Friday, June 29, 2012

Old Sturbridge Village Field Trip

Though Alec was a bit sore this morning, we decided to stick with our original plan to go to Old Sturbridge Village.  With possible chance of thunderstorms and a high of 93 today I knew we wouldn't stay all day anyway.  It was $5 Friday, and since I hadn't been since I was in grade school I couldn't remember all that much about it.  I wanted to see how the boys liked it and what it was all about while it was fairly cheap for admission.

We arrived right for opening time and the rain stopped.  We had a great time.  The place is HUGE.  I don't remember it being that big; in fact I didn't remember much about it at all.  They had lots of hands on things for the kids and tons of live demonstrations. 

I'm sure much of it was more than they could truly grasp and understand but they enjoyed it and the two older boys said they'd like to go back another day when it wasn't so hot.  My youngest hated it and told me it was boring and that he wouldn't ever want to go back.  While I'm sure it was not the most fun day trip for him I wouldn't say he looked like he was hating it. 

We went on a horse drawn wagon ride.

They got to pump water from the well.

They practice weaving and use a spinning wheel.

They pet live animals and learned to stretch wool into fiber.

Carding the wool to make it soft and fiberous.

The two older boys made a tin candle holder. 

Making tin candle holders.
We had a snack, played on the children's playground and checked out the indoor play area for children on the way out.  We made it a full 3 hours before they asked if they could go home and go swimming.  At lunch they were telling me they would have hated to live back then with no electricity, they said they "couldn't imagine having to walk to get water outside! And what if it froze in the winter?"  they asked.  They noticed all the period costumes had many layers, long sleeve, and pants and were incredulous that people wore that year round even in the heat and that they had to keep the fire places going all year long too.  I think they definitely got a good feel of what it was like in the 1800's in New England and isn't that the whole point?   We'll go again another day and learn even more.

Making quilt squares with plastic tiles.
Upon returning to our car Alec noticed his crayons (that he left out on the armrest of the car!) were a bit melted and soft.  Two things happened at that point: 

1.  I decided to revamp the car activity bags for the summer and put washable markers in them instead of crayons

 2.  I took the opportunity to talk about solar heat and solar energy. 

We discussed that crayons are made of wax, like the candles we saw at Sturbridge Village, and how max melts when it gets hot.  We returned home and started breaking some of our old crayons that were already in pieces and missing the wrappers anyway.  We piled them into ice cube trays and attempted to make "new" crayons in the sun. 

Unfortunately, by the time we got home and completed all the work it was a bit too late and not sunny enough to melt them today.  But we'll put them out first thing tomorrow and hopefully they'll be melted by dinner time tomorrow night.  It was the perfect way to start next week's science lesson on solar power!

 While finishing up our bubble unit this afternoon I made a solution I found on Pinterest called "giant bubbles."  You mix 1/2 cup dish soap, 1/2 cup liquid glycerin (though I did find a recipe that called for corn syrup instead I want to try still) and 4 1/2 cups water. 

Once you gently mix the ingredients without causing too many bubbles you're supposed to let it sit for a bit, the recipe says the longer the better, but the boys were pretty anxious so we probably only let ours set about an hour.  We made bubble blowers with string and drinking straws and started experimenting.  I didn't think the bubbles were any bigger than some of the others they had blown this week but it was pretty windy here so I'm sure that didn't help.  They still had fun and, of course, pulled out other bubble wands and their sock/bottle blowers as well.

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