Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Little Learners

I mentioned in yesterday's post that my dad bought us a membership to the Museum of Science and History as a Christmas gift, and last month we went to the museum for the first time. During that visit, Ellie was feeling particularly...well, two-year-old-y, so we didn't do much besides hang out in the kids' play area. However, last week we hit the museum again, this time for the Little Learners program, which is geared towards kids Ellie's age.

The first part of the program was a show in the planetarium, which I worked hard to sell to Ellie beforehand: It's a movie! On the ceiling! With all our friends! So fun! I knew I had quite the uphill battle before me, given her recent fear of anything that makes any noise even slightly above a whisper. As expected, when the lights went out and the show started, it was freak-out time. I tried my best to settle her down, because I really think she would enjoy it if she could just get past the initial panic, but no luck. So, we ditched that part of the program and went back to our trusty play area. On the plus side, we had the place to ourselves, because everyone else was in the planetarium!

Ellie in the treetops

E.J. found something to play with, too!

Doing puzzles

My kid crawls so fast these days, his pants can't even keep up.

The second part of the program, the "Turtle Talk," was a much better fit for Ellie. They had the woman who cares for all the animals at the museum come and do a very brief talk about tortoises and turtles - differences between the two, what they eat, etc. Then they had both a tortoise and a kiddie-pool-full of turtles for the kids to touch. Ellie loved this. She watched the talk with interest and really enjoyed touching the turtles.

The museum posted this picture of the Turtle Talk on Facebook. See us over there on the right?

Listening to the Turtle Talk

Petting the tortoise

Touching the turtles

I had planned to head home after the program finished, but Ellie was in a good mood and was willing to walk through the museum a little bit, so we hung out and checked out a few more of the exhibits. She especially liked one about power and energy (it had a lot of computer screens to play these days)...

Playing in the electricity exhibit

...but her most favorite was, of course, the animal room. She once again gravitated towards the turtles, though she also enjoyed seeing the snakes, owls and alligators.

Hi, alligators!

Hanging out with the turtles again

This snake was hiding under his mulch a little...

...So Ellie stepped back and counted to 10 to make the game of "hide and seek" really official.

We wandered through a few more exhibits...

Learning about women in the military

...before a pirate/treasure-themed exhibit spooked her, and she asked to leave. That is, after making a stop in the gift shop to play with their various offerings.

Hanging out with the little guy while Ellie admired the museum gift shop rock collection

It was a fun way to spend the morning! I think we'll look into that Little Learners program a little more. They offer it once a month, and maybe one of these days we'll even make it through the planetarium show. Either way, we'll definitely be hitting the museum more often!

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