Japan & Nature: Spirits of the Seasons Exhibition at The Children’s Museum of Memphis

Celebrate nature with the children of Japan and see how nature fits into their everyday lives – picnic under cherry blossoms, go camping and hunt for bugs, help get ready for New Year’s, and try your hand at Japanese calligraphy! The Children’s Museum of Memphis is hosting “Japan & Nature: Spirits of the Seasons” July 3-September 12, 2010. The exhibit invites children and families to explore through hands-on activities, dramatic play and multi-media experiences how nature is reflected and celebrated in the everyday lives of Japanese children. Filled with stories, artifacts, drawings, photographs and documentary videos from Japan, children travel to four areas of Japan during the four seasons.

The exhibit is designed around universal aspects of childhood – family, school, play and holiday celebrations – and is divided into four fun-filled interactive zones. Each zone is representative of a different season and a specific geographical region, allowing children to experience year round living in Japan. Kids can enjoy the spring time cherry blossom festival with a picnic in Fukuoka; summer vacation fishing in Japan’s largest lake, Lake Biwa; visit a sacred Shinto shrine on a beautiful fall day in Kyoto while attending the rice harvest festival; then finish the year abroad with winter in Sapporo, celebrating New Year’s inside a cozy Japanese winter home by playing a traditional New Year’s game and trying special winter foods. Children also learn how to write calligraphy and try on kimonos and getas.

In “Japan & Nature: Spirits of the Seasons,” children explore how people and their ways of life are shaped by where they live. By experiencing how their counterparts in Japan celebrate the seasons and their natural environment, children discover the commonalties they share. This exhibition meets national curriculum standards for social studies, behavioral studies, geography, and visual arts.

The exhibit was created by the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

The Children’s Museum of Memphis creates memorable learning experiences through the joy of play in hands-on exhibits and programs. Location: 2525 Central Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, and Sunday, 12 noon-5pm. Admission: $10 ages 1-100. Information: 901-458-2678.

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