Little Helpers Can Make a Big Difference

On November 16th, more than 200 kids, parents, and Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH) members participated in a Kids For Kids event.  Together they were able to assemble 1,200 Bonus Bags that contained essential winter items and dental hygiene items to children in “Maplewood, Orange and South Orange through the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s weekend meal program.”  In addition to these Bonus Bags, the volunteers and little helpers also put together more than 500 healthy snack bags that were distributed to homeless children served in after school programs.

What a wonderful article! To read entire article click here. If you know a child who has volunteered, let us know and we will feature them in our next Random Act of Kid-ness Blog! Send YOUR story to

11-year-old ideas can make a world of difference

Eleven-year-old, Alex Lawson, came up with an idea that inspires children and adults around the world.  Although this event occurred a couple of years back, his kind heart and contribution truly moved us. When the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti happened, young Alex knew he wanted to help, especially since he read that over 50% of the population were kids.  He started to collect as many backpacks he could, old, new, or used, and they were taken to St. Lucie International Airport in Fort Pierce where supplies and aid workers were being flown to Haiti to help.

Reading about this story really inspires youth and adults to be hands on in giving back to our community. What a great read, click here for the full article!  Let us know if your child or someone you know would like to be featured in our next Random Act of Kid-ness blog.

Staff Spotlight: Sasha Karlova, Visitor Experience Manager/Arts Educator

It’s time again to meet another Zimmer staff member. Say hello to Sasha, our Visitor Experience Manager/Arts Educator!

Name: Sasha Karlova
Position: Visitor Experience Manager/ Arts Educator
A little bit about her: Sasha received a BA in fine art from the University of California, Santa Barbara. However, she started her art education at the age of eight and continued taking art classes at Pasadena Art Center while

020attending Fairfax High School Visual Arts Magnet. During her stay at UCSB she participated in several group art shows and was head curator of the 2009 Undergraduate Art Show in which she also exhibited her work. She has been a yearly muralist at the Pasadena Calk Festival since 2005 and interned with the Light Bringer Project, a non-profit arts organization. She continues to make art and exhibits her work whenever she gets a chance. An alumni of the Zimmer’s arts education outreach program, youTHink, Sasha loves sharing her enthusiasm for art with children and families here at the Zimmer.

Childhood hero: Darkwing Duck

Take me through a day in the life of Sasha at the Zimmer.
Each day at the Zimmer is different. That is something that I love about my job! I usually come in between 9/9:30 or 8:30 on Wednesdays for VIB hour! Then I walk through the museum turning on exhibits and lights and make my way to the kitchen. I feel like I’m waking the museum up as I turn everything on. Then it’s back upstairs to turn on the music, check my email and help at the front desk.  On Thursdays I skip my usual morning routine and head straight to the art room to teach Messy Masterpieces (I wear my artist clothes that day). The class is so much fun! It’s so amazing to see each child experience art in their own way! The rest of the day can be a mix of working at my desk, helping at the front desk, facilitating Open Art, walking around the museum to restore exhibits and make sure everything is safe and fun , or teaching crEATe – one of our baby classes that uses edible materials to introduce babies to art! At the end of the day I can usually be found resetting our exhibits or at the front desk waving goodbye to our visitors.

What’s your favorite exhibit at the Zimmer?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite exhibit! I have so much fun in all of them! But… if I HAVE to choose I think I’d pick the Mann Theater. Since I spend a lot of time near that exhibit I always get to see fun plays and performances put on by our visitors. I am always amazed by how creative kids can be with just a costume, a stage and their imagination. I also love to see how children and parents play together here. This exhibit is also my favorite because that is where Friday Sing Along and Freeze Dance happens!

What is the most memorable thing you have been involved in at the Zimmer?
It’s difficult to pick just one most memorable thing since we do so many great things here at the Zimmer. If I look back at this year something that really stands out is participating in the LA Marathon 5K to raise money for the museum and our programs including youTHink. This event stands out because I had a chance to talk to so many people and tell them why the Zimmer and youTHink were important to me personally. It gave me a chance to bond with my coworkers, get to know our visitors better, and I had a great time running in the rain with so many dedicated people! I’m looking forward to fund raising and running again this year in March. If you want to donate to my cause you can do so here. You can make my first donation for this upcoming year!! 😀

Thanks, Sasha! Stay tuned for our next spotlight!

Summer Intern Spotlight: Ali Weiss

This week, say hello to another wonderful summer intern, Ali Weiss!

Name: Ali Weiss
A little bit about her: Ali is an intern at the Zimmer Children’s Museum this summer. In the fall, she will be a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she is studying Graphic Communication. In her free time, Ali enjoys hiking, reading, collaging, watching movies, and doing yoga.

