Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Finally... A Field Trip!

    I know we just technically went on a field trip with a homeschool group last week but we typically spend our entire spring going on field trips and so I've felt pretty cooped up at home lately.  I had promised the boys that if we could have a better morning Tuesday I'd take them on a field trip.  We were all excited to go and the boys behavior toward one another was amazing!  They were willingly helping each other pack lunches, reminding one another not to forget water bottles or sneakers.  It was great!  Unfortunately, I did not check the website for the indoor adventure park and discovered just as we were walking out the door that they're closed on Tuesdays.  The boys were a bit bummed but since we were all ready anyway we decided to head to the Children's Museum of West Hartford.
    We enjoyed listening to our Heroes of Olympus book and almost finished the House of Hades!  The boys are beginning to realize that there is no way the whole story is going to be wrapped up by the end of this last disk we're currently on. We're so used to the author's style of writing that our predictions are getting to the point where we can guess a few of the exact words and phrases that are going to be used.  We have so many predictions for the next book coming out in October too, we just can't wait! 
    We were surprised by just how crowded the museum was; with two or three buses there and most of the parking spots filled we knew going in that we were definitely going to be waiting our turns for most everything.  We were pleasantly surprised that being flexible allowed us to play in many spaces by ourselves or with just a few others.  The few times we stumbled upon the school groups my boys asked if we could try out a different area.  I wondered if my kids were somewhat anti- social due to homeschooling, but in their defense the groups we encountered were off the wall. I explained to the boys that most school kids are super excited since it's just about the end of the year and they know school  is ending and if you combine that with the joy of going out on field trips and being able to play that makes for some super excitable kids.  But I did notice Alec playing with a few of the kids and working with them to build some pretty neat things so I guess I don't have to worry too much; in fact I'm glad to see that their natural inclination is to avoid kids who are "misbehaving." 
    We spent two hours looking at all the animals that are there both inside and out. We saw Fennec foxes, chinchillas, a Lynx, an owl, a lot of snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, lizards, and turtles.  They even had a butterfly tent set up with three different species of butterflies inside.  The lady was kind enough to show the boys some caterpillars and butterfly eggs too. 

   


A legless lizards; not to be confused with a snake!

We watched the chameleon climbing his cage and
noticed the shape of his "hands," the sharpness of
his claws, and the movement of his eyes. 
Nile Monitor lizard


Alec LOVES these Fennec foxes

Barred owl

Lynx

chinchilla

Opossum


We talked about the large number of bones inside a snake's body

tarantula

Stick Bug


Scorpion


Raccoons












Turtles

Monarch Butterflies

Alec showed his fox what the butterfly looked like

All three species of butterfly were found on this sign!



We played with some snap circuits for a while and learned a bit more about electricity and electrical currents. 


  They spent a long time playing with some very large foam blocks building cars, hats, and seats. 

Ian made a car

Alec made an octopus hat

Ian relaxing on his creationg

  All the boys had a lot of fun playing with a plasma globe. 



We laid down on some long beanbags and watched a movie about frogs, toads and salamanders.  It was a movie made in Connecticut and we were able to learn about all the local species with lots of great camera work that allowed us to really see each specimen up close.  We learned so much and were excited to learn that much of the video was shot in and around vernal pools.  The boys were happy to rearrange all the beanbags and made a mountain to lay on since we had the whole theatre to ourselves. 


We were happy to have the room to ourselves




















We went into the Lego room.  The boys tried to build earthquake safe buildings, race Lego cars and watch the different ways gears can mesh and various ways to make the parts move. 


 


   We had a lot of fun playing with mirrors too.  Evan and I tried to count how many Evans we could see inside the mirrored room.  We watched how our bodies change as we flexed a mirror to be convex and then concave. 
 
  The boys had fun sorting all the light pegs into colored groups and then told me they had made a graph.  They compared which group had more, put them in order from greatest to least, told me how many more yellow there were than blue and a bunch of other "math" like facts. 



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