Day One Hundred Eighty Two: June 30
Last night we suffered the most powerful non-hurricane storm ever to strike Virginia. When the sun came up this morning, two were dead, more than 2.5 million were without power, emergency and 911 systems were down all over the region, and Governor McDonnell declared a state of emergency. Thankfully we suffered no damage whatsoever and headed out of town for a day trip to The Children’s Museum of Richmond.
I liked how open-ended the activities were. Each one had certain tips, certain things you could role-play or certain skills your child could learn by doing this o that activity, but otherwise the imagination was left wide open.
Of all the activities, M spent most of her time in the apple tree. Designed to teach skills like hand-eye coordination, it also had secondary effects of reinforcing sharing and teamwork. The apple tree consisted of an augur that raised the wooden apples high overhead and then dumped them out in a holding bin. Slowly they worked their way out of the holding bin and down through one of several plastic tubes like your dryer vent. Then they popped out, ready for children to pick them up in holes like those at the far left of the picture. Each child had a bucket, and he or she filled the bucket with apples until loading the chute that fed the augur to start the process all over again.
Here’s M loading her apples into the chute to play another round. Most kids would dump the entire basket of wooden apples in the chute all at once, but not M. Nope, our kid has a bright future as a bureaucrat. Process is WAY more important than outcome.
After some initial reticence, M was really into playing with, and in, the apple tree. She even asked for my help to get the apples higher up, the ones she couldn’t reach on her own.
The Children’s Museum also includes a carousel, an art workshop, a make-believe grocery store, school, television studio, bank, farm, cave, and archaeologic excavation. Admission is $8 for children 12 months or older; $1 discount per ticket with AAA or military ID, and $4 after 4 PM Labor Day through Memorial Day. It was well worth our $21 for a day of laughs, giggles, make-believe, and all the art from the workshop that we could possibly make from the abundant supplies onhand. Look for another picture from The Life In a Day, because we’ll certainly be going back!