If you're looking for a fun Friday morning outing for your preschooler, head to the Morton Museum of Collierville History (at Poplar and Main Street). The museum offers stories, songs, and crafts with different themes for children every Friday at 10:30 a.m.
Entering the white church that houses the museum, you can hear small chitchats from the far right corner of the permanent exhibit space where story time takes place. Nearly 20 children are busy picking up colorful mats to get seated for the Valentine’s Day story.
“The stories are tailored to children’s age group,” shares Nicole Cummings who regularly brings her 3-year-old son Hayden. “My son particularly enjoys songs and stories about cars, trucks, and trains. His favorite part is playing with the toys.”
Debbie Hale, who volunteers once a month to conduct the story time, opens by singing, “If you want to hear a story, clap your hands.” Then she begins her first story, Ten Little Kisses, using stars on a felt board to help children practice counting. Before reading Never Too Little for Love, she grabs the children’s attention using finger play and songs.
“I just want to give back to the community and I've got the time now,” says Hale, who is also on the board of Main Street Collierville and participates with Friends of the Morton Museum. Her storytelling experience comes from working as the children’s librarian at the Collierville Library. The story time routine is also shared between the museum’s visitor services coordinator Cheri Kilmurray and another museum volunteer Susie Gwatney. They focus on Collierville history and community.
“Collierville, Collierville, what do you see?” sings Kilmurray, imitating Bill Martin Jr.’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Then she introduces the children to things unique to the Historic Town Square: the trains, museum, pioneer log cabin, and gazebo.
Once the story and craft time ends, the children are off to explore the sanctuary, their pink and red heart collages a reminder of a morning well spent.