The Southeast Explorer's Family Fun Day offers host of activities

Friday, June 9, 2006
"State symbols of Missouri" is one of the displays in the Southeast Explorer. (Fred Lynch)

The Southeast Explorer mobile museum is only one part of the Southeast Missouri Regional Museum's Family Fun Day activities Saturday.

In addition to seeing the explorer, those who show up for Fun Day will get to participate in a variety of activities based around museum exhibits.

The theme of the event is "Stories Behind the Art."

Ellen Hahs, museum curator of education, said storytellers will present narratives on artists like Picasso, Michaelangelo and Vincent Van Gogh.

There will also be activities in which children with simple machines and learn about their functions. One machine will even allow children to make their own jump rope.

"I know there will be some adults doing it, too," Hahs said.

Children will also be able to make chain mail, corn husk dolls and sap sculptures.

Special guest speaker Jack Smoot will also present a program that ties in to the museums current "Jake Wells: Mills and Murals" exhibit at 3 p.m. Smoot, administrator of the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site, will present a program on grist mills.

Smoot said the subject of mills may not seem interesting for most children, but it can be if approached correctly.

"If I talk to them about where bread comes from or cake ... the first answer is going to be 'from the store,'" Smoot said. "I want to help them understand the process behind where it comes from, and I also want to talk a little bit about the importance of grist mills in early settlement of the country."

By making the work of the mills relevant to the child's modern-day experience, Smoot said the subject of grist mills and their history is one that children can get into.

Smoot said by using Wells' paintings of mills, he can show the diversity in mill design and the innovations settlers developed.

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