Sunday, October 13, 2013

Corn Maze fun

We went to Fort Hill Farms, which offers two corn mazes, a bounce house, a 1,000 carved pumpkin display and lots of good food and ice cream to purchase too. 

Scarecrows! 
We started out with the large corn maze.  We were given a booklet to use to help us through the maze.  The maze was color coded and there were stops throughout each color where we could write down key words or take crayon rubbings.  These stops were all centered around the importance of agriculture and local farming.  

There were bridges where we could climb up and see over the maze. 

There were a few postings of the map so we could get our bearings, look for stops we had missed (though we chose not to worry about finding all the clues and just finding our way out).  The boys took turns making decisions and leading us around the maze. 

We pointed out the differences in sweet corn that we eat to the cow's corn growing in the maze.  We also showed the boys that pretty much every stalk had two ears of corn, we talked about the hardy stalks, and their unique roots.

We found a sign!

testing to see if it's dark enough for flashlights yet

We've traveled from the light in the distance to here!

Checking out the map

As we exited the maze we found ourselves at the entrance to the Pumpkinlandia. 

We walked through and saw all the pumpkins.  Some were elaborately carved and others were just variations on traditionally carved pumpkins.  The boys still had their flashlights and when shining them on the elaborately carved pumpkins noticed that they aren't cut through the outer shell of the pumpkin.  They also noticed that there were white and black marker (ink) markings on them to add detail and shading.  We noticed that they had different lights too. 

Rather than candles inside these pumpkins had electrical cords and light bulbs inside.  We had great fun finding pirates, minions, bats, and cats in all of the pumpkin shapes.  One area had different colored lights inside each pumpkin and a fog machine going too. 

Regularly carved pumpkins

Elaborately carved-- see the white and black ink?

Dragons

Many carved pumpkins with different colored lights


Evan's favorite-- a griffin!

"the famous Epcot Ball, mom!"
The smaller maze had five stations set up inside it designated to five different flavors of ice cream-- vanilla, strawberry, mint, chocolate and peach. 

Each station has a small well filled with chalk dust and using the five fingers of your right hand you dip one finger into each well.  Each person makes up their own pattern depending on which finger was used for each color and at the end of the maze all the different combinations are posted. 

Once you find your combination (or pattern) the number listed in the palm tell you which fortune to read.  It was neat and all the kids had a ball reading their fortunes and finding their patterns. 

The small maze is set up in a series of circles so there is no right or wrong way to navigate through it.  By this time it was very dark but the boys decided they wanted to run black ops and keep the lights off.  They pretended that the leaves were poisonous and they could not touch them.  Even when other people were passing us on their way out the boys would duck under leaves rather than touch them.  It was pretty cute. 

On our way out of the maze (once the boys had caught up with their cousins) they were all talking, giggling and walking together.  Occasionally they would double back and head to the back or run up to the front of the line.  One time they got behind us and my husband hid in the stalks so he could scare them as they walked by.  They screamed and laughed and spent the rest of the night trying to hide and scare my husband.  It was fantastic.

Chalking our fingers


Extra chalk on the way out so they don't wear off

laughing after having been scared



Alec was combination 44-- "you plan the future carefully"


Evan was number 56-- "surprising things will happen to you"



The boys spent a bit of time in the bounce house which was also set up like an obstacle course on the inside.  They jumped, played and ran around. 

It was a great night and so wonderful to get out after dinner and expend some energy.  The boys walked (or jumped or ran) for two hours straight without complaint! 

 I loved all the math/ logic we used in navigating the maze and making patterns.  We even pointed out all the different possible patterns using just five colors and five fingers.  The boys practiced reading both with the maze clues and with the fortunes.  We learned and talked about art appreciation in the various pumpkins that were carved and all the different designs we saw.  Many of the pumpkins were designed around fairy tales so we talked about those stories we had read too.  We talked about compass points, reading maps, finding ourselves on the map and deciding which way to go.  We were teaching Evan left and right, teaching Alec to make a decision in a timely manner (something he desperately needs to work on!), and we taught them to work together as a team. 

There was a whole lot of learning going on here for a Saturday! 
  

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