Begin with NO end in mind!

Our excursion today was to a local university museum of art as well as the science building on campus. The children in our group range from ages 2  to 10.  I’ve taken many children to many museums over the years! While some love to spend time carefully walking through and observing, most of them walk through quickly and announce that they are ready to go!  It doesn’t matter which method your child uses, because both are wonderful and give us some great points for observation. The group I was with today didn’t spend a whole lot of time looking at the framed art, however they loved the video of the Rube Goldberg Machine that was being shown in the theater!

I couldn’t remember the name of these machines so I came home to do a little research of my own.  I found this adorable youtube video of an amazing 7 year old who was the inventor of something extremely cool! I can’t wait to show the kids.


I wondered out loud if any of our kids had gone home to do some research of their own. Did any of them find it as intriguing as I did?  I remembered how I loved watching the marble roller coasters that were in store windows when I was a kid.  Maybe that’s why I found myself so interested.

Anyway, on to the science building where there were some fun experiments strategically placed throughout the lobby of the building.  There was everything from pendulums to a vortex cannon to dsc_1611 dsc_1608  dsc_1622

light refraction to density. Here there were no more, “Do not touch” signs.  In fact, they were encouraged to touch everything which is exactly what we all did!  Though this was fun for most everyone, the learning point for me came on our walk back to the parking lot. Maple trees lined the pathway and big brother noticed all of the seeds hanging close enough to grab.  He showed us how to remove the “helicopters” from the seed and toss them into the air. Everyone joined in. Then both young and old took the challenge to walk on the raised cinder block rather than the sidewalk. They were very proud when they didn’t fall off!  From generation to generation we pass along these beautiful moments from Mother Nature.

To my point.  I believe we could have started at this place where we ended and enjoyed an exhilarating morning. Our pockets were full of “helicopters”, giant acorns and maple leaves. You just never know what the day will look like, what the kids will most enjoy, what will bring the greatest joy….that’s the beauty of natural learning!

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