Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Historically Fun

"I'm gonna miss this place," said Natalie

And, I had to agree.

For the past four weeks, Natalie and I have had so many wonderful adventures together.  We took a ride on a horse-drawn carriage.  We explored up to our elbows with containers of polymer crystals, rice and oats.  We discovered half a dozen ways to play with tree gum balls, pipe cleaners and modeling clay. We took a ride in a pretend hot air balloon fashioned from a laundry basket and an extra large helium balloon. We dressed up in fancy hats and crowns.  We pretended to pack for a trip to the World's Fair and decorated a paper parasol and top hat.  We learned about other cultures - from Japan to Africa.  I never would have guessed we could do all of these things and MORE... under one roof... and for only $20 bucks for four - 2 hour sessions.

Although The Missouri History Museum has been offering "Parent & Me" classes for years, until last month, I had never heard of them.  I guess I had stereotyped the museum to be a stuffy place for retirees to hang out and meander through the displays. I never imagined it could be a place where young children would be welcomed to learn and explore, too.  I'm so happy my friend, Ritika, shared this "best kept secret" with me...so I can blab all about it -- to YOU!

Not only is the museum beautiful and well maintained, but the folks who work there, absolutely LOVE their jobs as evidenced by their warmth and enthusiasm for teaching kids about days gone by.  Whether we painted or pretended to be animals -- they got down on their knees and got dirty, too.  They listened and encouraged and invited questions from all the children. They even took pictures and developed them and then provided all the materials for us to make and take home a keepsake photo album to enjoy.

If you are interested in learning more about The Missouri History Museum, call or visit their website  . In addition to the Parent & Me courses, they offer lots of other family-friendly events like storytelling, family tours, gallery activities and Twilight Tuesdays.  The best part is that many of these offerings are completely FREE of charge.

Nat and Kiran take a ride.
Caring for balloon animals.
Nat cares for her baby elephants.
The girls loved the polymer crystal sensory area the best.

Nat makes an American Mommy and baby ghost from clay 
Throughout the sessions - they took pictures and asked the kids questions and created story boards. 
So many pipecleaners...so little time!
We learned about the 1st Olympics held in St. Louis. Nat shows off her mad weightlifting skills. 
Kids just wanna have fun!


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