The Tumbleweed has been very into science lately, from weather to animals to structures she loves it all. After seeing how much she enjoyed talking about the weather at the beginning of the school year, I have been taking her to Messy Fingers at the Millbury Library and even an 8-week Science class at the Y.
I recently found out that there is also a "Budding Scientists" class at the Worcester Ecotarium for 4-6 year-olds on the first Thursday of each month. So this morning we headed to the Ecotarium for the morning - and were able to use our First Night Buttons for free admission! The class was great. The did a short discussion about "States of Matter" followed by an experiment to see how to melt a block of ice the fastest. The Tumbleweed was in her element because she had recently learned about liquids at Messy Fingers and the Water Cycle at the Y science class so she was able to chime right in with some answers. She was also quite happy to report that her ice had melted the fastest (she had been assigned salt to pour on it).
When the little class was over the kids were unleashed into the Ecotarium, and they didn't have to go far to see the resident Macaw out with a scientist answering questions. Then it was off to an air tube where both kids enjoyed watching things fly up and out the top. I thought they would never leave it.
They moved only a short distance before finding the perfect replacement for our TV:
They stood and watched the balls move through the structure for a good 20+ minutes, and even went back later. While we were there, I even got to meet the President of the Ecotarium, as he came over and introduced himself and said he was glad the kids were enjoying it so much. That was very true, as I think we are going to attempt to build our own "ball maze" at home (although probably not quite so fancy).
Finally we moved to a different floor and the kids got to race some cars. I think the Tumbleweed had an advantage because she figured out that the round wheel was the fastest, and the Dandelion just wanted his favorite shape - the octagon.
We had to leave before lunch and get the Tumbleweed to school, but now that the Dandelion is old enough to enjoy what is going on I think we will go back again soon. I will, however, have to better discuss the rules about leaving my sight, as there were several times that the Tumbleweed disappeared on me and since I had the Dandelion out of the stroller that meant I was chasing two kids. Thankfully, the Ecotarium was quite empty this morning so they were easy to find. Why don't mothers have 8 arms or eyes in the back of their head? Or children that listen the first time?
6 months ago