CML’s Swing! exhibit is a new interactive space that uses music, movement, manipulatives and mentoring experiences to introduce Charleston’s youngest children and their families to the rhythms, history and cultural influences of jazz, through guided play and materials exploration. This exhibit has been conceptualized as a facet of a greater collaboration between the Charleston Jazz Orchestra and CML.
the art room
Color and creativity welcome your family to the Art Room! Whether your little one constructs knight’s armor from recycled egg cartons in the “Creation Station” or tries splatter painting a la Jackson Pollock in the “Painting Place” – every child will find the artist within!
Creation Station – Channel your inner Leo Sewell, a famous recyclables sculptor, as everyday recyclables take on a whole new life with your child’s imagination. Problem solving and spatial awareness skills are honed while constructing your masterpiece!
Painting Place – Follow in the footsteps of Picasso and Pollock to create works of art using washable paints. Perfect for creating gifts for loved ones. Ask your child, “What new colors can you create?” and “How does your art make you feel?”
Discovery Den – Encourage your child to try new artistic media and techniques such as oil pastels, collage, weaving, etc. No two products are the same as you focus on the process of art. Stimulate conversations by saying, “Tell me about what you are doing.” Experiences change regularly.
Sensory Space – Our youngest visitors practice fine motor skills, color recognition and language development while exploring various materals like PLAYdough and moon sand. Experiences change regularly.
Hint: Although the materials are washable, smocks are available to help protect clothing.
Recycled Arts Wish List
We’re always collecting the following recycled materials for the Art Room:
- Egg cartons
- Toilet paper rolls (with no paper on them)
- Paper towel rolls
- Lids & caps (especially laundry & fabric softener)
- String /yarn/ribbon
- Small plastic containers (rinsed well)
- Puzzle & game pieces
- Playing cards
- Discarded cds & dvds
- Old game boards
- Tape dispensers Rings
- Old wrapping paper
- Old calendars
- Holiday cards
*One thing in great abundance helps tremendously*
(Please no glass, sharp objects, peanut or medicine containers)
medieval creativity castle
See what it was like to live 10 centuries ago in our Medieval Creativity Castle. Children can explore a castle made just for them, dress as a prince or princess, discover secret passageways, learn historical facts, cook a royal feast and embark on a knightly quest! In the Castle’s puppet theatre, watch as children act out their favorite fairy tales or make up a story of their very own. Through dramatic PLAY, children enhance their language and vocabulary development, as well as their creative expression.
Your child’s imagination comes alive as she creates her own storybook fantasy. Grown-ups are encouraged to participate in the story line.
Highlights: Costumes line the hooks on the second floor of the Castle – your child can be a dragon, a knight or a fairy princess. PLAY in our Fabled Stable with our horses! Your little one can feed and ride our horses around the Stable and Castle. Our youngest visitors (under 3-years-old) have a space of their very own in the Castle’s Tod Pod!
Hint: Encourage your kids to find and explore the secret passageways in the Medieval Creativity Castle.
Excite all five senses as you explore and PLAY in the seven different organic beds in the Kids’ Garden. Watch a butterfly, chase bugs and learn the basics of botany while tasting mint, rosemary and lemongrass! Try to find gleaming, shiny gems in the pond with a real, running waterfall! Work together to construct a flower shop or an airplane using large building blocks.
Highlights: Encourage your little ones to pump water from the antique well, then water the gardens to make them beautiful! Our edible beds are simply delicious! We grow everything from strawberries to grapes – come and try one!
Hint: You can pick whatever you would like from the Garden! Need some spice for tonight’s dinner? Have your child pick the herbs with you!
Stop, drop and roll into fun as you explore and PLAY on our antique 1939, GM Fire Truck. Children can try on real fireman uniforms, steer the wheel or just sit along for the ride!
Highlights: Cannon Street Engine 6 Firemen pop by often to treat kids to some fun, fire-safety instruction!
Hint: Families can keep a careful eye on their children and enjoy the weather by sitting at surrounding picnic tables.
Raceways is full of chutes, hoops and loops! Children learn about Newton’s laws of motion as they send golf balls on various journeys. This exhibit will have your child giggling with anticipation as they watch their golf balls sail down ramps and explore the effects of gravity! Send golf balls down the swirling vortex, then encourage your child to lie on his stomach to watch them drop out of the vortex! The silly spiral chute will have your children running around in circles as they follow the golf balls around and around! Block the chute while your child fills the first rung of the spiral with as many golf balls as possible – then, count down and let them all go around! Can your child send his ball over the many hills of the giant roller coaster to reach the end of the station?
Hint: Allow yourselves at least 30 minutes just for this interactive – most children do not want to leave!
Discover the wonder of water as your child navigates boats through the Charleston Harbor. Look for familiar sights such as the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Observation skills are sharpened as your child activates the water cycle model. Little ones can explore cause and effect and how hydroelectric dams work as they release water to power the city and its suburbs. Play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe on the chalkboard wall – PLAY quickly before the water dries! Use problem-solving skills to manipulate a model of the Pinopolis Lock and move boats from the lake to the harbor.
Highlight: Challenge your child to a canoe race down raging rapids! Move the rocks to advance your canoe through the rapids!
Hint: Smocks are available in different sizes to keep your child dry.
Hint: Look for low areas in the water tables – even your littlest ones can get in on the action!
Climb aboard the Pirate Ship and step back in time to the Golden Age of Pirates in the Lowcountry. From sea monster attacks to searching for buried treasure to battles at sea… see where your child’s imagination will take her in Pirates! Learn how to tie knots like a sailor at one of the three knot-tying stations. Spy what Charleston Harbor looked like back in 1695. Dress like a pirate and then walk the plank. Raise your Jolly Roger to alert fellow pirates of your presence on the stormy seas!
Highlights: This interactive is an easy place to make new friends! Gather all the ship’s crew to PLAY together. Be careful not to get caught with stolen pirate booty or it’s off to jail with you!
Hint: You can create a stormy environment in the Pirate Ship – look for the “Foul Weather” button in the ship’s wheelhouse.
Hint: Don’t forget to PLAY the compass rose game. You will find it in the mural on the wall of Pirates!
the publix market
The grocery store where the children always get to push the cart! Made just for little ones, The Publix Market, sponsored by Publix Super Market Charities, is always bustling with shoppers. Children discover the importance of making healthy eating choices as they peruse the mini aisles. The Publix Market offers two express lanes with scanners and touch-screen registers for a quick and easy check-out! Children hone their math skills as they weigh the amount of fruit they want to purchase or count currency to pay their grocery bills. Encourage your child to prepare a chicken dinner at the deli counter for your family!
Hint: Part of the fun of the Market is putting groceries back on the shelves – think of it as a huge game of match! Does your child not quite know where to start in the Market? Why not give them one of the grocery lists to follow?
infant & toddler playspace
Our littlest visitors (Birth to 3-years-old) learn through interactive PLAY in the Infant & Toddler Playspace! Designed to encourage gross motor skill development, little ones can explore their surroundings safely as they climb and ride down tiny wooden slides made just for them.
The Infant & Toddler Playspace has lots of tactile and fine motor toys for little hands to explore. Tummy time is made easy on padded mats and soft carpet. Pick up a book and snuggle with your little one in the reading area.
Hint: The Infant & Toddler Playspace houses a private area for nursing mothers.
Highlights: This interactive is a great place for new moms and dads to connect, too! Don’t miss our free Early Connections program for children ages Birth – 3-years-old and their grown-ups.