Sunday, March 29, 2015

Field trip

After a really rough week at work, I was able to go with Biscuit's class on a field trip Friday. We went to a children's museum one town over, and I think it's safe to say that the kids had a great time.

The museum staff had divided the museum into zones, and each of the five classes of kindergarten kids alternated through the zones.

Biscuit's class started out with half going to the grocery store and half going to the doughnut factory. The grocery store had cash registers that had lights and money in the drawers. They were on little stands that included hand-crank conveyor belts. The groceries would travel of the end into a shopping basket. There were also cooking stations and an ice cream shop with felt food and treats. In the doughnut shop, the kids put plastic doughnuts in a slot, then a series of cranks sent the doughnuts up a conveyor belt down into bins. Then they put the doughnuts from the bins onto another conveyor belt to send them to the boxing station. The kids quickly found their places, then swapped out jobs with each other. They were so excited, they didn't stay at any one station too long.

From there, they moved into the Enchanted Forest, which included a cabin with beds, a table and chairs and books. There was a boat with oars sitting on a big patch of blue that looked like a pond, a foot bridge that had musical instruments built into it, a giant rocking chair and more.

There was an alphabet room where each kid was asked to stand beside his or her first initial. That room also had a big maze of pneumatic tubes on the wall. The kids could push multi-colored scarves into the tubes, and they would fly around through the pipes then puff out at the top. As the scarves floated back down, the kids would jockey for position to grab them.

There were several more rooms to go through, then there was a program called "Under the Stars." The class leader showed the kids Van Gogh's "Starry Night" on an overhead projector.

"Raise your hand if you've seen this painting before." she said. And several of the kids did.

"Raise your hand if you know what this painting is called," she said. And Biscuit raised his hand.

She called on him, and he said, "That's 'Starry Night,' but I can't remember who made it."

I was impressed that he knew what it was called. Then I wondered, "How the heck did he know what it was called?!"

I asked him about it later, and he told me that the art program he has on his kid tablet talks about the painting, and he remembered the name of it but not the painter. So I guess in addition to playing games where he creates funny cartoons and rescues animals in make-believe worlds, he's also learning about art!

After showing the kids the painting, the class leader then asked the kids if they had any emotions or thoughts about it. She wrote down their answers on a dry-erase board, then divided the kids into groups of three or four and assigned a word to each group.

They had blue, moon, castle, wind, yellow, little houses and big houses. Each group had to come up with a motion or pose to describe their word. Then they took turns acting them out. At the end, they put them all together and added music.

It was a really cool activity because she explained how they took a painting and turned it into words, then turned it into a dance. When the kids put together what they had done, they seemed excited. It was definitely fun to watch their discovery.

I had a good time with the kids, and when I got home, I had to change the sweater I was wearing because it was completely stretched out. Throughout the day, the kids would grab my sleeve or the hem of my sweater and say "Griffin's Mom, check this out," or "Griffin's Mom, look at this."

A stretched-out sweater was well worth spending the day with a bunch of sweet and excited kids.

Ringing up a customer's groceries.

This is supposed to be a letter G, but
I don't think it looks much like one.

This is the scarf thing. And it was really
cool. I wish I could've played, too!

The kids perform the dance they created.

Biscuit waits in line
to leave for the day.

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