Search Results for: Montshire
August is here, and with it some extreme temperatures that have taken our daily adventures to air conditioned or watery places. One of our favorites is the Montshire Museum, not only because its ever-changing exhibits keep the whole family interested (praise the Lord), but also because its outdoor water play helps us beat this crazy summer heat. What my kids don’t know is that while they are there, having a blast, their brains get slightly reactivated from their summer slumber and the learning cobwebs get shaken off just a bit.
Something as simple as watching ping pong balls drift downriver, with various eddy pools and small elevation changes, is really fascinating for my kids. They love running to the beginning of the stream, cranking out a new ball, and watching the process over and over again, noticing how small changes have big consequences.
Em’s favorite part every year is tinkering with and assembling different sprinkler systems. This year she and Jax worked together to solve their problem. They actually worked cooperatively without fighting, probably because Em was on her own turf and who can complain when you’re “accidentally” soaking your sibling while having honest fun?
Little H loved going here for the first time as a two-year-old. Watching her experiment with cause and effect was particularly gratifying, with a little help from Em and Grammy. She was so content to pull and push levers to watch how the water level changed, and if she got big sister wet in the process, well, that was just a bonus.
Of course my kids can never go two hours without a significant meal, so after they had had their fill of water fun, it was time for lunch in the shade, away from the crowds where we could talk and maybe make some new itty bitty friends.
At this point, the kids had pretty much dried off, so Grammy and I managed to wrangle them inside for a different kind of fun. One of the things I love about museums is that they don’t even realize they are absorbing anything educational; they’re just having a great time.
Keeping cool (and smart!) is the only way to go this summer!
One of the highlights of our summer has been getting up close and personal with a local T-Rex named Sue. I mean, really close. It’s been awesome.
This isn’t our first foray into the world of fossils, but having Sue in our own backyard where we can visit her as often as we like (total visits as of now: 2) is something special. Oh, and by the way, we didn’t name her Sue. That’s her official name. Although, as JDubbs liked to point out, the paleontologists’ initial diagnosis was incorrect, and it is actually a male tyrannosaurus skeleton. So, in fact, she is a boy named Sue!
After getting our fill of dino-fun, it was business as usual at the Montshire, where Little H is now old enough to do more than just observe, but can actually participate in all that the museum has to offer. Overall, I’d say she is a fan. She could have just stayed right here all day, rolling golf balls down ramps. Note to self: add PVC pipe to her Christmas list.
But we did venture outside and explore some of the excellent water fun, and as always, my dorky heart goes pitter-patter watching my kids embrace the opportunities to explore their world around them .
Nice to meet you, Sue! We’ll be back!
As I explained, Christian and Erika spent a week of their summer vacation with us, and once JDubbs went back to work I had to find a few things to do with five kids every day! It would have been a bit daunting if Christian and Erika weren’t such great helpers with my kids and were so grateful and excited for a week full of fun. These five love each other so much! We packed every day with good old family fun, and the days really flew by.
Scavenger Hunt Around Woodstock, Vermont
Explored Vermont Institute of Natural Science
Stayed Cool At The Montshire Museum
Camped Out On A Rainy Day And Even Went Snipe Hunting!
Had The Best Time At The Upper Valley Aquatic Center
I really don’t know who got the most out of the experience–Christian and Erika, who had a great time, my kids, who loved having their cousins around every day, or me and JDubbs, for having a chance to really get to reconnect with these two great kids who have grown and changed so much over the past few years. Without question, we will be doing this every year. It was our pleasure and just cements in my mind why we left California to be closer to family–there’s nothing like growing up with your cousins!
In my attempt to be funny yesterday, I may have given a certain someone a bum wrap.
Yes, she is sweet and darling as well as slightly demonic, but there is another part of Em that I didn’t mention at all, and that is, of course, that she’s smart. Smart in a completely different way than her brother, who was brilliant in his verbal/linguistic, letter-loving way. Em knows her letters and has decent phonemic awareness, but this girl has other facets. She is a visual/spatial, puzzle-loving, block-building little engineer. She plays in a completely different way than her brother, and the dynamic is fabulous.
I noticed this particularly earlier this summer when Em and I spent the day with our friends at the Montshire Museum in Hanover, NH which has a fabulous outdoor water playspace. It’s a science museum, so it’s not just fun–their little minds are engaged and going a mile a minute–but I couldn’t help but notice how differently Em played than her brother, focusing on elements of the space that Jax barely glances at.
There are about six fountains that spray water up and dozens of PVC pipe in various sizes, shapes, angles, width, and craziness that the kids can attach to the fountain–and then to each other–to create amazing fountains that spray in an array of angles. I couldn’t believe how she just dived in and stuck the pipe on the fountain, making the water go everywhere. Then I marveled at her little mind as she created and destroyed, eager to make the vision in her mind a reality.
What amazes me is that in all the times we’ve been here, Jax never gives this part of the museum more than a few minutes of his time. Em was fully engaged, completely engrossed on the task at hand. Her interests and talents are so different than his, but I’m discovering that that’s one of the best parts of having more than one child–celebrating their uniqueness and nurturing their individual spirit.
She sure is special. Our dynamic, fabulous, amazing Em.