The kids got to meet snakes, turtles, and toads, petting them and learning a bit about their characteristics. The naturalist also had empty turtle shells and snake skeletons available to study.
There were also two great experiential activities. He had the kids each take off one shoe and put on an oversized men’s athletic sock. Then he challenged them to get the sock off without using their hands. In the process of shaking, writhing, and rubbing up against things, they got a sense for how a snake sheds its skin.
Then he brought the kids outside, where he’d marked off a section of underbrush with poles and strings. He explained that he’d hidden several empty turtle shells in the marked-off area, and had the children search for them. They got a pretty good idea of how well turtles’ coloration helps them hide!
The kids also made turtles out of paper plates and construction paper. They turned out pretty nicely.
It was a long drive to the Estuary Center, but well worth it for the high-quality field trip! Poor Michael was exhausted, though, after running after Colin the whole time. Maybe next time we’ll get a babysitter.
By the way: the site hosts accidentally deleted the blog template I was using, so I’m playing around with new looks. What do you think? Is it creepy to have the kids’ faces looming out at you? Do you like larger pictures within the posts, or are they a pain given the format you read the blog in? Comments and suggestions welcome.