Welcome to Greentrike’s monthly Playful Guide!

We’d like to thank all of the friends who have joined us for Play to Learn throughout the year! While the program has come to an end for the summer season, the team is preparing a whole new year full of fun and learning for both new and returning friends.

Play to Learn will return for the fall season. Check back at Greentrike.org/play-to-learn later this summer to find out more about program locations and dates.

Greentrike Events This July

Proctor Blocks: Family Fun Day

July 12 | 3 – 7 p.m.

We’re excited to partner with the City of Tacoma and Mason United Methodist Church to host a family-friendly open streets event featuring engaging activities for children and youth of all ages! Proctor Blocks: Family Fun Day 2024 will include activities like a trike rodeo, music, interactive art, picnic areas, street games, community booths, and more. Bring your own picnic and trike! We’ll be there from 3 – 7 p.m., so drop by to say “hi” and have some family fun at 3914 N 27th St. in Tacoma.

STEAM Night

July 10 | 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Plus, join us for STEAM Night on July 10, 2024, at Swasey Library! We’ll be excavating and making fossils, creating dinosaur claws, and imagining what dinosaurs might have looked like with dinosaur collage art.

Wee Ones Weekly

Fridays | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | Museum Members only

We’re also excited to announce that Wee Ones Weekly will be continuing through the summer season! Wee Ones Weekly (WOW) is a program for Museum members perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and their grown-ups!

For summer sessions, WOW will be held on Fridays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

For details about Wee Ones Weekly and to check out a schedule of planned sessions, visit Greentrike.org/wow.

Activity Highlight: Butterfly Puppet

  1. Ask your child to trace their pointer finger onto a piece of paper. This will be the pattern for the butterfly’s body.
  2. Invite them to give the butterfly a face, markings, antennae, etc. Cut out the body.
  3. Help them make butterfly wings that will fit onto the body that they have made. Decorate by drawing, painting, collage, or whatever you would like and glue onto the body!
    1. Quick tip: Find pictures of butterflies and help your child to notice that the wing designs are symmetrical. Talk about what that means. Then let them decorate their wings symmetrically or asymmetrically – however they’d like!
    2. If you’d like to make wings with symmetrical shapes, you can fold the piece of paper used to create the wings in half before cutting.
  4. Cut a half inch piece of paper to glue to the butterfly’s body, making a loop that will fit around your child’s finger so they can play with the butterfly as a finger puppet.
    1. Quick tip: instead of a paper loop, you can make a puppet by gluing a craft stick onto the body.

Staying Safe in the Sun

Due to the ongoing development of their bodies and some of their behaviors, infants, toddlers, and children are, in general, more vulnerable to heat, sun exposure, and other environmental risks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

Experts agree that all sunscreen use prevents painful sunburn, and broad spectrum sunscreens that are labeled SPF 15 or higher protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation in order to protect against skin cancer (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) when used as directed on the container and when used with other skin protection methods. In other words, applying sunscreen is essential to keeping ourselves healthy, even on cloudy or chilly days!

The FDA and American Academy of Pediatrics recommends checking with a health care professional before applying sunscreen to an infant six months or younger, and keeping them out of direct sunlight to protect their sensitive skin.

Staying Indoors

Another great way to stay healthy in high temperatures is to plan outside play during cooler hours, such as the early morning or evening, and inside play while temperatures are higher.

When playing outside and wanting to take a break, it’s a good idea to take a break in indoor, air-conditioned spaces, such as malls or movie theaters.

The Children’s Museum of Tacoma provides a cool, safe indoor space for families with children to take a break from the heat, with donation-based admission to ensure accessibility for every family. Vending machines in the lobby and water fountains in the galleries also provide plenty of options for friends to stay hydrated. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is located at 1501 Pacific Avenue (or click here for directions).

Did you know?

According to the CDC, “even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.”

More Information

For more tips and information on how to beat the heat and stay cool, check out this helpful article from our friends at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital!