Story Time at the Nature Center

Yesterday, while Kansas City was buried in snow, we got a whopping 5 inches.  I'm not bitter or anything!  The roads here were kind of slick but they plow well.  So while all the schools in KC were closed, ours were not and I found myself sliding my way to drop Aaron off to preschool.  Ethan and I had a special mommy date planned at the Lookout Mountain Nature Center.  I was sure they would cancel it but apparently it takes a blizzard to cancel things here. 

I was more than thrilled we made it.  We have never gone to story time at the Nature Center s there is usually a wait list and I was expecting them to read a book or something.  I was wrong.  When we first arrived they had the kids sit on a carpet of the Earth and pretend to put on space suits.  The lesson was all about Mars.  Then they were given "Soda Straw Rocket ships" to launch at a globe of Mars that one of the assistants held up - count down and all.  Ethan loved it!  I found myself feeling a little guilty that I couldn't bring Aaron as our boys are really into rocket ships and yelling "blast off!"  We launched our rockets and then hopped (there's no gravity in space) to the next room which was decorated like Mars.  The kids sat in a circle and learned preschool type facts about the big red planet and then it was time to visit some stations.  

 They learned about "Curiosity" the land rover that drives around shooting lasers at rocks to analyze.  This station was a rock analyzing station where the kids got to use rock hammers and break rocks apart to inspect with magnifiers.
 There was a craft table where the kids got to make their own laser masks to be used later on.   They also got to use their observation skills by smelling different scents from Mars (cotton balls dowsed in different extracts), testing the wind (a little gadget they blow into and watch a ball raise up and down), and take temperature readings of different containers of water.  Then there was the giant space base to Explore.
It included an Airlock, a habitat area where they would pretend sleep and eat, and a tunnel leading to a green house where they would pretend to grow their own food since there are no plants on Mars.
 Finally it was time to take a ride on Curiosity.  The kids took their laser masks and went on a journey all around the Nature Center looking for rocks to buzz.
I was so impressed with this story time - it was totally free and so much fun.  I look forward to signing up for more and hopefully on days I can take Aaron too.  I understand why they fill up so fast now.