Beauty Around Us!
Friday morning found us leaving the banging and clanging of the downtown construction for the quiet and peace of the Squam Lakes Science Center. The temperature was perfect and the slight breeze kept those little black flies at bay. It was an amazing day to be outside and a perfect day at the Science Center!
Our children have all been to the Science Center many times. The Center is a gem in our backyard, we are so fortunate to have this resource in the Lakes Region. Yet, every time the children go, they notice new things and are excited to see things that may have changed. For example, the deer exhibit has been redone and the pond is always changing with the seasons. The children did a fantastic job controlling their bodies on the trail. I commended them on being, perhaps the first group I have taken their that did not race from thing to thing, but were in control of their bodies and cognizant of other folks around them and used their manners. I was very proud of them.
We arrived at 9:30 and made our way through the trail before lunch. We had a nice picnic lunch under the pavilion and finished just in time for our class with Dave. The topic of the day was Our 5 Senses and how animals use their senses to survive in the wild.
It may have been our youngest, visiting friend who spied these frogs! He is a real frog man and would have just loved to pick one of these up! Thankfully his Auntie was able to snap a picture of him and them, that seemed to make him happy!
The workshop we took part in was called "Exploring Our 5 Senses."
Getting ready to pretend to be birds and use the sense of sight to find worms (toothpicks).
Using our sense of taste on a mint. . . Ask your child what color often indicates to birds that an animal is poisonous, or taste bad. Hint Monarchs have this coloring.
Looking for living things on the forest floor.
We practiced using our sense of hearing by being owls and hiding by a tree and listening for sounds in the forest.
Do you know that an animal's wet nose allows them to smell better. Ask your child to show you how you can make your own nose work a little better!
To wrap up the workshop, Dave pulled out a box of treasures that he has been collecting for years and from all of his travels. He put one item from the box into each child's hand (behind their back) and they had to use their sense of touch to try to determine what the item was.
Ask your child if they can recall each item in the pictures above.
Picture 1: The toenail of a moose! The moose was decomposed, but this remained.
Picture 2: A horse tooth. The skeleton to the horse was found by a train track out west. Was the horse hit by the train? Perhaps.
Picture 3: A buckeye from Ohio
Dave did an outstanding job with the children. They were very inquisitive and curious about their surroundings in nature by the end of the workshop. After spending a brief time with Dave, the children became so aware of the natural world around them. On the walk from the grassy spot where we were sitting under a tree to the classroom, several children picked up items from the side of the trail and asked about them. One was a leaf covered with gall eggs. Have you ever seen these leaves with little bumps all over them? The leaf this child found was a cherry leaf, covered with cherry galls.
We wish we could take Dave with us on all of our hikes! We would learn so much!
A special thank you to the Science Center for another beautiful and educational day and an extra special thank you to Mrs. Broome and Mrs. Sanschagrin for driving us out to the Center. We could not do these wonderful things without our devoted parents, who see the value in real world experiences! Thank You!