"This! Is! Soooo! AWESOME!"
Those were the words of one of my kidlets even before we actually started doing anything at Science World on Tuesday. You know a field trip is going to be a hit when...
It was a busy, busy day. We started right off the bat with a workshop on structures. All the kids got to participate in building a giant dome out of triangles and pentagons. There were three jobs - holders, bolters, and wing-nutters. Hmm... maybe I've found a new nickname for some of my most endearingly quirky kidlets! (hehehe... just kidding... maybe!) Poor kids - some had never been to Science World before and our workshop was just off the coolest gallery in the place, with a glass wall. There was so much to take in on the other side of the glass it was hard to concentrate!
After the workshop my kidlets and I rushed off to catch the Omnimax movie, Beavers. What COOL little critters! (And the beavers are interesting, too! Hardee har har...) The theatre was really steep and the kids were a little spooked, especially cause we sat at the top! It took the two boys beside me about five minutes before they stopped clutching their chairs! If you ever want to have some fun, take 6, 7, and 8 year olds to a giagantic Omnimax movie on any kind of science topic. Their comments were PRECIOUS! Kids are such little scientists anyway, they were making predictions and observations right left and center. I seriously need to carry a notebook around with me wherever I go to write some of the stuff they say down. (Leesepea, I don't know HOW you remember whole conversations from your school day... it must be your superpower! By the end of the day, I can barely remember my own name!).
A few great comments:
Upon seeing the sweeping mountains and valley containing the soon-to-be-dammed-up river: "Wooow, that place is so beautiful, I think my eyes are in heaven!"
While watching a bear chase the beavers, climb up on the dam, and break a hole through their house: "Ooooh, come on, beavers! Run! That bear wants to make you into a beaver sandwich! Ruuuun!"
And my favourite, during the beaver-mating scene: "Hey look! They're dancing!"
They were let loose to explore the galleries in the afternoon, and it went really well. They mostly ran from activity to activity, sort of half trying it, never really reading what to do, but enjoying it all the same.
The only downer was a super big blunder on MY part. Holy guilty teacher syndrome, bat man! One of my munchkins lives pretty far from the school, and so it was easier for mom to bring him directly to Science World, so we just met him there. Poor little guy wasn't feeling well so he was having a really hard time enjoying the day. He was complaining of a headache and didn't really want to participate in anything all morning. He curled up and went to sleep for most of the movie, face all scrunched up in pain. I felt so terrible for him. He kinda looked at me like he was doing something bad by sleeping, but I just gave his back a rub and told him to sleep, it was totally ok.
Come lunch time, when all the kids were getting out their bag lunches from the school's lunch program, I realized with horror that I had left this kiddo's lunch back at the school! Aaaargh! I quickly asked someone if they wanted to share their sandwich, and I got out my banana and a granola bar, but I still had to break the news that I had forgotten his lunch. I pulled him aside and apologized profusely, offered him the food that I had, and told him that because I had forgotten, I'd buy him a special drink, did he want Coke or Orange Crush? He seemed to be placated with that, so PHEW! A few minutes into the show (we were eating and watching a science demo show at the same time), he removed himself to go sit in a quieter place. I went over a few minutes later to check on him and he burst into tears.
"[Kiddo], what's the matter? Are you still feeling sick?" He shook his head no. "Hmm... are your feelings hurt because I forgot your lunch at school?" WOAH NELLY, the waterworks started even harder and he nodded his head yes. My heart nearly cracked in two! Of all the kids in my class, he's one of the most sensitive, AND he wasn't feeling well, AND his big mean teacher forgot his FOOD! Good grief, *I* nearly started crying!
"Oh, sweetie, you KNOW I didn't do it on purpose..." Knowing this kiddo and his sense of humour, I tried a tactic to get him to stop crying... "I just made a BIG... FAT... HAIRY mistake!"
I had him at "fat." He guffawed at that, and downright giggled at "hairy." I repeated it again and he was in stitches. He didn't like the sandwich (he had ordered a different kind), so I went upstairs and bought him a bag of popcorn instead. Phew! Crisis averted!
So here's the lesson, folks. With grade two boys, just bust out some fun words like "fat" or "goober" or "snotty pants" and you're almost guaranteed they'll listen to ya!