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Monday, April 20, 2015

Hazel's Science Center

Last week I chaperoned Hazel's class field trip to Seacoast Science Center in New Hampshire. It was a fun place for the kids to learn even more about the ocean and really end their ocean unit. They ended it the next day with watching Finding Nemo. Hazel liked the science center better. The time at the science center began with a demonstration/class for the kids. First an employee presented about tide pools and the animals found at different levels of the tide pool and then they divided the kids into two groups to have some hands-on experience with the animals.

They started with letting the kids touch a sea star. Hazel was her normal timid self and shakily put a finger on it. But after her friends started to hold it, she wanted a turn. Then the sea urchin was pulled out. None of the other kids wanted to try touching it in Hazel's group so she was the brave one and touched it first. Then of course the others followed. Then the kids took turns holding it. They also put in seaweed, periwinkles, blue mussels, and a snail. The kids could take these things out of the water on their own. Next was a small crab. The poor crab got dropped by almost all the kids because of the shock of how ticklish it felt. Hazel again was the brave one who went first. One of her good friends was afraid to hold it so Hazel held it a second time (without dropping it this time) to show her that it was not too scary. I was so proud of my shy and anxious child!! Then they switched the groups to the other bins so the groups could see the same things.


The other bin had a hermit crab in it. The hermit crab came out when it was in the water but would hide when it was lifted up. The kids passed him around by his shell. This bin also had a small crab like the first bin, but that crab went into deep hiding in a shell upon the first group trying to touch him. Then we had the kids wash their hands and eat lunch. After lunch it was time to explore the science center. In the main room/lobby there was a hands-on tide pool table. Hazel is pointing to a sea star in it. Then there was a small room with other sea animals. They have a blue lobster (Hazel's friend loved this lobster), rays, fish and a huge lobster. The kids even got to see feeding time for some of the fish. Then we walked around the room where the class was and there were displays that were more boat oriented. Oh, and there was the juvenile humpback whale skeleton hanging in the lobby. After all this fun the kids got to go out and play on the playground that was on the grounds. Then it was time to come home. As soon as we got home that day, Hazel went to work on creating her own science center.
She had a turtle section and then shells. Some could be touched and some could not be. There were sea stars and she made blue mussels from blue duct tape. She had a whale and dolphin section as well. Then she set up a magnet fishing game since they had one at the science center as well. All week long she added to her science center. Now she even has signs. Of course her spelling is that of a beginner reader where she sounds out the words. She labeled what could be touched and what could not be touched. She added an oyster area with pearls. She at first was calling the clam section until I told her oysters were the ones with pearls. She also made a fish with her popsicle sticks.


I bought her two postcards from Seacoast Science Center and the one that had the name on it had a drawing of a blue lobster on it. She drew her own postcard, but I didn't get a picture of it. She drew a blue crab on it. I am not sure where she put it so I couldn't get the picture.

I love her creativity and watching her think of new things to do in it. She keeps telling us she is ready to open it, but then she thinks of something else. I have to say a field trip that makes her do this much afterwards is a definite win to me. Have you ever taken your child to a museum or field trip and had them want to recreate it so much? Where was it?

For more sea life posts check out: