treasure Chest and Pirate Booty




Disclaimer:

  I was not was not asked to write this post or compensated to do so.  
All opinions are my own.  






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