In the kitchen

Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First grade field (take 2)

Ella is lucky enough to go to a school where she gets to go on two field trips (or I should say lucky enough to have a school with a strong enough PTO to pay for them).   And Maya and I are lucky enough to be able to go on them too! (I'm pretty sure Sandi isn't feeling super lucky.)

I may not be the giant SUV driving mom with a pool in my backyard, a summer camp and a ski condo like some families in our community, but I have to say there is something to living in a community that has some wealth and whose parents can afford to be incredibly involved in the school.  There is so much opportunity afforded the kids because the parents give so much.  I'm really, really good with that.
I took all these pics with my phone so apologies for blurriness.

The destination was the University of Maine at Orono.  First stop: the Hudson Museum, a tribute to the Native American cultures of Maine.

The museum staff did a great job with a few teaching stations for each class so it wasn't overwhelming with numbers of kids, nor were they left to just look into glass display cases garnering little meaning from the items inside.  They were taught about Native American basket weaving, folklore, how they made and traveled the state of Maine by canoe and how they built shelter.  

The kids played an indigenous game wherein they rolled six clay "dice" and got to pick up the same number of sticks as the "dice" that landed design side up.  There were also a few coveted sticks for certain numbers which made the game fun.  You would have to ask the name of this game and I couldn't tell you. 

Then it was on to the touch tanks.  The kids got to touch starfish, scallops, sea anemone, sea cucumbers and they got to see live sea horses!  Ella was REALLY excited about this, thus the exclamation point.  Turns out live sea horses don't photograph well so you will just have to use your imagination. 

To me the most exciting part was the probably 10 foot long salt water aquarium that contained some of the coolest saltwater life, including coral which you could see eating!  I always knew coral was "alive" but I thought it more as plant than animal.  Did you know that some coral have mouths with which they consume their food?  I sure didn't.

It was thought that there wouldn't be room for Maya and I in the tiny planetarium which was fine with us because it was 78 and sunny outside and we went up to the University gardens.  They are simply beautiful and Maya and I found "secret" paths that led to stone benches and we pretended it was our house.

Maya gets a little crazy from time to time and there was a lot of twirling and laughing to do in the gazebo (which was also our house).

Then we met back up with the first graders for a picnic on the grassy mall.

This was a good thing because Skyler and Maya had a lot of energy to run out.

The day left Maya completely spent:

Just today and tomorrow left of school.  Today was supposed to be Wonderful Wacky Wednesday (a fun-filled field day) but due to the rain, it was moved to tomorrow as Thrilling Thursday.  Maya and I can't go tomorrow (I am due on the Trek bus at 2 and have a whole bunch of stuff still to do) and I sulked a little but I'm getting passed it now.  I have been so grateful for all I've gotten to do this year.  Sandi's mom picks up Ella from her last day of school tomorrow and takes both the girls to Beals for the weekend and I am working hard not to cry over the end of first grade and not picking Ella up from her last day.  I guess even though it causes me some pain, I'm glad I set my parenting standards high.


Jenn said...

I stumbled across your blog today while googling "maine sea horses." I was looking for new fun things to do this summer with my kids, and one of the things on my daughter's "summer bucket list" is to see a live sea horse. I was just wondering if you know whether or not the touch tanks and other areas of the campus that you visited are open to the public?

I hope you enjoy your summer, you have a lovely family.

love is written here said...

Hi Jenn! I have no idea if the place where we went at UMO is generally open to the public but I would be surprised if it isn't. It is call aquaculture and I bet you can look it up online. I will tell you the sea horses are fairly tame and live in a murky tank where they are well camoflaged so it took some looking to see them. This is to say that they weren't dreamily bouncing around to classical music the way I had imagined them.

Have fun! (And I love that your daughter has a summer bucket list!)

Site Meter