Friday found us enjoying a bit of much needed physical activity as well some time investigating and just plain playing at the Monshire Museum!
After a dreary week and dark afternoons the children were all restless for a little gross motor activity. They did remarkably well with the one hour drive to the Norwich, we listened to Christmas music, they looked at books and then we listened to the Magic Tree House - The First Thanksgiving audio book. Once arriving at the Museum we unloaded all of our gear and got dressed to go outside and hike the trails operated by the facility. The trail started out with a great incline and burned some immediate energy, but then leveled off to a gentler pace. We were dressed for cold weather, but we quickly warmed up in the moist December air. The temperature was hovering around forty and was just perfect for a hike! You can see our route here http://montshire.org/images/uploads/montshire-visitor-guide.pdf, we took the Ridge trail to the Planet Walk. We only got as far as Neptune and decided our little legs had had enough exercise and headed back to the museum.
The museum is set up in such a way that the children could be interacting with different exhibits but still be in view. They independently went from one to another, working with friends at some, going off on their own to others. Once we had our fill of the first floor, we moved on to the second floor and spent quite a long time looking for the queen leaf eater ant. We never found this monstrous ant, but it was fun looking!
In classroom notes, we have been learning about Christmas traditions around the world. We spent a few days learning about Hanukkah, and some of the traditions that surround it. We made the Star of David and ate jelly doughnuts. Latkes and doughnuts are both cooked in oil that represents the miraculous oil that the Maccabees found in the temple. The oil that should have only burned for one day, but instead burned for eight.