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Kids create their own Times Square ball designs in Port Jefferson

Max Rosen, 6, of Freehold, N.J., was among

Max Rosen, 6, of Freehold, N.J., was among the many children that took advantage of the "Let's Celebrate the New Year" event at the Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson, building a miniature Times Square ball and other designs out of marshmallows and toothpicks. (Dec. 28, 2013) Credit: Brittany Wait

While comparing the model of a miniature Times Square ball to his own, 4-year-old Sam Rosen carefully connected three marshmallows with toothpicks to make a triangle.

His mom, Michelle Rosen, dad Ian Rosen, 39, and big brother Max, 6, were among the dozens of families that stopped by the “Let’s Celebrate the New Year” event at the Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson on Saturday. Kids designed their own ideas for the New Year’s Eve ball.

Max, thinking outside the “ball” box, decided he would slowly drop a peace sign and a synagogue, and constructed those.

“Every time my boys come here they love it,” said Michelle Rosen, 38, of Freehold, N.J. “We’re visiting my parents in Setauket and we couldn’t miss this.”

Mary Ann McAvoy, an educator at the Maritime Explorium since it opened at the Chandlery Building in May 2011, said the event runs through Dec. 31, then continues Jan. 2-6. Admission for Maritime Explorium members is free; otherwise, admission is $5.

“We start by showing the kids the basic structure and the children figure out where they want to go from there,” said McAvoy, of Stony Brook. “There are no instructions. We just want them to learn by doing and create something they can proudly hang up at home.”

McAvoy’s 8-year-old granddaughter, Brynn Davenport, dropped by to visit. She and her neighbor, Marissa Tonic, 7, of East Setauket, were excited to create their own design.

“It was fun, but hard,” said Brynn, whose triangle attempt ended up slightly asymmetrical, perfectly making the point of the young designers learning through experimentation. “My triangles turned into squares, but I’ll still give it to my mom to put up. It’s getting close to New Year’s.”

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