Posts Tagged ‘field trip’

Museums and Nature Centers: The importance of exposing the arts, science, nature and creative exploration

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by by

The last few Fridays, we delighted in some day trips to the museums in Grand Rapids and with the area Nature Center. The value in these explorations and exposure to art, nature, and creative expression is priceless. I’m convinced it will instill a life-long appreciation from a young age when these opportunities are used to our advantage.

Recently, we fit in a morning trip to the Grand Rapids Art Museum with some of our homeschool friends. GRAM is featuring an excellent John Audubon exhibit on the second floor – there is a kids’ scavenger hunt they provide that automatically helps engage the kids in studying each painting up close. Love it! My daughter took in a lot as we evaluated what it was like when they didn’t have cameras to take a picture of the birds they observed outside. After a quick lunch, we strolled down the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for the afternoon – always an awesome adventure. If you’ve never been to the GRCM, you don’t know what you are missing. Two floors of creative, imaginative, hands-on fun for kids of all ages, and they always have something new in store as well as the stand-by classic favorites.

The following Friday, we attended an amazing Geology Rocks! class at the Howard Christensen Nature Center. It was our second trip out there this month (see our trip for the JND here), and it was phenomenally amazing. The dedication and passion the volunteers have are beautiful, and the resources they have are great. We had one-on-one attention to the interests of my kids as they explored and discovered; it was a spectacular day of blissful education.

I always am amazed when I ask my children afterward what their favorite part of the day was. Not only is this giving them the opportunity to practice reflection and review, but it shows me how much they are taking in – it’s always more than I suspect they are at the time.

“Education is all a matter of building bridges.” -Ralph Ellison


The Fire Station

Monday, July 25th, 2011 by by

Last Friday, High Park Home Daycare went on a field trip to the local fire station at Keele and Dundas West. Both Aidas’s mother (Aldona) and the twins’ mother (Marlaine) came along to help out with the excursion. This trip has been a long time coming. I had wanted to take them last summer, but children have to be at least 2.5 years old before the fire department will allow them to tour. Well, the youngest of our group turned 2 and a half on July 2nd, so we were now ready!

When we got there, there were no firefighters or fire trucks in sight. No one answered the doorbell. With all the hype surrounding this trip, I was really dreading having to tell the children they would not get to go on a fire truck. Not only would they be sad; it could get downright ugly. Toddler rage times five. On a hot day. Far from home. This is the stuff nightmares are made of! Okay, I digress, and embellish…

Let’s just say there was a big sigh of relief when we saw a fire truck pulling up to the station. Marlaine quipped that we were probably the last people they wanted to see after attending to a fire. I agreed, and I even felt a little guilty just for being there. Well, if they were disappointed to see us, they surely didn’t show it. They were absolutely hospitable.

The kids enjoyed sitting in the fire truck. One of the firefighters showed them (more…)

Junior Naturalist Day at the local Nature Center

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 by by

The Howard Christensen Nature Center in Kent City, Michigan, has had it’s share of funding ups and downs. It has closed and been re-owned multiple times over the years, most recently shutting it’s doors this last January due to lack of funding. Lucky for nature-lovers (and area homeschoolers!), they found a way to re-open in May and maintain management by a new independent non-profit group, Lily’s Frog Pad, Inc.

They featured a free Junior Naturalist Day for all ages on July 14, and we picked up a fellow homeschool friend to join us for an afternoon of adventure. It was a wonderful day. Their Red Pine Interpretive Center was filled with various stations of exploration. The kids got to move at their own pace for hours as they studied salamanders, bug specimen, animal exhibits, and more. They had great activities, such as using various tools like tweezers, staple removers, pliers, droppers, etc. meant to represent the different beaks and bills of various birds to pick up fish, worms and stuffed mice, and to break open seeds.

We signed up for some future classes and really look forward to returning soon. If you live anywhere near the area, I highly recommend spending a day there, even just to visit the amazing trails they have featured throughout the 135 acres, or to check out some of the fantastic educational programs they have lined up. It is an exciting blessing to have this establishment available to the public. It needs support from those who value environment, education and God’s design in nature to keep it alive for good. (more…)

Field Trip Day!!

Monday, March 21st, 2011 by by

The day Zach has been waiting for all month has finally arrived.

Field trip day!

I went with his class on the field trip today. We went to the Children’s Museum and then for pizza afterwards. There were so many parents who came to help that it was split up into two groups of three girls with two parents (only 6 girls in his class) and three parents with their kid plus another, then everyone else went with their own parent.
Zach had sooo much fun. I, well I didn’t hate it. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was be, but I spent a nice chunk being mad at my sister’s camera I borrowed to take on it.  I’m kinda kicking myself cause I took my sister’s camera so it could easily go in my pocket while not being used since I didn’t want to haul a purse around all day… yeah it sucked. Like epically. And on top of that the photos are SMALL – like web sized small. And it didn’t matter how I messed with her settings the pictures just blew. I took 250 photos… I ended up with only 93 ones semi-salvageable, and they still suck. I guess I’ll just chalk it up to a lesson learned.
But yeah, it was fun. This was my first time going on a school field trip with one of the boys. Usually my mom goes since I’m always going into the class to help and do parties. But she said she’d much rather stay home and play with Belly than go with close to 50 1st grades to kid-mayhem central.

Here are a few pictures:


The Zoo…our 1st family field trip!

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 by by

It took a weekend of planning, a day of packing and lots of double checking things but we finally went out as a family to the zoo. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day or better company. Adrienne, Jack, & Lizzie met us up there. Honestly, I don’t know if we would have enjoyed it quite as much without them there. I think this should be an annual event (hint, hint, wink, wink…A).

What we weren’t planning for was 10 gazillion schools to also come. I thought for sure that they wouldn’t come out on a Monday and right before state testing. Do-oh. I was way off. WAY.OFF.

But, that didn’t stop us from getting to see all the big, beautiful animals. Not at all. It started with the seals. They were the coolest! Then we went on to (more…)