Why the Zimmer?

I wanted to experience living in a different city this summer, so coming to Los Angeles was a perfect opportunity. The Zimmer is a place where I am able to combine my love for children, art, and learning.

Take me through a day in the life of Ali at the Zimmer.

In the morning hours, you can find me clad in my orange Zimmer t-shirt working on the museum floor or helping out with the summer camp. In the afternoons, I am upstairs with Arielle working on the computer, doing research and designing!

What’s your favorite exhibit at the Zimmer?

Bubbie’s Bookstore – it’s a comfy place for kids to sit and read or play with puppets!

What is the most memorable thing you have been involved in here?

I have really enjoyed helping Emily with the summer camp; the kids are adorable and you get to know them a lot better since you work with them for multiple days at a time.

Do you think interning at the Zimmer will help shape your career path? If so, how?

I think interning at the Zimmer will give me an idea of what I am interested in doing after I graduate. I will get a better feel of careers both in museums and in the marketing/graphic communication field!

Thanks, Ali! Stay tuned for more summer intern spotlights!

Staff Spotlight: Maria Palazzolo, Associate Director of Play and Learning

It’s time again to meet another Zimmer staff member. Say hello to Maria, our Associate Director of Play and Learning!maria

Name: Maria Palazzolo
Position: Associate Director of Play and Learning
A little bit about her: Maria completed her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach in the field of Family Studies, with a specialization in Child Development. She received her Master’s degree in Early Education in 2008 from California State University Long Beach. Maria has worked in both private and public schools, as well as nonprofit organizations. This unique background has provided a foundation for best practice in working with children of all ages. Maria’s passion for helping children to realize their full potential and access their strengths drives her to become a better human being!

“My passion in life is to inspire parents to be their child’s number one advocate! I strongly believe in the power of love, positive guidance and a free-mind spirit. My number one priority is to create a partnership between parents and educators to insure that children get the best education experience possible.”

Childhood hero: My mom

Take me through a day in the life of Maria at the Zimmer.
Every day at the Zimmer, it’s a new adventure, and you never know what to expect! My job at Zimmer has me pretty busy. A typical day can include planning classes, seeking resources to expand our programs, building community relationships, and of course, my favorite part- building relationships with our guests! No one day at the Zimmer is the same; every day brings a new challenge and a satisfaction beyond words. Among the many responsibilities I have here at the Zimmer, I take my passion for children’s learning very seriously. I am committed to offering our guests the best education experience possible.

What’s your favorite exhibit at the Zimmer?
My favorite exhibit is the Wishing Wall; I love the meaning behind it. I truly feel it allows our guests to sit and really think about others and explain to their children what it means to have wishes for the world and what those wishes look like. I often hear the most amazing conversations among parents and their little ones!  It’s very inspiring.

What is the most memorable thing you have been involved in here?
Everything! But in particular, the baby classes we offer. I have the honor of seeing these little babies grow and learn right before my eyes! I love that we can create an environment where is safe and loving.  I love to see the reaction of the babies when they walk in the class to see all the sensory activities we have planned for them. It’s amazing how much learning takes place.

Thanks, Maria! Stay tuned for our next spotlights, which will be on our new SUMMER INTERNS!

Have You Seen It?!: New Safety Flooring

Have you seen the new safety flooring around the S. Mark Taper Foundation Aid and Rescue Center rescue boat?!

The new ProDek flooring is derived from recycled rubber and very eco-friendly. It is made from 70% recycled tires and 30% virgin colored rubber. By recycling rubber this way, landfill growth is minimized. Any amount affected is important. Each year, on average, ProDek installations are responsible for preventing more than 775,000 lbs of automobile tires form entering our area landfills. Since 2006, that amounts to more than 375,000 tires or 4.5 million pounds of scrap rubber!

Not only is the new flooring sparkly and comfy to walk on, but it’s SAFE too! So what are you waiting for? Come check it out today!

Have You Seen It?!: Gear Wall

Have you seen our brand new gear wall, Connections?! 

Our new play space is placed thematically in the Zimmer’s building area right next to our giant pinball machine and Construction Zone. Connections is a stainless steel wall with a variety of sizes of gears that are removable. The combinations are endless! By seeing how the different gears affect one another, your little ones can learn how we are all connected and how each of our actions affects others. The gear wall is not only insanely fun, but it also teaches: cause and effect, fine motor and manipulative skills, problem-solving, colors and patterns, and principles of motion!

So what are you waiting for? Come learn about connections today!