The “Message in a Milk Bottle” project is a new and wonderful tradition here at Boston Children’s Museum. This project is designed and run by the Health and Wellness Educator Interns every Spring. This Spring, the responsibility fell to me, and I titled my version “Helping Hands”. Helping Hands was an effort to bring communities together and to show the Museum’s visitors how children can work collaboratively to create something special.
During the months of March and April, I had the privilege of visiting various hospitals in the Boston area and bringing this project to patients and families who might not have the opportunity to visit the Museum. Children at the hospitals traced their hands on colorful paper, then decorated their hand prints with a variety of materials like gems, craft feathers, and tissue paper. Once they were satisfied with their hand print, they were given the option to contribute it to the Helping Hands Tree.
I then replicated the same activity on April 25th at Boston Children’s Museum during Morningstar Access, which is a program for children with special needs. Some children only wanted to decorate one hand print, while others encouraged their entire family of 5 to each contribute their work to the tree. I collected all of the completed hand print cut outs – from the children I visited at hospitals, and from the children who attended April’s Morningstar Access at the Museum – and alongside visitors used them to complete the Helping Hands Tree. Children and families at both locations were eager to participate in this project and to contribute to a tree that would be seen by all of the visitors at the Museum.
Looking at the final product, Message in a Milk Bottle: Helping Hands reinforced that children and families with different abilities, different opportunities and different backgrounds can come together to create something beautiful together.